Friday, December 30, 2016

Patty Dickson Pieczka ~ 2nd guest post and her novel Finding the Raven

TITLE: Finding the Raven
RELEASE DATE: June 15, 2016
AUTHOR: Patty Dickson Pieczka
KEYWORDS: Raven, Finding the Raven, 1904, St. Louis World's Fair, Fiction, Historical Fiction
CATEGORIES: Historical Fiction
ISBN: 978-1530797974 & 1530797977
IMPRINT: White Stag

A story of murder, betrayal and redemption as two young women struggle for survival against a backdrop of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.

When Julia Dulac's father is murdered onstage  and her inheritance is swindled away, she must work through her grief and fear of poverty to find both the killer and a means of survival with help from the Raven, a black crystal that reveals images of past and future truths. While having the crystal appraised, Julia finds love and her life takes unexpected turns through mystery and betrayal against the backdrop of the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.

Through the boarding house window, Julia overhears an argument between Rose and her wealthy father over Rose's illegitimate pregnancy. He drops Rose off, saying he will return in one year, that she must be either single and childless or respectably married. Though from completely different backgrounds, Julia and Rose become fast friends, facing lessons of survival and redemption as their fates become irrevocably entwined.

Do words ever follow you through a dream? This is the way it started for me back before I ever conceived of writing the novel, Finding the Raven. My best friend had died a month earlier, and I was in a state of deep grief. I don't know whether it was a way for the things I would have said to her to form, or if God opened a window since a favorite and familiar door was closed. For two nights in a row, poems drifted to me during the night. I felt as though I were walking barefoot along the shores of the subconscious, while thoughts rippled outward from some deep and unknown place, formed by a pebble dropped in the middle of the pond.

In the morning, I wrote the poems down. On the third night, I went to bed with a pad and pen, waiting for the next poem, but it never came. I realized if I wanted another poem, I'd have to write it myself. I did, and found myself hooked on writing. Soon after that, I decided to return to college and take a poetry class, but the only course available at the last minute was fiction, which I soon began to love. Once the course was over, I couldn't stop. I thought of each chapter as a short story and kept writing and scribbling until I compiled a rough draft of Finding the Raven, which at that time was entitled The Long Way Home. I submitted it to two publishers, received two rejection slips, and put the manuscript away in a drawer. There it stayed for 20 years.

While it languished there, I developed my writing skills and fell in love with poetry. Fast-forward many years to the time when my second poetry book won an award. I began to play with the idea of rewriting the novel. One look at the manuscript, and I could see what was wrong. I threw out the first two chapters and scrapped nearly all the dialogue. I felt I'd really come to know all the characters as they slept in that drawer. But there was one thing missing — the deep imagery of poetry. The solution? Magic and mysticism. The Raven, a magic crystal, was the perfect vehicle to scatter imagery through the forest of the plot in a trail of little gems.

Once I began the rewriting process, I couldn't stop. I was pulled into a vortex, lost in time, still reaching for sparks of silver ideas from a dreamscape's night sky. I became so distracted, I could scarcely deal with modern day life. My husband, my sister, and another friend followed the story as I progressed. When they told me they could hardly wait for the next chapter, I began to believe I was finally on to something.

I learned so much from this process. Once you live in other people's skin, you begin to understand their motivations as clearly as if they were your own. It teaches empathy and understanding of every character, even those we may have patterned after a certain nemesis. I found myself being more caring and compassionate.

Do your best ideas visit you in the night? Please write in and tell me your writing experiences.


Patty Dickson Pieczka's second book, Painting the Egret's Echo,, won the Library of Poetry Book Award from Bitter Oleander Press. Other books are Lacing through Time, and Word Paintings. Winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Contest, the I SPS contest, and the Maria W.  Faust Sonnet Contest, she's contributed to over fifty journals and graduated from Southern Illinois University's creative writing program.


Buy Links:



BARNES & NOBLE:;jsessionid=6D2E956E5FEC7A2DCE1CFE1E6DB8D898.prodny_store01-atgap10?ean=2940153188065





A reminder to the reader ~ before you leave be sure to take a look at the 
Come back and visit again.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to visit and comment. I appreciate your input.