Liza Gyllenhaal Guest Post and Giveaway

 What sparks an idea for a novel? For Alan Furst, who writes historical espionage novels, it’s always the story’s setting— in his case, usually a city in Europe, teetering on the brink of World War II.  If you’ve never read him, you might want to begin with Kingdom of Shadows, which brings Paris so vividly to life you can almost smell the smoke from Gauloise cigarettes rising off the page. 
            For me, the first glimmer of my new novel So Near started with a “This I Believe” piece I heard on NPR.  It was about something called “pathways of desire,” a landscape architectural term used to describe how we really get from place to place —from car to house, say, or across a vacant lot — rather than following prescribed routes. The NPR essay went on to extrapolate on that idea, pointing out the necessity of boundaries  and how certain “pathways” can lead to real danger — in this case the author’s horse who leapt across a cattle guard to get at some apples and broke a hip.
            The concept stayed with me and, in a subconscious way, it began to take on a strange significance.  I kept turning it over in my mind — not sure what it was that intrigued me.  It took me over a year to realize that it was the beginning of a novel I wanted to write. In fact, when my publisher bought the book it was entitled “Pathways of Desire,” and it was only when I turned in the finished manuscript that the title was changed to So Near, because the sales department worried “Pathways of Desire” sounded a little too much like a romance novel.  Though there is a love story at the heart of the novel — and, I hasten to add, a fair amount of very hot sex — I think ultimately So Near is truer to the sense of the book.
            What began as someone else’s story on “This I Believe” metamorphosed over a couple years, several drafts, and plenty of ups and downs and “pathways” of its own into another, wholly different story that is So Near.

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You can purchase So Near @ Amazon  | B&N

Thanks to the wonderful people at Penguin. I have a copy of So Near to giveaway to one lucky person. This giveaway is for US/CA addresses only. You must be over 13 years old to enter. You must fill out the form below. If you can't view the form, click here. One entry per person. Giveaway ends Sept. 28, 2011. Good luck.