Dec 4, 2015

Guest Post & Giveaway: That Night by Lisa McManus


Dreams, Goals and Aspirations:


What Would Lisa Do?

I’ve been writing for too many years to count – would be too revealing of my age – but I stopped for a while when my kids were babies and my brain cells were all-consumed by sleepless nights, countless feedings and dirty diapers. But as they grew older I ventured back into the creative world that began when I was a kid sitting on the back porch surrounded by Nancy Drew mysteries and Sweetdream teen romances. I wrote my first story – a ‘thriller’ - about an acid-spewing spider and then a poem riddled with teen angst which won me awards in high school. 

My writing career grew along with my ever-growing kids. Just as they learned about life and how to be their true selves in it, I learned, too. Not only was I learning about motherhood, but I was learning how to juggle motherhood with an outside-the-home job along with a slowly blooming writing career. I learned when to give and when to take, and to always do what is best for ME and my family. I learned to do what ‘Lisa would do’ in certain situations: staying to true to myself, to not ‘go with the flow,’ and to keep perspective. Priorities would change and so would I.

And I learned I had to do all this while keeping my dreams, goals and aspirations in focus.

Phew – not easy.

As years went by and my kids got older, I was able to write more – ever-able to juggle and keep goals in focus – however there were always new challenges in family life that sometimes kept me away from my writing. But as I got older, my juggling skills strengthened, as did my perspective on things; on what’s important, on quickly passing time, and realizing I am the one responsible for achieving or not achieving my goals. But still, despite everyone getting older and more independent, I struggle with doing things FOR me – achieving my goals – and with the guilt of pursuing my goals and the time doing so can take away from family. 

In my young adult book, THAT NIGHT (Evernight Teen, November 2015), Luke Hannon has a goal of becoming a mechanic. But when social perceptions fueled by gossip and misunderstanding threaten his goals, he has to clear his name and get to the bottom of what happened to his girlfriend, Jessica, ‘that night.’ But during his anxious quest to unravel the truth, he struggles with feelings of gulit and disloyalty, as if being so focused on clearing his name is disloyal to Jessica, especially given when she has gone through. He worries that protecting his goals and dreams is wrong and selfish. 

But I think loyalty to someone else and loyalty to ourselves goes hand in hand. We have to stay loyal to our true selves – our dreams, goals and aspirations – if we can honestly maintain loyalty to anyone else. For me it’s setting an example to my kids of attaining goals while keeping perspective. For Luke it was being able to turn getting to the bottom of what happened that night not only to clear his name, but for the sake of Jessica, as well. There is nothing wrong with looking out for your own needs, I say, as long as you don’t fully lose perspective of what it’s important. Like Luke, I struggle with doing anything that fosters my dreams and goals that might take away from my family, just like he felt guilty about focusing on himself to preserve his goals and future. 

It’s all part of growing up, both as a teen boy like Luke, or a (ahem) forty-something mother like me. Juggling and maintaining balance, perspective, learning how to win and lose, and staying true to yourself is constant. This little thing we call life is a never-ending cycle of learning and growing, and learning from growing. Just as Luke learned about ‘what would Luke do’ and staying true to himself in the book, I, too, am constantly defining and redefining ‘what would Lisa do’ in real life. Luke learned that honouring his true self only helped Jessica more than he realized. 

And like Luke, I have found ways to stay true to myself in keeping perspective of what’s important to me – my family – all while keeping focus on and achieving my goals.

Every written word of the way.

Thank you for having me and thank you to your readers for stopping by!

Lisa xo

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of That Night. Good luck!

22 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great story with a bit of mystery, suspense and angst.

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    1. Hi Heare2Watts - thank you so much for stopping by! Yes, it's a gritty story with the characters going through a lot all in one day. Thank you for your kind words and I hope you entered the giveaway! Lisa xo

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  2. Question for the author: what's on your wishlist this holiday season?

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    1. Hi Mai T - thank you so much for visiting here! What's on my wishlist? More books of course! Hope all your wishes come true this season! I appreciate your support in stopping by! Lisa xo

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  3. sounds like a really great book! i have a daughter that would love to read it also!

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    1. Hi Sylvia - Thank you for your kind words. Be sure to enter the giveaway - glad to hear your daughter is a reader! I appreciate your support in stopping by! Happy reading! Lisa xo

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  4. What an amazing book! I would love to read more.

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    1. Thank you, Debby, for your kind words! I hope you entered the giveaway contest. Thank you so much for stopping by! Lisa xo

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  5. What inspired you to write this book?

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    1. Hi Donna B - Ideas are everywhere, but nowhere at the same time – the idea morphed and grew as wrote, yet I can’t pin down how it came to be. I knew I wanted to do a story about what a loved one of someone who attempts suicide goes through, and the story grew from there. It was a heavy topic to write about, for sure. Thank you so much for stopping by - I appreciate the support! Lisa xo

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    1. Thank you Kim! I enjoyed writing it - even though it was a tough topic to tackle. I appreciate your visiting this blog and your support. Take care and happy reading! Lisa xo

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    1. Hi there 'bn100' - thank you so much for stopping by and thank you for the nice comment! Happy Reading! Lisa xo

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  8. I enjoyed reading through the post thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Mary! Hope you enjoyed it! Thank you for stopping by! Happy reading! Lisa xo

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  9. Just wanted to say thank you to the blog hosts for having me today! I enjoyed the chance to share my book and chat about writing! I appreciate the support and look forward to hopefully being able to visit again one day! Happy reading! Lisa

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  10. looks like great read!! the characters sound interesting xx

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  11. What happended "That Night"?? Great post!!

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