On the Air!

I have an awesome surprise for everyone out there getting tired of shopping Black Friday sales… I was on the RADIO!!! WTAX 1240AM Springfield on a show called Close-up with Bob Murray. http://www.wtax.com/WTAX-Podcasts/3236780 (featuring me!!)

Way back when I was reviewed by Marty Morris in the Morris Chair, Marty suggested I contact Bob Murray for this show.  I didn’t hear from him for a few weeks, then Marty wrote me again saying I never included my phone number -eek! So I left my number and Bob called me right away saying he’d love to get me into the studio.

I went in this morning, all of 45 minutes ago and had a lovely interview.  Just click on the blue lettering above for the link.  It’s about a seven minute podcast and it was SO much fun!  I got there a bit early, I wanted to make sure I had the right directions, and wandered about the building checking out the place where just about every station in Springfield is located.

About five minutes before the interview, Bob escorted me into the studio, where I got to sit at the big production desk, surrounded by walls of gray, foam spikes (the kind you always see on tv-hehe!) and a microphone in front of me.  He set me up with headphones and I felt like such a big shot.  But in reality it was just like having a conversation with a guy who loves talking to writers.  It was great!!  And best of all I didn’t cough through the whole thing!  I’ve been fighting one of those end-of-the-cold coughs for a few weeks now and I was so afraid I’d start hacking, but I didn’t!

So without further delay please have fun and listen to my podcast!  I’m so excited for this opportunity to reach out to more readers!  Thanks Bob and Marty!

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New Friends

During my writing of Beneath the Wall, I had the privilege of meeting many Vietnam veterans.  Some talked, some didn’t and that was completely fine with me.  But no matter what, if I passed a vet on the street, in a store or in a restaurant, I always thanked them for their service, because without them our world would not be free.  (By the way, I always stop and thank veterans, interview for a book or not.)

Sel Louis in Vietnam

Now, I can extend my meeting grounds to the internet.  As many of you know through my blog and in the acknowledgement of my book, I thank Sel Louis, the Asian-American Marine who fought in Vietnam, much like my character Mack did.  Sel is a wonderful, gracious man and even today he sends me little notes via email about passing Beneath the Wall onto yet another friend or family member.  To him Beneath the Wall, was a way to read the story of what he went through at a distance – protected and unharmed in comfort of his home.  Here’s what he wrote about my story once he was through:

Just finished “Beneath the Wall” and all I can say is WOW. For a first novel Ms. LaPlant has a wonderful talent for story telling that puts the reader on an emotional rollercoaster. This is a romantic novel that spans the present time to a period in the 1960’s using the Vietnam War as a backdrop. Though she is probably too young to remember that time in history, her research is excellent which places realism into the story. We all love a good love story and this one has well developed lead characters that transcend time with a long forgotten period in American History. I am a Vietnam veteran serving with the United States

Sel today

Marine Corp and can honestly say that I was emotionally drained when I turned the last page. BRAVO Ms. LaPlant, I believe you knocked this one out of the park for a first novel.

When I read his review, I was humbled because I did nothing but write a story.  He fought in a war and endured the hardships that no man should go through. I know I’ve said it a million times, Sel, but I will say it again: Thank you.

My newest friend was also a Vietnam veteran, but he did not serve with the United States, he served with Australia.  Graeme Sewell served with the  Australian Army as a National-Serviceman to be exact.  From 1967 to 1969 he saw service in Vietnam with the 4th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment.

I met Graeme on Facebook a few months ago while commenting on another’s girl’s post.   We had gotten into a bit of an argument and immediately I felt bad because I didn’t know a thing about this person who I just verbally tussled with.  So I visited his page and read his history about who he was.  There I found he was a Vietnam veteran and I really felt bad.  I wrote him an apology letter and segued into how much I respect those who gave their service to the war in Vietnam.

