Thursday, August 27, 2009

Guest Blog - Anna DeStefano

Anna DeStefano has long been a friend to the Playground. I'll never forget walking into one of my first national conferences and seeing her smile and wave at me across the room. Anna just has a way of making you feel welcome. So please make sure we return the favor by showing her a wonderful welcome today. We're so glad to have you with us, Anna!

It's so much fun to tunnel out of my own backyard, and to be invited over to play with the cool kids at the playground ;o) One of the perks of being a writer is finding yourself surrounded by people who inspire you to want to be better and to have more fun at what you love to do. That's the vibe I get from both readers and other writers—and here at the playground, I get to be surrounded by both. Score!

Yes, Dark Legacy (which is IN STORES NOW!!!—did I scream that out loud???) is a paranormal romantic thriller about psychic twins whose ability to project dreams is being manipulated by government scientists. It's a non-stop suspense of a ride you won't want to put down. But it's also a book about love and community and the kind of relationships that define a life. Our characters have to learn to trust the people around them, or there's no hope of overcoming the insurmountable odds they face. Which is an excellent metaphor for what it's like to be an isolated writer, who's surrounded by a community of readers and other writers who help transform her solitary work into magic. There's no way to get to that writing Oz, without a support network that makes you feel like "playing" every day. At least not for me.

Think about your life. Your dreams. Your challenges. Sure, they're not as dramatic as discovering your sister's nightmares are being programmed and projected into your mind. Or as damaging as losing parts of who you are to your psychic legacy and the "evil" twin you thought has been in a coma for the last ten years. Or as hopeless as thinking you can ever trust and love and believe in your heart's desire, when you can't even trust your own dreams. These are the larger than life trials Dark Legacy's hero and heroine face.

But we each have our own very real fears. And they're usually wrapped around what we want most. And we all have to decide if the promise of pursuing our heart's desire is worth the risk the journey will bring. That's the emotional core of Dark Legacy—learning to believe in your dreams, no matter how scary they are. Then letting the people you need to make those dreams happen close enough to help you, even when that's a very scary place, too.

Thanks for letting me "close" today. Thanks for opening your playground to me and the crazy cast of characters in my paranormal romance/romantic suspense/urban fantasy/romantic thriller... (reviewers can't seem to agree on exactly what Dark Legacy is, but I'm assured it's a whole lot of fun trying to figure it out ;o).

Friends like you are the part of this publishing journey that I'll cherish always! Enjoy tons of Dark Legacy Excerpts here http://annawrites.com/blog/category/excerpts/ and a few reviews here http://www.annawrites.com/paranormal.html. And be sure to tell me what you think!
To celebrate my continuing blog tour, today I'll be giving away two signed copies of Dark Legacy and a fabulous, custom-designed pendant that features part of DL's awesome cover! It will look great on any necklace you own ;o)

So, talk amongst yourselves. The Playground's open, so dive in and tell us how community and family have helped shape your life and dreams. And if you get a chance to read the excerpts and reviews (or if you already have a copy of Dark Legacy, because IT'S ON SHELVES NOW!!!), let me know what you think of my quirky, dark, paranormal suspense/fantasy/romance...

Leave a comment to be in the running for prizes!

29 comments:

Jane said...

Congrats on the new release, Anna. My parents had the greatest influence in making me the person I am. I'm also shaped by my experience in school and my friends in the social aspect.

ddurance said...

My current feeling is cramped frustration caused by my job. It's amazing how much that can affect your life. Don't mean to be a downer, because I'm so excited for your release, Anna. That's just where my emotions are right now.

Deidre

PM's Mother said...

I would say that adversity shaped me more than any other influence. My husband died when I was 43 years old and I was left with two teen-age daughters to finish educating. I HAD to survive and take care of my daughters. I also had to learn how to live alone after my children married and left the nest.

I accomplished both!

Angel said...

Welcome, Anna! As a twin myself, I always find the twin connection a fascinating thing to read about.

While my early life was deeply shaped by my family (not always in a good way), I've found that my adult life has been positively influenced by my husband of 14 years. His positive, often laid-back approach to life has softened my Type A personality and given me the acceptance I need to really be myself. I'm thankful for him more every day.

Angel

Problem Child said...

Hi Anna! Welcome to the Playground!

How did I not know you were writing such an awesome book? I'll add it to my TBR pile.

(And let me say Anna is one of the nicest people-- one of those very welcoming writers who is very kind to newbies :-) And doesn't she have great hair?!)

Anna Destefano said...

Thanks for making me feel so welcome, everyone!

Jane, sounds like you have a wonderful support network. It makes all the difference in the world, doesn't it?

Deidre, I know exactly what you mean. I've been there, where the job doesn't fit and it's driving you crazy but it pays the bills so you keep on keeping on. It's a feeling of being trapped, I think. The best cure for me has always been to focus on the places and spaces in life where I'm still free, even if I have no choice in others. Then that those free places be where I put my emotional energy (while I still show up and am responsible in the others ;o)

PM's Mom, you're are SUCH an inspiration. You've reclaimed your life. What an amazing story!

Hey Angel. I'm a Type A who chose a laid back "warrior" for my "after family" family. And it's been a fab. influence on me, too. It's great that we get to make the life we want to, once our formative years are behind us. And totally cool that you're a twin. I'm still fascinated by the twin connection while I write my next Legacy book ;o)

Problem Child, I'm preening while I read your comment. You're too much. But thanks for the compiments, and for adding my DL to your list. It's a departure from my Harlequins, but I think you'll be happy you took the plunge!

