Sunday, March 7, 2021

Book Tour with Trailer + Guest Post + Giveaway: Sylvie Denied by Deborah Clark Vance @deb1nski

Sylvie Denied by Deborah Clark Vance
Publication date: February 21st, 2021

As she enters adulthood in the turbulent 1970s, Sylvie thinks the way to change a violent world is to become a peaceful person. Yet she slowly sees how a childhood trauma thwarts her peaceful intentions and leads her to men with a dark side--including Enzo, the man she marries. Even as his behavior becomes increasingly volatile, she believes she can make things better with love and understanding. But finally living in terror. Sylvie must find a way to escape with her daughter and a way to claim her place in the world.

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Guest Post
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
The Chicago area. I also lived there briefly as an adult and visit family and friends there all the time as well as my beloved Lake Michigan.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Maybe since forever. My family is big on letter writing and now emailing. My mother and all my siblings are wonderful writers, my maternal grandfather was a journalist, my uncle was semi-famous poet in the Chicago area, and my cousin Patty Pieszka just might be the best living poet in the country now. Through writing we all communicate best with each other and are our own most real selves.

How to find time to write as a parent?
If I wanted long stretches of time, I'd wake up early. Otherwise, my writing was episodic. I used to like writing on paper with pen, wherever and whenever I had time or thought of something. A lot of my writing work took place in my head, though with a notebook handy. Gardening is a great place for thinking. Besides, plants were a wonderful respite from children who make their needs known vociferously.

Do you have a favorite movie?
I love movies and especially get a huge kick out of "Harvey" every time I see it which can be always, because I own a copy. The characters, the acting and comedic timing are all superb. I also love "Apocalypse Now" which sounds funny because how can someone love such a crazy violent movie? Perhaps that's why. I didn't realize at first that it was based on a novel Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad that impressed me when I read in high school English, because of its central idea of restraint as the key attribute for humans to behave civilly. Now I increasingly see the need for restraint. I also love "Lawrence of Arabia" for its luscious cinematography, but also the title character is so willing to consider other ways of behaving that aren't of the culture he's born into.

I'm actually in a movie, as an extra. It's the most famous movie hardly anyone has seen, called Medium Cool and is famous because the director, Haskell Wexler, filmed it during the police riots outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. He wrote an impromptu scene that had his actors run through the melee, which put them, his crew and himself in danger. MPAA ratings were rather new then - it was rated X not because of the female frontal nudity (not me!) but because of its political content. The studio didn't want it to be seen.

I'm in a scene where the camera pans over my face so I'm on screen for several seconds. My brother was in a theater in Sweden when he saw it and called out "That's my sister!" I was underage and was only there because my friend's dad knew Wexler who wanted kids to populate a night club scene. We were pretty bored. I didn't like the band (which was later overdubbed with Frank Zappa music). At one point, Wexler points at me and says, pointing at a pseudo-wall, "You! Go stand over there! Now pretend you're talking to this guy here." So that guy is on the crew, who's 20 feet away, say, "Hey baby, watcha doing later?" None of this sound is on the film. Anyway, I couldn't believe he was actually saying what I thought, so at first you see my quizzical face and me mouthing, "What?" He said the same thing again and you see me saying, with a little smile, "Shut up, you jerk!"

Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Deborah Clark Vance has lived throughout the US and in Italy. While raising her children, she earned a living by teaching piano lessons, selling her original artwork, editing a health journal, translating Italian, writing freelance articles and textbook chapters, working on a children's educational TV series, teaching in a day treatment program for adults with mental and emotional illnesses, creating garden designs and teaching as a college adjunct. After completing a Ph.D. in Communication and Culture at Howard University, she taught and served as Chair of the Department of Communication & Cinema at McDaniel College in Maryland. Although she also contributed articles and chapters to academic publications, those only earned her a modicum of prestige rather than income. She's keenly interested in the natural world as well as in social justice, spirituality and women's issues. "Sylvie Denied" is her debut novel.