The first thing Graeme wrote back to me was: I’m very touched by your words, but I was only one of several thousand Aus & U.S. servicemen saw service in Vietnam. I must admit to, that the time I was there, in 68-69 were one of the quietest times. My unit, 4th battallion RAR was rotated out in March 69. We were mostly involved in patrol work and village security. We did have a few contacts with the Viet-Cong, but it was nothing that couldn’t be solved by calling in fire-support. Eryn, you are the first person on f/b that has asked me about Vietnam & my service with the Australian Force and all I can say is thank you.
 It’s people like you, both here and in the U.S., that make us feel that we did the job we were called upon to do. We’re not hero’s, just ordinary men and women, Thank You.  

To me,  no matter what the work they did, those men and women were and are heroes.  They didn’t have to go, (sure some may have been drafted, I’ve heard the stories about those draft-dodgers),  but they did go.  They gave up time with their family and lived in a foreign country that was being torn apart by war.

Graeme Sewell on Veteran’s Day 2012

And though Graeme joked that he didn’t see much action, what he did see probably did still affect him.  He finished Beneath the Wall this weekend and Sunday night sent me a note, that I asked if I could share with my readers.  He said yes and this is what he wrote:

Hi Eryn,
I wanted to give you this personal message first before I post a comment on my time line.
I have just finished “Beneath the Wall”. THANK YOU for a wonderful book. I’m not normally emotional but I found myself reaching for a hankie at times while reading it and it certainly brought back a few memories for me.The tenderness,love and respect you put into your writing really stands out for me that you care.
The way that two outsiders, Julianne & Mack were drawn together, and the way their relationship blossomed was beautiful to read. This may sound corny, but there are certain things during your life that stand out and that I will remember “Beneath the Wall” as one of those moments for me.
Thank you again Eryn for a truly beautiful and wonderful book. 
God Bless. 

To say I was speechless was an understatement.  He didn’t have to say any of that and yet he spoke from his heart. I don’t feel worthy, but I accept his compliment knowing I wrote every word of Beneath the Wall for readers like Graeme and Sel.

The fact that both of these veterans “felt” my book much more than reading it meant so much to me. That was my whole point. Some reviewers have read it and just took it at face value – a nice love story, which is fine.  It is a nice love story.  But there are a few out there who absorb it to it’s fullest and those are the ones who will not just read the story but live it as well.

Tag! You’re it!

I was tagged by M.J. Schiller author of Taken by Storm. Thank you, M.J.! I’m honored! As part of the tag, I’m supposed to answer some questions.

What is the title of my next book?

The Blue Lute

Think you have life all figured out?  Brandon Crowley did until the night of August 31, 1928. Fleeing into a dark alley, after being chased by Nick Abruzzio’s thugs, the man holding his fiancée, Christine Hutton, captive; Brandon emerges seventy years later in modern-day New York City.  With his friends long gone, and nowhere to turn, Brandon is stranded in an unfamiliar time.

He is at a dead-end until he meets Lilly, a soulful graduate student at New York University, studying history, two years later.  She sees Brandon as a mysterious stranger obsessed with the past.  Only to Brandon, it’s his present, and Lilly is soon caught up in a decades-old mystery they must solve.  Through twists and turns they find out that the truth was a far cry from what Brandon thought his life was in 1928, instead it was a vicious lie created by the one he loved the most.

I loved writing Beneath the Wall, but The Blue Lute is one of my favorite pieces.  I am a huge fan of the 1920s, time travel and a good love story, so to my this is a perfect story.

 

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Mr. Matthew Bomer from White Collar

  I was watching the tv show Monk back when it was still on and USA Network flashed a picture of Matt Bomer and the series White Collar. I gasped and shot out of my seat, yelling to my husband, “That’s Brandon!!”  My husband, as diligent a supporter that he is, knew I meant my book. I explained to him that I had this make believe image of who I thought Brandon Crowley would be and Matt’s picture pops up with a perfect likeness of him.  To this day, it still takes my breath away how much Matt resembles my imagination.  Even here, in this photograph, he’s carrying a guitar case, Brandon is a guitar player…. ahhh be still my heart.

