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Guest post | Jane Sutton, author of The Ride

February 4, 2009

therideMid-January J. Kaye and I hosted a Noontime Book Chat featuring The Ride by Jane Kennedy Sutton. It sparked a lively discussion not only between myself and J. Kaye but between J. Kaye and her husband Steve. J. Kaye thought that Ms. Sutton might be following the chat and sure enough she was. I contacted her and asked if she write a guest post. I hope you enjoy reading her thoughts about our chat as much I did. 

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Last October a photo of The Ride was shown sandwiched between Off Seasons by Anne River Siddons and The Requiem by Molly Dwyer on J. Kaye’s Book Blog post, What’s on Your Nightstand. I looked at the photo, shivered with delight, and thought, “Oh my God, I really am an author!”

My excitement increased when I learned that The Ride was to be the subject of a January Noontime Chat between J. Kaye and Marcia of The Printed Page. However, as the date neared my excitement lessened and my apprehension grew. I had no idea of how they would respond to the book. Although I tried to ban negative thoughts from my mind, I wasn’t always successful. On several occasions, I found myself wondering how it would feel to have one or both of the participants not like the book. I could only shudder in response.

The week of the chat was a super busy one for me. At least that is what I told myself. Honestly, I think I was too nervous to visit the blogs. It was late in day 3 when I finally told myself, “Just do it!”

My eyes immediately caught the words, “…the book infuriates me. I don’t like any of the characters…” I closed my computer without going further. It was late, I was tired and I didn’t need to end the day with rejection. I went to bed.

The following morning, with a steaming cup of coffee in hand, I approached my computer as though it had been inflicted with the bubonic plague. “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” I said aloud finding the site. I made myself start at day one. My spirits soon soared when I read, “I felt an emotional charge from reading the first 51 pages and I was ready to keep going.” I can’t imagine a better phrase for an author to hear.

On day two with Marcia I couldn’t tell where she stood but again there was that phrase, “…another part of me that keeps compulsively turning pages…” that gave me hope.

On day three back with J. Kaye, I fell in love with her husband, Steve, when he said, “…if you can’t stop reading, then it’s a good book.” Thank you, Steve.

Wrap up day from both, plus and J. Kaye’s review couldn’t have been better reading for me—the book brought out emotions, had them turning pages and wanting to know about my next book. What more could I ask for?

I couldn’t get the phrase, “Don’t like the characters.” off my mind. The main characters Barbie, Ken and Michael are not based on anyone I know. They’re completely fictional. However, they are a conglomeration of traits and nuances that I gleaned from various people I’ve either known, seen, read about, etc. during my lifetime. I had grown quite attached to all three.

Okay, I can understand not liking Ken, the self-absorbed husband who could do no wrong in his own eyes and Michael, the con man. But, Barbie? What’s not to like?

Then it came to me. Over the course of writing the book, my characters became like my children. And, as with kids, everyone can see their faults and imperfections except for their mother. So I tried looking at Barbie more objectively.

It is difficult trying to befriend a depressed person with low self-esteem. You don’t want to be dragged down in the dumps with them. But when you least expect it, you get glimpses of the person they can be—their warm, funny, open, I only want to be loved side—so you continue to work on the friendship. My hope is by the end of the book, readers will have enjoyed the ride Barbie took them on and they’ll decide she was worth the effort of becoming friends.

I would like to thank you J. Kaye and Marcia for your time and your honest opinions and thoughts about The Ride. Also, I appreciate the review J. Kaye. The Noontime Chat has been a positive and educational experience for me. Now I must go work on book number two, Reigning Cats and Dogs, about two of society’s misfits (Uh-oh, not more unlikeable characters, I hope!). Though opposite in personalities, two women form a strong bond after literally running into one another, but find their unusual friendship leads them into life-threatening situations.

Jane Kennedy Sutton
Jane Sutton
Jane Kennedy Sutton
J. Kaye ‘What’s on Your Nightstand October

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Just in case you missed the chat January 19th to 22nd:

Monday: J. Kaye’s book blog
Tuesday: The Printed Page/Marcia
Wednesday: J. Kaye’s book blog
Thursday: J. Kaye’s book blog & here at The Printed Page

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5 Comments
  1. February 4, 2009 3:40 pm

    I love this post!

  2. February 4, 2009 4:44 pm

    “I approached my computer as though it had been inflicted with the bubonic plague. ”

    LOL – great line. Loved this post, this piece of writing on writing.

  3. February 4, 2009 7:12 pm

    Oh Jane, I am so glad you came back to read our chat! You are a very talented writer and THE RIDE proves it. You are full of emotion and it radiates through your words.

  4. February 4, 2009 9:22 pm

    What a clever way to review books. Good chat; glad to have run across it.
    -Krista
    **********
    If you enjoyed this chat stop by February 9th for By the Chapter when Dar and I will discussing our featured book Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.

  5. February 5, 2009 1:39 pm

    Thank you all for the kinds words and encouragement.

    Jane Kennedy Sutton
    http://janekennedysutton.blogspot.com/

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