Back in a bit--I've gotta go talk you ladies on the social media sites...

Liza said...

Congrats on the new release, Anna! My dad has always been my biggest cheerleader in my life. My mom passed away when I was 12, so my dad is the one who always pushed me to be anything I wanted to be. Not that everything was always easy, but it seems easier when you have someone in your corner. I also am very lucky to have the greatest group of girlfriends on the earth(to me). The 7 of us are always there for one another and always have each other's back.

Sherry Ficklin said...

The new book sounds amazing! I'll add it to my TO READ list! Thanks!

vintage fan said...

just found this while looking over my own Facebook page. Good way to start the day. I would like to get a copy of this book since it is about twins. This is a subject dear to my husband and it's our anniversary this week, Saturday.

Playground Monitor said...

I've said it before, I've written about it and had a piece published on the subject, and I'll say it again that my mom is my hero. She was dealt a very bad hand at a very young age and when I need to know how to handle life's tough breaks, I only have to think back to how my mom handled being widowed at such a young age. She's 49 now ::grin:: and still lives alone in her home. She rocks!

CrystalGB said...

Hi Anna. Congratulations again on the release of Dark Legacy. My parents have been the biggest influence on who I am today.

Playground Monitor said...

I was halfway through mascara application when I realized I'd be totally remiss if I didn't say my fellow Playfriends have played a big part in my life over the past 4 years. Though I'm old enough to have given birth to them, I try not to play the "Mama card" (except in Reno where I told them I would not bail them out of jail LOL!) and they've introduced me to the wonderful world of Downy Wrinkle Release. :-)

Anna Destefano said...

I have to totally agree that parents (family) and friends are our strongest influences! That seems to be at the heart of all my stories... I wonder how I'm going to spin that in a totally new direction with my next Legacy book... Hmmmm...

Smarty Pants said...

Welcome, Anna. I have to say my life was shaped most by my mom. She always encouraged me to make the most of what I had and to push the envelope to make a better life for myself.

The Playfriends have also molded me quite a bit over the last few years. I think I'm a better, and more fun, person because of them.

(Although I have to laugh that PM credits us with liberating her from the iron.)

catslady said...

I really didn't get support so gave up on my dreams but the good part about it is that I make it a priority to support my children with theirs. I so enjoying your tour!

tetewa said...

Congrats on the release, looking forward to it!

Bare Ass Cottage Writers said...

Hey Anna!

When my husband passed away a few years ago. I had this amazing support from everyone. When I say family it includes all of the writer friends I have known for years as well as my close family members.

I knew my husband would want me to keep going and he influenced many of my hard decisions along that road. Things that I keep with me always and will never forget.

Misty

Misty Wright said...

Hit the button too fast. lol.

He had the power to do anything he put his mind to, even with his physical disability. He showed so many that you can do anything when you want it bad enough. You just figure out a way to do it your way.

Which is exactly what we do as writers everyday. :)

Anna Destefano said...

Catslady--you so deserve your dreams, too. Love your family, but nurture the light inside you, also ;o)

Misty, memories are such strong motivators. I have my own cheering me on and reminding me what's real and what's importent and why I'll never quit...

Let's all figure out a way to dream and "do it" our way!!!

Instigator said...

Welcome to the Playground, Anna! I'm with PC, how did I not know about this book? I'm very excited to pick up my copy!

Instigator

Anna Destefano said...

PC and Instigator--Me thinks I need to spend some time with my Alabama buds ;o)

It's been too long since I've been able to get away.

Brenda said...

Congratulations on your new release. My grandmother has had the most influence on the person I am today and continues to be an influence. She's 94 this year and still works part time at the school 20 hours a week and is very involved in her community and church.

Brenda
Dancealert at aol dot com

Dina said...

Hey Anna, so happy for your new release.

Dina

Kathy said...

Love your new book cover, Anna! Wishing you a gazillion sales. ;)

My grandparents were a great influence on me and emphasized education. Though I was most always far away from my grandparents as an Army Brat, the little things they did when I saw them, and the letters they sent me, are cherished to this day.

Also, I've always been intriqued by the Twin Connection, especially by emotions and sensations experienced by both no matter how far apart twins are.

Natalie Anderson said...

Congratulations on your new release Anna - the twin 'connection' is so fasinating isn't it? I have twins who are nearly 3 and its like having your own science experiment - and i know that the relationship between them is as core as the relationship they have with me, their Mum. Really interesting.
Like the others who've commented its family who have shaped me - my Grandmother, mother, sister and now my husband and my own children - because I like to think I'm still growing as a person!

Minna said...

Congrats on the release!

Shari C said...

Congratulations on your new release!

Family has naturally been the guiding force and biggest influence of my life. I always wanted my parents to be proud of me and what I had accomplished and let them know how much their love and support had meant to me.

Laurie said...

My SIL, Dave is a huge inspiration to me. He's so dedicated to helping others. He became the youth director for weekly meetings at his church. He also tutors schoolage children every Tuesday evening. He has befriended a homeless veteran, offering emotional and monetary support. He's been to New Orleans twice to help with the rebuilding after Katrina. he sponsors two children in Africa. He's had woman speak at his work about the problems in Sudan. He's also had one of the Lost Boys speak of his life on the run in Africa.
He's trying to get everyone to be aware of the inhumanities still taking place around the world today. He's amazing!

Virginia said...

Congrats on your new release! I have been hearing so much about this book I can't wait to read it. I am like everyone else I think family is who make us what we are today.