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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

BOOK BIRTHDAY: Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman - Interview + GIVEAWAY!

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers....the virtual place to stop by, kick up your feet, and dive into a great read any time of day or night because let's face it, ANY TIME is the PERFECT time for books!

Today, we're throwing a party for a very special BOOK BIRTHDAY indeed as it's from an author I've highlighted a few times before...and why not?  I ADORE her work!  The featured title is making it's paperback debut TODAY via Penguin Books and it deserves all the fanfare it will get.  Ready to meet today's FIRST "guest"...oh yes, I said first....then may I direct your attention to center stage...err, post.  Shining the spotlight on....

Beth Hoffman
Penguin Books

About the book....
Teddi Overman found her life’s passion in turning other people’s castoffs into beautifully restored antiques. Leaving her hardscrabble Kentucky childhood behind, Teddi opens her own store in Charleston. She builds a life as unexpected and quirky as her many customers, but nothing alleviates the haunting uncertainty she’s felt since her brother Josh mysteriously disappeared. When signs emerge that Josh might still be alive, Teddi returns to Kentucky, embarking on a journey that could help her come to terms with her shattered family—and find herself.

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Sounds good, right?
Trust me, it surely is...and if you'd care for a glimpse into my experience with the book in a little more detail, feel free to check out my review.  Looking back, it doesn't seem like almost a year since I've read this book but I guess that's how it is when you meet characters and stories you just can't let go of.  Have I convinced you to check it out yet?  No worries....I've only just begun.  ^_^

Author Beth Hoffman
It's time to introduce today's second featured guest, and truly they are only second to their work in this case.  That's right!  I scored an interview with the truly fabulous author herself, Beth Hoffman!  She's fabulous for many reasons, her writing included, and so the chance to "speak" with her once again is answered with a resounding YES every time.  So, readers....I invite you to situate yourself in your favorite reading environment, grab a cold glass of whatever suits your fancy and join us for a friendly get together with this New York Times Bestselling Author.  Ladies and gents, please welcome Ms. Beth Hoffman!

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Hi Beth!
It feels like welcoming an old friend back again in hosting this celebratory post for the paperback release of your amazing book, LOOKING FOR ME.  (...and yes, I'm geeking out in being able to say "friend" when speaking with a NY Times Best Selling Author!) Congratulations by the way on all the success and notoriety you've achieved thus far and many thanks for always having time for the little guys and gals (like moi!)!  Can't wait to see what's coming up in your writing world next, but more on that in a moment.  Let's chat, shall we?  *passes cold glass of ice tea with lemon, grabs a Diet Coke for self*  (^_^)

I’m delighted to be with you today, Gina. I agree, we are very much like old friends and I’m grateful for all your support. Thanks for the iced tea and inviting me to chat!

So, we first "met" (virtually, of course) back in 2010.  Can you believe it?!  It doesn't seem that far back but I suppose that's how friendships and great reads develop.  Tell me, when you look back to your start with little CeeCee (AMAZING book by the way!), did you ever imagine reaching the heights you have thus far?

I never dreamed I’d be in this position, and I’m still a bit stunned by all that’s happened. It’s funny, but in some ways it doesn’t seem real, as if it’s happening somewhere outside myself.

What has surprised you the most about this crazy fun literary ride we tend to call publishing?  How about the least?  Any regrets?

The one thing that surprised me most is how supportive book lovers are. I’ve walked into events where hundreds of people were waiting, and I was gobsmacked! I suppose I’ve been the least surprised by the amount of hard work that writing and editing demands. As for regrets: none. It’s been a wild and wonderful ride. Even when I’m exhausted, or have to run down a long concourse to catch the plane to my next author event, I’ve never regretted a thing.

If you had to choose, who would you name as one of the most influential on your journey so far?  How has knowing them affected you?

My publisher, Pamela Dorman, and my literary agent, Catherine Drayton, have influenced me in countless ways. They are whip-smart and precise, and they’ve guided me with great insight. Librarians, book bloggers, and readers have also had an impact. When I interact with the book-loving community, I feel the fire to keep going, to be the best I can be, and to remain true to my craft.

Of the characters we've met thus far, which has left their impression on you the most ... you know, the character that wouldn't cease their endless chattering to your creative mind, seeking to have their story shared?

Oletta Jones will always be my favorite. While working on CeeCee’s story, I was often surprised by the things she said and did. I love her so much that sometimes I talk with her when I’m driving! She wants me to write about her again, and I just might!

Any single character that YOU identify with most?  Why?

That character would be Teddi Overman in LOOKING FOR ME. We share similar histories and personality traits: the love of animals and nature, growing up on a farm, and a fascination with antiques. But I have a quirky side, too. And truth be told, I’m quite a bit like Thelma Rae Goodpepper!

Your work has taken you to many new locales with book signings and tours; so exciting!  Tell me, which one was most memorable and why?

I spoke at the Jepson Center in Savannah, and it was a magical experience. It’s a stunning auditorium where hundreds of seats rise from the stage and fan out, which keeps the audience visible from the podium. To look up and see all those people laughing and weeping when I told childhood stories was a powerful and humbling experience.

Any crazy fan moments you'd care to share?  (Keeping actual names withheld, of course ...)

