T.S Krupa describes the evolution of her debut novel as “the perfect storm”.
Hello everyone! I want to first thank you all for reading and being big supporters of reading and bloggers. I also want to thank Melissa and Connect with Chick Lit Club for hosting me today. I would not be able to do what I do without readers and passionate people like you. So a little bit about me, I live in the US, specifically North Carolina with my husband and Beagle puppy dog. I was born and raised in Connecticut with a blended Polish-American culture. I just graduated with my doctorate degree from North Carolina State University. In my free time, I coach a club field hockey team for a local university. BUT what I wanted to share with everyone was my own journey to writing and then offer some advice.
I have always been interested in writing since I was in grade school. My teachers filled my imagination with tales of the Vikings, Camelot, and even Paul Bunyan. From there I grew up writing in journals and on scraps of paper whenever an idea came to me. However, soon life stepped in and I went away to college for things totally unrelated to writing and the writing style changed (more on that later!). From college, there was my Master’s degree and then I got married and then I got my Doctorate; life got busy.
My debut novel, Safe & Sound was a story that came together from a combination of different events in my life; I call it my own ‘perfect storm’. One of the most important things was that I finally asked myself, ‘why not me?’ Have you ever read something or seen something done by another person and thought, I could do that? I’m sure we all have had those thoughts throughout the course of our lives. Mine came early in 2013, I had just finished reading a book and when I was done I felt disappointed. The characters were okay, I wasn’t really feeling the storyline and it was just average. I thought I could have done this better but I did nothing.
Not soon after that my husband and I were trying to complete our wills. I was a little overwhelmed with all the options and scenarios at play in the documents we had to complete. I always have a tendency to overthink things and was asking questions like: What if one of us passed away while we were still young? Would the other person remarry? Where we would we want to be buried? These thoughts kept running through my mind for the next several weeks whenever my mind wandered. Finally, I realized this would be a great plot for a story, a story worth telling but again I pushed it out of my mind.
Skip ahead to the summer of 2013, my husband and I vacationed to Oak Island, North Carolina. It was wonderful, finally able to break away from the daily grind of life and unplug from our constant binging devices. It was here that one morning during a long run on the beach I thought about those characters I had imagined for the last several months. In my mind, they had names and a story that needed to be told. I could see Jill and feel her pain and I knew that Oak Island would be the perfect place for her to recover but how would she get there, what exact journey would she travel? Again, I did nothing.
Finally, about two weeks after our vacation, I was home alone one night and couldn’t find anything to watch on the 200-plus channels we had on TV. I sat down in our office, put on some music and started to put words on the page. It started with “I love you” and “I love you too”. The story just flowed and before I realized it, it was almost 3 o’clock in the morning. The next day I got up and again I wrote, I couldn’t type fast enough. It was like I was watching this movie in my head and I was trying to transcribe it as fast as possible.
After being in academia for nearly ten years where all the writing is cited or referenced and no real thought is your own, I found creative writing to be so freeing. I was able to write what I wanted to, my characters could say what they needed to and the only limitation was me. It was so terrifying and I didn’t tell anyone but my husband what I was doing. I wanted to avoid all those questions and skepticism. It wasn’t until Safe & Sound had been finished that I solicited a couple friends to read it. Their enthusiasm and encouragement started a whole other journey of editing, publishing, marketing, and reviews; one that I never imagined but have enjoyed every step of the way.
So I finally had to look at myself in the mirror (theoretically) and say why should I wait for someone else to come up with that next book I want to read? Why should I look around and see other people doing what I secretly want to do when I have the ability and the desire to do so!
Finally, I didn’t have a really good answer for ‘why not me?’ I would encourage anyone writing or otherwise to take a leap of faith. If you want to write, write with abandon and worry about the rest later! I know it’s easier said than done. Start with one word or phrase and build on that and when you get stuck read what you have out loud, step away and come back with a fresh start BUT come back. Finally, if all that doesn’t work, start writing about something else. Even if you are describing the contents of your grocery bags, sometimes a good distraction is all you need. Best of luck!
When great love is lost forever, what does it take to find the courage to move on?
When Jill met Jay Greenfield she knew she found her forever love. Together their lives were perfect. But when a tragic accident takes Jay’s life, this young bride is left to pick up the pieces. With support from her two childhood best friends, Lanie and Stella, Jill attempts to piece her life back together.
Meanwhile, in the process of settling the estate, Jill learns that her husband was not quite the man she thought he was. She finds herself transported to the small beach town of Oak Island, North Carolina. But the fairy tale ending she envisioned no longer exists. She must face the reality that Jay is gone as she finds herself having a chance at love one more time.
Safe & Sound follows the yearlong journey of love, loss, friendship, and conquering the unexpected.
T.S. Krupa was born in New Haven, Connecticut. Raised in a Polish household with a blended American culture, she is fluent in Polish. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Franklin Pierce University,where she also played field hockey. She earned her Master’s from Texas Tech University and plans to graduate with her Doctor of Education from North Carolina State University in 2014. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and her dog. Safe & Sound is her first novel.