Today’s guest author is the wonderful Lily Sawyer! Among her published works is her newest book, From The Depths, which published this last November. Join me in welcoming Lily as she tells us a little bit about herself and From The Depths. Please feel free to leave a comment or two.
When and why did you begin writing?
I began to write stories when I took an adult writing course as part of a life enrichment course about 25 years ago. I moved onto writing fan fiction then started writing original stories.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
I love the idea of creating characters and situations for them to deal with. Creating new worlds.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I’d say I like to write in second person pov.
What do you find is the hardest thing about being an author?
Writer’s block, I’ve suffered with it on and off for the past two years.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have a few, but one is one of my favorite (and become a friend) is Shira Anthony. I just love how she not only writes her characters in a way that let’s me know she really knows them but she knows the settings she places her stories in. I feel like I’ve traveled to Europe and found love and been exposed to some of the wonders of classical music.
What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve been dealing with depression for most of my life, it’s taken me a while to really be able to come to terms with it. What frustrated me, along with many who have to live with this condition on a day to day basis, is dealing with those around us who do not understand what we are going through and, worse, make light of it. I wanted to shed some light on what it’s about.
Was there anything you found particularly challenging when writing this book?
I found it difficult to decide how much I wanted to expose my own experiences and how much I wanted readers to really get into my head (it’s a scary place (lol)
How did you come up with the title?
For me depression sometimes feels like I am in a deep hole with no way out. And it was like I’m looking at the rest of the word from the depths of this deep, dark place. That is how I came up with my title.
If you were to give your book a Heat Rating, (lowest) 1—simmering, 2—sizzling, 3—on fire, or 4—blazing (highest), which would it be and why?
Most of my books are simmering or sizzling, but given the subject matter of this book I didn’t put a lot of heat into it. It’s more a sweet, yet serious one. So I’d give it a 1.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on two stories, one, “Four Doors Down.” that I’d put on the back burner. It was written during one of my worst cases of writer’s block. It takes place in one of my favorite places I’ve visited, Lancaster Pa. the other book is a wip, the working title is “Fire Island.” I started a few months ago, it take place on Fire Island NY, a place I have never visited but had wanted to. It is a barrier island off the coast of Long Island, where I was born and grew up. Living on Long Island there had been talk of a major hurricane coming to LI. Most of the storms were either tail ends or hit the east end of the island. I started writing this before Hurricane Sandy, I decided to take a break from writing it so I could regroup and decide how to proceed.
Harry Goldberg appears ordinary. But he secretly suffers from depression–leading life alone except for his cat. Then Harry meets a new delivery man where he works–someone he is attracted to. Can anyone love him–emotional baggage and all?
To the world, Harry Goldberg appears to be a ordinary, happy-go-lucky man. He has a great job working at Nosh Deli on Long Island. His co-workers and customers love him. But Harry has a secret–he suffers from depression. No one understands what it’s like to live life on the edge and not to be able to let anyone know for fear of driving them away. That is how Harry has led his life, alone except for his faithful cat. But things change when a new delivery man shows up at the deli; one that he finds himself attracted to. But there is no one who can love someone with so much emotional baggage like him–is there?
Harry had a wonderful job; he worked at a deli on Long Island. He loved to watch the looks customers gave him when he served them his special mile-high sandwich. Despite the huge piles of hot pastrami and corned beef on rye with a pickle and coleslaw on the side, they somehow left a clean plate.
The people around Harry told him that he was a likeable kind of guy with a great sense of humor. All his co-workers loved him. Truth was, he had them all fooled. When he left the deli at the end of the day he went home to an empty apartment; his only company, aside from assorted houseplants, was his cat. Tom was a grey and white shorthair Harry had rescued from the local pound. No one knew about Harry’s lonely existence, just like they didn’t know he suffered with depression. The only ones who knew, aside from his immediate family, were his counselor and a support group he went to from time to time.
Most people thought it was just the blues; at least that was what his parents thought at first. His mom was the worst. When Harry was fifteen, he’d buried himself in his bed and wouldn’t come out. She kept telling him stop being lazy, get his ass out of bed, and snap out of it.
Unfortunately, they didn’t understand what it was like to feel as he did. No one knew how much Harry wanted to be normal; he didn’t want anyone’s pity. No one could know the deep pain he felt. Some days it got so bad he just wanted to lie down, go to sleep, and never wake up.
* * * *
Nicholas could never stand being cooped up inside some stuffy office building. Nope, that was never going to happen. So when his uncle offered Nicholas a job with his delivery company after he graduated high school, he jumped at the chance. That was almost ten years ago–driving a truck was in his blood now.
Stern’s trucking specialized in delivering kosher food to all the Jewish delis and kosher markets on Long Island and in the five boroughs of New York City.
He checked the manifest; there was a new restaurant on the list. He’d been to Carle Place before but never to Nosh Deli. But a job was a job. He’d done so many deliveries he could do them in his sleep.
He loaded up his truck in Queens Village and headed east to Long Island. He took the local roads, completely avoiding the Long Island Expressway.
* * * *
Harry was handling the lunch-hour-rush crowd. He’d lost count of how many pastrami and corned beef sandwiches he’d made and how much homemade coleslaw and potato salad he’d scooped out onto the plates.
“Can I have a chicken on whole wheat bread, please?” Harry stopped his automaton-like movements, taking notice of the customer behind the voice–a blonde woman who appeared to be in her thirties, dressed in business attire.
“Bless you. Thanks for breaking the monotony.”
She laughed. “You must get tired of the same old orders every day.”
Harry was on the receiving end of that brilliant smile. The woman seemed to be flirting with him. He had to admit she was an attractive woman. He noticed there was no ring on her left hand. There was one problem, though–Harry was gay. He’d known that girls didn’t do anything for him that way since he was fourteen. It was one more thing his mother had nagged him about–dating women–until he came out to his parents. He couldn’t say they were thrilled, but at least they didn’t throw him out of the house. They just didn’t talk about it. Besides, Harry hardly ever went out. He had one experimental encounter with a buddy in high school. They had given each other a hand job and that was that.
Harry’s self-esteem was in the basement. Who in their right mind would want to date a guy who was a killjoy? Depression robbed Harry of being able to really enjoy life. He was glad no one at work was aware of the sad sack in their midst–and no one would find out if he could help it.
He buried himself in work, fixing orders for people like the woman who stood before him–he wouldn’t let anyone get too close.
Buy link: Silver Publishing
Lily Sawyer has to credit her late mother for her interest in reading and writing. She used to take her to library and opened up to her the world of books. She took a writing class in an adult enrichment program and got hooked. She started off writing stories set in various fandoms she was interested in like Star Trek and Brokeback Mountain. After getting some encouragement from family members and friends, she finally decided it was time to write her own original stories. Lily recently returned to drawing and was in an art class. Also loves to garden and loves everything about nature. Including going to the beach and looking up at the stars.
You can find Lily on her blog: http://lilysawyerbooks.blogspot.com/