And Diana Argon from Glee would make a perfect Lilly.  Smart, sensible, beautiful and very easily transformable into a 1920s flapper if the story calls for it.

                                                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last year Matt Bomer guest starred on Glee and I was so excited because that meant that my dream characters were together so I could have one beautiful picture of Brandon and Lilly side by side.

Now it’s my turn to tag five authors. I am going to begin with, M.J. – she has been my friend, my colleague and my mentor ever since I joined the Romance Writers of America.  She is hilarious and super talented.  Her lovely book came out just a month after mine and it’s wonderful!  It’s called Taken by Storm and I can’t put it down.  It’s available at Amazon.com and if you want an awesome much like The Prince of Persia and Troy, then check her out!

I’m also going to tag Christina Tetreault. I wrote a blog on her not too long ago, so I won’t elaborate too much right now.  Her fantastic books are The Teacher’s Billionaire and The Billionaire Playboy.  I love them both so much and she really needs to make her fingers fly faster so I can read the third book in the series!

My other wonderful friend is Magan Vernon.  She has so many good books, I hope I can list them all. There’s the How to Date an Alien series with How to Date an Alien, How to Break Up with an Alien, and the just recently released How to Marry an Alien.  She also has out My Paper Heart and coming soon is a fantastic, cutting edge YA novel about the future of body enhancements.

Another one of my friends is R.T. Wolfe who wrote Black Creek Burning.  I’m not quite finished with this one, but I’m getting there.  R.T. is the 3rd part of the trio of authors who were all chosen to be published with me this summer.  She’s a funny, quirky, colorfully-languaged woman and I’m so glad to call her a friend.

Lastly, I’ll tag Donna Fasano. I met Donna on Pinterest after loving one of her covers. From Pinterest I looked her book up on Amazon and contacted her.  She’s a sweetheart of a woman; a delightful, creative author and a giving person. Without her I don’t think I would have gotten half the amount of advertising I needed for Beneath the Wall.  Thanks Donna.  Oh and she has a huge collection of books, I can’t wait to read another one.  The first one I read, His Wife for a While, was so very good!

Okay, authors, your turn.  If you were tagged, grab the questions above —or create your own! — and tag five authors you love…let’s keep this going.

Extra Extra – Read All About it!

About two weeks ago I found out that Beneath the Wall was finally uploaded on Barnes & Noble’s website in all forms.  I called our local store and found that anyone can now walk off the street and order the book straight to their store.  It won’t go on the shelf though, but because of some crazy red tape that the promotional manager won’t make an effort to cut through (don’t get me started). Anyhow, the next day I searched local ways to promote my beloved first novel and came across a reviewing blog in our local online newspaper. I sent my book to Marty Morris, the reviewer. He wrote me the next day, saying he was about to set Beneath the Wall aside because it was a romance and he didn’t read romances…talk about judging a book by it’s muscle-bound, hunky cover – but he kept reading and was drawn in by my characters enough to finish the whole thing in just a weekend.  He liked it! Not only that, he went a step further and even investigated the history of female combat journalists in Vietnam.  There were a bunch and many didn’t survive the war.  Heroes in their own right.

So this week I have the privilege to be featured on The Morris Chair, today and the State Journal Register on Thursday, November 8th, 2012.

I was going to post Mr. Morris’ blog on Facebook today, but I have too many friends, family and fans that have yet to read Beneath the Wall and the review has some spoilers in it.  So if you would like to read Marty Morris’ review and have read Beneath the Wall, please feel free to check out:

http://themorrischair.com/2012/11/06/love-and-war-well-mostly-love/

And on Thursday go and check out:

http://www.sj-r.com/blogs/community/themorrischair