We’d like to extend a Wicked Welcome to Laura DiSilverio. We’re very excited about her new release, THAT LAST WEEKEND, and invited her on the blog to tell us about it.
Every now and then, I take a baby step outside my comfort zone.
It’s called a “comfort” zone for a reason. Being outside that zone is uncomfortable, emotionally or physically. It’s challenging. It’s a struggle. It feels like the world is all sharp edges, rejections, and anxiety. I don’t like it out here.
But, if I never stepped outside the comfort zone I wouldn’t become a better writer. If I didn’t try new things, scare myself, make myself vulnerable, put myself at risk, my writing would atrophy. The same holds true for the writing itself. If I don’t push myself to try new things, I don’t feel like I’m growing.
My latest book, THAT LAST WEEKEND, represents a largish step outside my CZ, from a writing perspective. Where my cozy mysteries (15 of them!) and my Young Adult trilogy are written from a single first person POV, THAT LAST WEEKEND has four viewpoint characters, roughly equal in importance. Where my other books had one timeline, THAT LAST WEEKEND takes place in the present and the past. The POV and the timeline necessitated a change to my writing process; to keep storylines and timelines straight, I actually had to do some outlining, which isn’t my usual process.
If that weren’t enough, I wanted the relationships between the main characters to be as important to the book, as important to readers, as solving the mystery. Don’t worry mystery fans–there’s more than one mystery at play here, lots of plots twists and surprises . . . I didn’t stray so far from my comfort zone that I eschewed dead bodies! (Wait for the book after this one . . .) I want readers to think of this book as being about friendship and how friendships change under pressure and over time. (The friendships in this book are admittedly under great strain since there’s a murderer running around.) I hope you’ll read the book and let me know whether or not I succeeded.
Let me leave you with this thought about comfort zones by Dan Stevens (whom you may know better as Matthew Crawley of Downton Abbey fame):
“The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears.”
One commenter chosen at random will get a copy of THAT LAST WEEKEND so please chime into the discussion!
When was the last time you stepped outside your comfort zone. Was it a deliberate choice, or were you shoved? For instance, I became an empty nester last month, an instance of being shoved out of my comfort zone.
Laura DiSilverio is the national bestselling and award-winning author of 21 mystery, suspense and young adult sci-fi novels. Library Journal named Close Call one of the Top Five mysteries of 2016, and The Reckoning Stones (2015) won the Colorado Book Award for Mystery in 2016. She offers writing tips and strategies at CareerAuthors.com, a new resource for novelists at all levels. She is a recent empty nester struggling to come to terms with a life that is seemingly devoid of all meaning. (Okay, a bit of an exaggeration.)