Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Hungry Soul by Ellie Anderson

I'm thrilled to have Ellie Anderson (L.E. Anderson or Leah to me) visiting the blog today to share her experience writing A Hungry Soul for the Feeding Kate anthology.  Ellie is the author of Ante Mortem, the short story that we ran at My Friends Call Me Kate last year.  She's an incredible writer, a wonderful friend, and I'm always delighted when some of her personal experiences find a way into her writing.  She's a lover of books, good food, and ghosts... and she's an inspiration to many.  I started this book blog at her insistence, btw.

A Hungry Soul is a story of love... okay, maybe not the love love that comes to mind when you think of love between married people, but there is definitely a love for cheeseburgers, ribs, and label making, along with an incredibly skillful use of a knife. And I love it all!  A Hungry Soul is exactly what I'd expect from my friend, Ellie... or L.E. Anderson... can't I just call you Leah?  *wink wink* 

Don't forget... I'm giving away two prints copies of Feeding Kate at the end of the month. If you want a shot at winning a copy all you have to do is leave a comment during the month of May. 

A Hungry Soul

Feeding Kate. Amazing! Give several different writers two simple words and have each one author a short story that springs from this seemingly simple phrase.

I’m new to the world of writing (well…truly, I’ve written most of my life but not for other’s  eyes, except my teachers and professors) and was so happy to have the opportunity to be included in this project.  I was even more excited when I learned that it would benefit the Lupus foundation and my favorite blogger, Sabrina Ogden.

I have always loved writing exercises of this nature.  Give a group of people one central idea and see what sort of depravity, innocence, mayhem or mystery emerges.  My story, A Hungry Soul, was born instantaneously upon hearing the theme.  It appeared so effortlessly that I was certain something was amiss and I feared it would be the same idea everyone else had.  I was terrified when it came time to submit it, fearing that it would appear as if I had no imagination.  I never did budge from my first idea.  I tried, I really did, to take it beyond inception.  But alas, it remained true.  Surely the other writers, I pondered, many of whom are well-seasoned and published authors, would have developed more sophisticated storylines than I had.  Would the others laugh at my work?  Would they wonder why I had been included in the line-up?  The questions still ping around my head, but I carried on and went forth bravely.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh?

The best stories start in the middle of the action and that’s how mine usually unfold.  Then they flash back and forth through time.  Don’t know why that has become my M.O., but it works for me.  However, A Hungry Soul starts with a back story, Kate’s, and then moves into an understated sort of madness.  Those that know me well know that much of the first portion is based on my life.  Unwittingly, this story became a source of soul-purging.  While much of Kate’s anger stems from my psyche, please be assured that she is not me.  She is, most certainly, her own person.

Biggest lesson learned from this experience?  Not everyone will like my work.  Second lesson learned?  Some people will.   When the final draft had been accepted, I was nauseated, and although I didn’t read it again until I actually had the book in my hands, months later, I was still cringing over it.  I cracked the spine and it opened up to my story and scanned the words for what must have been the hundredth time.  The words seemed foreign.  Had I really written this?  I liked it.  How could that be?

Given the chance, I would do everything different.  But I learned more than I had hoped for and I am honored to be included amongst some of the best writers I have ever read!

Ellie Anderson

(aka for L.E. Anderson, my real name)

P.S.  Third lesson learned?  Just use my own name.

L.E. Anderson (Leah Eubanks Anderson) is a paralegal for the Criminal Division of the Salt Lake County District Attorney in Utah.  She graduated from the University of Utah in 1986 with a B.A. in English.  She lives in Utah with her teenage son, two beagles and two cats of unknown origin.  She loves to ghost hunt, write ghost stories, research near-death experiences and collect Victorian funeral antiques.  Her first novel, Ante Mortem (a Della Couldock paranormal mystery), is scheduled to be released as an e-book on June 1, 2013 and the second in the series, Momento Mori, is scheduled for October 1, 2013.  Leah’s family has accepted her unconventional interests with guarded curiosity, immense love and unending support.  Her friends just think she’s weird.

Feeding Kate: A Crime Fiction Anthology is available from Amazon. All proceeds from Feeding Kate benefit the Lupus Foundation of America.


Sabrina E. Ogden said...

I love this post, Leah. Your story is perfect... Kate is an awesome character. Thank you for being a part of the Feeding Kate anthology... and thanks so much for participating this month.

Christine H. said...

WOW… NOW WE HAVE TWO WONDERFUL STORY TELLERS/WRITERS IN OUR OFFICE… NICE TO RUB SHOULDERS WITH THE VERY ELITE….LOVE BOTH OF YOU ELLIE A AND “CALL ME KATE” Sabrina…. You are both very interesting young & seasoned ladies… ALWAYS good to hear your comments, stories, and experiences. I can see where both of you have grown in your side-line activities!!! Books that is!! I will purchase the book, Feeding Kate - Congrats Ellie A. for being the Honored Guest on the They Call Me Kate, blog. Great work you two. I know you are both seriously dedicated to your hobby & ambitions. Congrats again. See ya around… Both of you KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

Jacqueline said...

“Her friends just think she’s weird?”
I don’t think so! We all love you Leah and Sabrina and I think I speak for all, when I say that the two of you are the most loving, caring, entertaining and funniest friends/sisters ever!
After the many years of being friends/sister, and co-workers with the both of you I feel that I have the sisters I was not given birth.
I think it is fabulous that the two of you have blossomed into the most amazing story tellers ever, and have had the pleasure of calling my friends.
You two have both come so far with your writing and I enjoy hearing, reviewing, and being a part when they are shared with all!
I am so proud of both of you and hope that you both continue the great work.