I posted sample chapters of Case Study on my website if you'd like to check it out.
Case Study Page on allisonmsimon.com
Friday, February 11, 2011
The moment has arrived! Case Study has finally been released and is currently available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle format! I hope you enjoy it and learn something about yourself and each other in the process of reading it. I look forward to your comments, discussions, and reviews. I’ve also added several descriptions of other projects I’m working on to my website http://www.allisonmsimon.com/ and can’t wait to share those with you as well. For now, enjoy Case Study and as always, I’m open and ready for conversation.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
In a fit of irony I’ve been inspired by a recent pattern of questions regarding inspiration. Although I managed to sputter a quick, surface response to each inquiry, the concept has lingered in my consciousness, forcing deeper consideration. Where do my ideas come from?
Delving into that question led to a fundamental evaluation of my writing in general. My books may cross genres, history, and target audiences, but there is a clear common thread lacing them into a very signature theme: the exploration of humanity. Very simply, I write about people.
You will not read Allison M Simon to learn everything you need to know about a particular subject. You will not be blown away by my insight into the legal process or description of a prison. You won’t be ready to perform an appendectomy or diffuse a bomb or knit a sweater. Heck, half the time you may not even be exactly sure what a character looks like. But you will know that character better than you know yourself.
You will discover their dreams, their motivations, their humor, their faults, their fears, their failures, and their fantasies. They will infuriate you, fascinate you, tease you, seduce you, hurt you. You will understand them even if they don’t always understand themselves, and in the process you will hopefully learn more about your motivations, humor, faults, fears, failures, and fantasies.
So what’s my inspiration? You. Me. My neighbor. My enemy. The person gazing forlornly out the coffee shop window. I write about people I want to meet, but never have. People I hope I never meet. People I’ve met but couldn’t begin to know. The beauty about writing is the eradication of barriers, of not being confined by the laws of physics or limitations of reality. I can befriend a limitless population of possibilities and introduce them to you through whatever platform my mind can fabricate.
We are a dark and beautiful species. Capable of horrific evil and astonishing good. We are fascinating. We are frightening. We are fallible. But most of all, we are inexhaustibly inspiring.
Friday, February 4, 2011
After a lifetime of writing for yourself, launching a book into the public eye is an amazing experience. The first time you hold that creation in your hand and think, “wow, it’s real,” is a reward all in itself that I’m not sure will ever be matched by another point in my writing career. There’s nothing like your first tangible piece of a dream.
It also means bracing yourself for responses you’re now openly inviting.
Your friends are gentle, your family is supportive; the public has no vested interest in preserving your feelings, and in fact seems to thrive on the modern electronic ease of cutting down anyone perceived as balancing on a pedestal.
So it is with a mix of fear and excitement that I put my work on public display for the first time, asking to be loved and hated, initiating comforting identification and bitter offense. It’s the nature of our subjective world that we can all inspire such a wide range of opinions. It’s beautiful and terrifying.
My writing is no different, and I anticipate as many rants and warnings to potential readers as recommendations and accolades. Of course I hope the scale tilts toward the positive, but I’d be naïve not to expect the same critiques I myself have offered on occasion.
Still, the final version of my work that I proudly stand behind would not have reached its apex without honesty on their part and openness on mine. I accepted the good with the bad, using both to strengthen myself and my work.
Can a book ever be perfect? Some may say yes, I don’t know. Having written a few, I’m sure the author would say no. New ideas, stronger word choice, and more captivating prose constantly intertwine with reader criticisms, reviews, and praise in a never ending stream of “What if?”
Yet, at some point you just have to close the file and accept that the “what if” is an “it is.” For some readers, that may prove to be an incredible experience they rush to share with their circles. For others it may be a rough ride they’re relieved to dismount long before the conclusion.
My skin may not be as tough as it needs to be. My emotions may not be as guarded as I hope. I may not be able to stoically separate attacks on my creation from attacks on my very identity. But no matter the response or the responder, I do want to make one thing clear:
I’m always willing to grow. I’m ready to hear it.