Stop Stalling – A Year After “Keep Her” ~ A Guest Post by Leora Krygier

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Leora Krygier came into my life unexpectedly when I received a copy of her novel Keep Her last year. You can read my review here. Since that time not only did I find myself moved by this endearing and thought-provoking story that was a 2016 silver medal winner of the Moonbeam Chidren’s Book Award, but I was continually touched and inspired by my correspondence with Leora. It is an honor to have her share her journey after writing Keep Her here today. So without further ado..


Stop Stalling – A Year After “Keep Her.”

By Leora Krygier

Stop stalling! That’s what I kept saying to myself every morning for a year after the publication of my novel “Keep Her.” But somehow that well-worn imperative didn’t give me enough of the nudge I needed. Sure, there were some understandable reasons – my dad’s illness and his eventual passing away, and a new, delicious baby in the family. There was a lot going on – birth and death and everything in between, still I knew. I was stalling. And this stalling became my “bête noir,” roughly translated, my “dark beast,” or the nagging thorn in my side because every time I sat down to write at my desktop computer, ten minutes later I got up and found something else to do instead.

Life after publication is both exhilarating but also downright nerve wracking. I’d been through it before – the excruciating wait for reviews, the readings, the mentions in the press, and the PR and marketing push.  I did a lot of fun things this time including a SnapChat story, Instagram bookstagrams, a trip to the Book Expo in Chicago and meetings with environmental organizations like Heal The Bay, but still, writing and even publishing can be an often solitary road.

So now – thirteen months later, where am I? I’m still zigging and zagging on that road. I’m aching to write a sequel to Keep Her, to write the next life chapter for my beloved fictional characters Maddie and Aiden, whom I kind of left hanging at the end of the novel. But there’s another book – one that’s three quarters written, a memoir of sorts, and so much harder to write because it has to do with me, and who in the world wants to read about a year in my life?

But that non-fiction book needs completion, an arc closed, if not for others, than for myself. It’s about the year I made a left turn on both my writing and life roads. I spent a year researching a random W.W.II postcard I found in a thrift store in Los Angeles, then tracked down the owner and ran half way across the world to return it to its rightful place. And I say left turn because I should have been doing something else – figuring out my own family history, the whys and wherefores of my father’s past, his secrets and how they oozed into my life. But sometimes you have to make a left turn to get onto the right road, right?

I recently looked up the origin of the word “stall.” The noun refers to a compartment in a stable or shed that houses an animal. The verb is about delay, putting things away, i.e. putting them out of sight and out of mind. That definition made me realize that my “bête noir,” my own little beast was waiting for me to let it out of its stall.

And so, I did. I stopped stalling. Well, kind of. I reorganized my office space and put away a lot of my distractions. I bought a new chair. I finally opened up the computer file with the mostly written book and I’ve actually added and subtracted to the manuscript. It’s a start, I guess.


Meet Leora Krygier

leora.jpgI think I wrote my first story at the age of eight, a micro-autobiography. Micro? Because, well, how much can you say at the age of eight? But I guess I was hooked. I also love to take photos with my cameras and iPhone, which is always snug in my back pocket.
For me, every photo has a story, and every story is a snapshot.
I’m the author of “When She Sleeps” (Toby Press) a New York Public Library Selection for “Best Books for the Teen Age,” and about which Newsweek said, “Krygier’s luminous prose transports the reader.”
I’m also a former Los Angeles Superior Court judge and the author of “Juvenile Court: A Judge’s Guide for Young Adults and their Parents” (Scarecrow Press).
I live in Los Angeles with my husband. When I’m not writing, I love to go to the beach, walk the Santa Monica Mountain trails, and snap lots and lots of photographs.

Untitled design Leora enjoys a good English Breakfast tea and a blackberry infused tea and says “Nothing like a good cuppa”.

Follow Leora: Website Twitter Instagram

Leora’s Books
(click for Goodreads info)
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I want to extend a special thank you to Leora for sharing this experience and her time today.

Happy Reading ❤

Danielle

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

 

Keep Her Review & Fall Favorite Things Blog Tour

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This Monday I am posting a review for Keep Her by Leora Krygier. I had the fantastic pleasure of signing up for the Fall Favorite Things Blog Tour, and I am so happy I did not pass this one up! This first title was a huge hit for me!


Being Released Tomorrow 9/6/16!

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Keep Her
By Leora Krygier
Publisher: She Writes Press
ISBN: 1631521438
Pages: 264
Genre: YA Fiction (Inspired by true events)


My Blurb:

Keep Her follows 17 year old Maddie during the summer as she struggles with deciding between pursuing her artistic side or falling back on a career involving mathematics, which have always came naturally. Being one of three adopted children (including a troubled brother), she is also trying to come to terms with family issues and how they are affecting her life. Then Aiden enters her life like a whirlwind, reviving her creativity and introducing her to new possibilities. While he is still grieving the loss of a brother, the two just might find the answers to their own salvation in the midst of art, film making, whale saving, adoption, and one very worn out copy of Moby Dick.


My Thoughts:

Keep Her is completely different than anything I would normally choose to read. It is also a shining example of why we need to hop outside of the norm every now and then. Sure, I would much rather spend my days reviewing fantasy and horror, but then I miss the rare opportunity to discover a title such as this that pulls at me on such a deep level. A needle in my haystack, if you will.

Leora Krygier has painted a refreshingly beautiful tale of life and love that has left me only wanting more. Her words eloquently spill onto the pages, seamlessly creating a story that will not easily be forgotten. Each paragraph invites the reader to dive a little further, evoking great emotion and what I can only describe as a natural and gifted storytelling ability.

Maddie and Aiden feel genuine, engaging the reader from the very first encounter . The connection between the author and her characters resonates throughout Keep Her. Lavish development encourages the reader to learn more, to want to know more. They are endearing and easy to sympathize with. Everything about Maddie and Aiden, as well as the supporting characters worked so well for me. I simply lost myself within their story.

The setting adeptly alternates between Aiden’s time at sea and the present. I think the narration, which is told through Aiden’s letters to his brother and Maddie’s perspective, is one of the most delightful aspects of reading Keep Her. The author has managed to take a story of real life struggles such as family and financial difficulties, self discovery and forgiveness and presented it in a consistent pace that progressed with ease.

While we cannot all relate to the challenges that may arise with adoption and missions to save the whales, we have at some point experienced grief and loss. We have experienced love. We have experienced self doubt. Leora Krygier has managed to wrap all of these emotions up into one gorgeous tale that hits hard and makes its mark. The ending was magnificent. The story of Maddie and Aiden felt complete. And if you visit leorakrygier.net you can view additional photos and letters for a heightened effect. I always love bonus features with books!

This was easily 4 stars for me. If you are looking for a read with some real depth and emotion, I recommend picking up a copy of Keep Her. It truly is a terrific reading experience.

*I recieved a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are my own.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Purchase Keep Her: A Novel on Amazon.com

If you are in the area, Leora Krygier will be at:
Barnes & Noble, 3rd St. Promenade
Third & Wilshire BLVD., Santa Monica, CA
on 9/8/16 at 7:00 pm for a book signing 🙂


About The Author

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*As provided by the publisher*

Leora Krygier
’s first novel, When She Sleeps (Toby Press), was a New York Public Library selection for “Best Books for the Teen Age.” Leora currently lives in L.A. with her husband. When she’s not writing, Leora loves to go to the beach, walk the Santa Monica Mountain trails and snap lots of photographs. You can connect with her at leorakrygier.net.