Not long after SAVING CEECEE HONEYCUTT was published, I received an email from someone who demanded that I give him a tour of my historical town. He told me when and where I should meet him…AND that he’d be wearing a bra over his shirt so I’d know who he was! It freaked me out. I blocked him and deleted the email. Then one day I was out to lunch with friends and the conversation segued to that crazy email. My friends burst out laughing and one of them admitted that he’d set up a phony Yahoo account and had done it as a prank. 

I'm sure your fans are dying to know, as am I ... what's next for you?  Any new works in progress you can tantalize us with?  Any big celebration plans (aside from this tour, of course) to commemorate this milestone in your journey?

Here’s what I’m doing to celebrate: I’m dedicating my 2014 LOOKING FOR ME book tour to animals in need. For each book sold at every event, I’ll make a donation to a selected local shelter, and representatives from each shelter will be in attendance. I’m so excited to lend my support to homeless fur-babies that I can hardly stand it.

As for a new novel, I just started working on one, and so far I’m enthralled with the characters. The story takes place in two historic districts that sit back-to-back in Northern Kentucky (Newport and Covington). The two female main are both hiding something. It’s through their unusual friendship that their mysteries unfold.

Last but not least, let's talk about THIS book.  For those with limited time or short attention spans (ooh...shiny!  ^_^), describe LOOKING FOR ME in 20 words or less .... GO!

A young woman’s journey to decipher the words written in a note and embrace the remarkable boy who penned them.

Quid pro quo....
Favorite color? White
Favorite food?  Spaghetti, and strawberry/spinach smoothies, but not at the same time!
Favorite flower? Peony
Favorite pastime? Gardening and reading
Dream vacation spot? I’m a homebody and not fond of vacations. But I do enjoy doing book research on location, and my favorite places to explore are Charleston and Savannah.

Favorite place to read? In bed.
Favorite author (as in you'll read almost anything they publish without hesitation) … Truman Capote.
Last book read? “Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems” by Billy Collins   
Must haves when writing … Total quiet and a big glass of ice water.

When not writing, I can be found ... Out in nature, reading, or antiquing with girlfriends.
If I weren't a writer, I would be ... I’d probably still have my former career as an interior designer.

Something I wish I knew then that I know now ... It’s okay to say “no” without apology. There aren’t enough hours in the day to accommodate everyone.

Advice for future writers out there ... Be authentic. Never try to emulate an author you admire. Find your own unique voice and style. Also, as Mark Twain once said: “If you see an adverb, kill it.” Even when you think you have a bona fide novel in your hands, I can pretty much guarantee that you don’t. So don’t rush to send out submissions. Edit with a ruthless hand, and then read your work out loud and listen to how it sounds. It’s a long process, but one that’s guaranteed to improve the end result.

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Like I said, an AMAZING author who writes equally wonderful stories that you simply MUST see to believe.  Special thanks to Meg at Tandem Literary and author Beth Hoffman for making this interview possible.  (YOU ROCK LADIES!)  For more information on this promotion, be sure to stop by their official site.  To connect with the Ms. Hoffman on the regular, pay a visit to her online home, like her on Facebook, or tweet with her on Twitter. This edition of Looking for Me is available now via Penguin Books (in case you didn't catch that the first few times around ^_^), so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you.

Now that we've got this party started, there's only one way to finish it out...

....with a CONTEST!

That's right!
You've read about it.
You've met the author.
Now, it's time to score a chance to WIN THE BOOK!

How to enter?
Easy Peasy!
Just use the Rafflecopter form below and you're in it to win it.
Open to residents of the continental US only, no P.O. Boxes please.
Begins NOW, ends May 17th, 2014.


Oh and one last thing!
If you're lucky enough to be in one of the following areas this May/June, you'll get a chance to MEET Ms. Hoffman in person on her Spring/Summer 2014 tour!  Go ahead, feel free to SQUEE.

NAPERVILLE, IL, Anderson's Bookshop, May 1
WICHITA, KS, Watermark Books, May 6
KANSAS CITY, MO, Unity Temple (with Rainy Day Books), May 8
WOODSTOCK, GA, Foxtale Book Shoppe, May 13
FAIRHOPE, AL, Page & Palette, May 15
EVANSVILLE, IN, Vanderburgh Public Library, June 15


Until next time....GOOD LUCK....and happy reading!



Felicity Grace Terry said...

Such a fun post, I was almost disappointed to read the man demanding the tour was in fact one of the authors friends playing a prank.

Tales of Whimsy said...

I can't believe I haven't tried her work yet. I reallly must change that.

This looks great. I love that she's a Kentucky girl.

Side note, I've seen Beth in cyberland and she seems like the sweetest lady.

Gina said...

Juju: Yes! You definitely need to and she REALLY is!

Elizabeth Bevins said...

Lovely! I'd love to read this one. Thank you!

Beth Hoffman said...

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today! Your questions are always interesting and I have so much fun with you!

Gina said...

Tracy: I know, right! Too funny.

Elizabeth: it's a great read!

Beth Hoffman: My heart is smiling. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful stories and a bit of yourself with ALL of us! ^-^

JJT said...

Sounds so interesting. Can't wait to add Beth Hoffman to my list of favorites

Carol M said...

I've never read any of her books but
I always enjoy a book with any mystery and this sounds good!

Unknown said...

I'm intrigued by the mystery of Teddy's missing brother and now am curious to find out what truly became of him. I dig a good mystery!

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