February 11th, 2016

andrew potter

Blog Tour: Sweet by Alysia Constantine

Sweet by Alysia Constantine
Paperback: 246 pages;
Publisher: Interlude Press (Feb. 4 2016);
Language: English;
ISBN-10: 1941530613;
ISBN-13: 978-1941530610
Amazon: Sweet
Amazon Kindle: Sweet

Blurb: Not every love story is a romance novel.
For Jules Burns, a lonely baker, it is the memory of his deceased husband, Andy. For Teddy Flores, a numbed-to-the-world accountant who accidentally stumbles into his bakery, it is a voyage of discovery into his deep connections to pleasure, to the world, and to his own heart.
Alysia Constantine’s Sweet is also the story of how we tell stories—of what we expect and need from a love story. The narrator is on to you, Reader, and wants to give you a love story that doesn’t always fit the bill. There are ghosts to exorcise, and jobs and money to worry about. Sweet is a love story, but it also reminds us that love is never quite what we expect, nor quite as blissfully easy as we hope.

Praise for ‘Sweet’ by Alysia Constantine from Publisher’s Weekly: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-941530-61-0

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Meet the author: Alysia Constantine lives in Brooklyn with her wife, their two dogs, and a cat. When she is not writing, she is a professor at an art college. Before that, she was a baker and cook for a caterer, and before that, she was a poet.

Sweet is her first novel.

1) Was there a basis for you story? A previous experience or something else?
A few. First, there was New York City, what it means to live with this city. There was also my experience of working as a past chef/baker for a caterer, all those long hours in the kitchen, with the ovens blasting. There was the experience of falling in love, and of trying to put away a past love that had been so important in my life, but the memory of which threatened to interfere with my new love.

2) What skills do you think a writer needs?
Is desire a skill? I think that’s the most important one: one has to want to do it. It’s a very solitary life, unless you work to make it not so. It’s a lot of insecurity, a lot of shots in the dark, and it almost always means committing to some other kind of work because there are bills to pay, and writing rarely pays them (unless you’re writing something other than creative writing). I think you need to be able to take criticism and put it to constructive use, but I think you also need to have a clear sense of your own vision as an artist, so that you’re not blown sideways by every single gust of wind. A lot of people blow hot air at you, so you’ve got to be both flexible and rooted really well. I think it’s good to have an attunement to language, but I wish I had a better sense of plot and mastery over larger pictures than I do, so that is probably a great skill for a writer to have. And the ability to survive on ramen noodles or the ability to convince people to give you money to do things you can do.

3) What for you is the perfect book hero?
I’m not really sure there is such a thing as the perfect hero, because every situation warrants a different hero. So the hero would be specific to the situation. I do think people are more interesting when they are flawed, when they struggle, and even when they do things wrong. They tend to have more interesting stories, too.

4) Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Aside from just doing it? (I mean, really, the discipline of plugging away at something that is hard and often goes unrecognized for months or years or always…that’s hard.) I think what I find most difficult is the global stuff, the larger picture. Plot bedevils me. I’m much more attuned to language, to small moments, to detail, than to the bigger things.

5) Tell us about your favorite childhood book.
I was a pretty voracious reader as a kid, so I’m not sure I could name just one. I can say that Shel Silverstein’s books of poetry inspired me a lot—boy, could I rhyme, thanks to Mr. Silverstein. I loved the whimsical drawings, too. They showed me that writing can be playful, joyful, musical, and about anything. But the books that feel like home to me, the ones I tore through while hiding under the covers with a flashlight as a kid, the ones I reread when I was in college and found them on my mom’s bookshelf upon a holiday at home, were the books in the Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L’Engle. There was just something so compelling about those stories for me. The kids were the heros; the parents were sort of well-meaning but absent. And that series had so many really strong girl characters. I needed that. We all needed that, in the 1970s and 1980s.

Where to find the author:
Blog: www.Alysiaconstantine.com
Twitter: @ConstantAlysia
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alysia.constantine.1
Tumblr: http://alysia-constantine.tumblr.com
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/AlysiaConstantine

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Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Interlude Press gift card to one winner, e-copies of ‘Sweet’ to five additional winners
Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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