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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Spotlight Saturday: Guest Post and Giveaway with Donald Levin, author of Crimes of Love

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!

We will be joined today by Donald Levin.

About Donald:

An award-winning fiction writer and poet, Donald Levin has been writing since he was a little boy making up stories based on the old Dragnet television series. He is the author of The House of Grins, a novel, and two books of poetry, In Praise of Old Photographs and New Year’s Tangerine. He has worked as a warehouseman, theatre manager, medical transcriptionist, advertising copywriter, scriptwriter, and political speechwriter. He is currently professor of English and chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages at Marygrove College in Detroit. 

He lives in Ferndale, Michigan, which is the setting of his new mystery novel, Crimes of Love. When he's not writing, reading, or teaching, he's playing one of his five guitars and learning to play his new banjo.


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Donald!

Donald has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to him!

What Makes a Writer “Successful”?
Another rejection from that publisher you just knew was going to be perfect for your latest project. The new review that savages your book. This month’s pathetic sales report.
You keep a brave face for your family and friends, but in those 3 a.m. moments you keep hearing that little voice in your head saying, “You’ll never be a success at this writing business!”
We’ve all been there. I certainly have . . . in fact, when I was younger, after years of having no success in finding publishers for the stories and novels I wrote, at some point all the rejection overwhelmed me and I decided I needed to pursue something else. After trying -- and, in my mind, failing -- to do the thing I had wanted to do since I was little, I gave up. It was a painful decision, but I knew I couldn’t continue along that futile path any longer.
So I found other ways of making a living, other activities to occupy my time. But as I closed in on my half-century mark, I made a couple of key discoveries.
First, I realized I had never outrun my urge to write fiction. It was still with me, and I knew I had to answer its call. And second, along with my maturity had come a new understanding of what it meant to be successful as a writer.
I understood at last there were many different ways of measuring success, and most have nothing to do with sales reports.  
In particular, I realized we are successful to the degree that: 
o   Our writing has an impact on our readers. If we can elicit an emotional response from even one reader, our writing is a success. While it’s true that broad publication can bring our work before a wide readership, that isn’t necessary to realize the feeling of incredible satisfaction you get when you know you’ve touched someone deeply with your words. Nothing can compare with that.  
o Our writing has meaning for us in the act of writing. As I came to terms with what I wanted to accomplish as a fiction writer, I discovered that for me writing is not only a source of joy, but more: it’s a way of being in the world. The most important thing was to do it . . . to write, to create, to assemble an imaginative structure out of language. I knew if I didn’t give myself up to that insight . . . if I allowed the fear of failure to discourage me . . . I would always feel as though a part of me was missing.
Together, those two ways of thinking about success -- in the way our work affects the people we write for, and in the meaning of the act itself -- changed my entire outlook. And they liberated me from the prison of my own expectations.
Are there other definitions of success that work for readers of this blog? If so, I’m interested in your thoughts.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Donald!

Two lucky winners will win paperback copies of Crimes of Love

One cold November night, police detective Martin Preuss joins a frantic search for a seven-year-old girl with epilepsy who has disappeared from the streets of his suburban Detroit community. Unwilling to let go after the county sheriff’s office takes the case from his city agency, he strikes out on his own, following leads across the entire metropolitan region. Probing deep into the anguished lives of all those who came into contact with the missing girl, Preuss must summon all his skills and resources to solve the many crimes of love he uncovers.

Fast-paced storytelling and keen insight into the weaknesses that beset the human heart make this first Martin Preuss mystery impossible to put down.

To enter the giveaway, you must complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open to Canada/US addresses only until 12:01 AM EST on May 26, 2012.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Ultimate success is so subjective. For me success means being joyful in my accomplishments, riding out the storms, and holding my head up in pride flaws and all ;) These are attributes that to me make great characters whether they be out there kicking ### or falling in love. Thank you for sharing with us today and for the awesome giveaway opportunity.

  2. I think success for a writer was well stated. I would say that success for a writer can be as simple as finishing the story.

  3. I agree completely with Denise Z's definition of success. If you are successful in business but you aren't happy in your private life, then I don't this you can really consider yourself a success. You have to have joy and happiness in your life, and with your loved ones, to truly be successful in my opinion:)

  4. Success for a writer is keeping a good balance to the story. The first few chapters have to keep the reader interested.

  5. I think success for writers would be that they were happy with the project, and felt proud of the final product.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com


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