Thursday, February 7, 2013

Author Spotlight: EC Stilson

Today I'm so honored to spotlight someone who is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors - EC Stilson! EC and I met a while back in a writer's Facebook group. She had just published her book The Golden Sky - a memoir about the death of her infant son. I picked up a copy, but I have to admit, I didn't read it right away because of the subject matter. I have friends who have sadly lost their infants, and I knew this would be an emotional read for me. So it sat on my Kindle waiting.  In the meantime, I began following EC's awesome blog. I immediately fell in love with her writing style and looked forward to reading her posts about her children who all have cool pseudonyms like "the scribe" and "the zombie elf."

Anyway - fast forward to this past fall and Hurricane Sandy. As many of you know - we lost power for nearly a week. As my electronic devices began dying one by one, my trusty Kindle kept chugging along. So I read - a lot. Including EC Stilson's book. In fact, I couldn't put it down. When I was finished, I immediately purchased book two (which actually is book one if you go in chronological order) Bible Girl and the Bad Boy. A few months ago, EC released Homeless in Hawaii, which would be book two if you are following her timeline, but you really don't need to. They are fabulous books regardless of the order you read them in. Below I review all three books as one, because really, they are one story - A story of a remarkable young woman.



ABOUT THE GOLDEN SKY

The night I met Cade I never would’ve thought that two years later, after we were homeless street musicians in Hawaii, we would have a little girl and another baby on the way. Our son was born with the type of birth defects that make televangelists cringe. As his health waned, my own breath evaded me, like I was the one who needed the ventilator—the life support. The “death home” gave him a really nice funeral, the kind I’d never wished to attend. When they tried closing his casket, I nearly fell on my face, not wanting them to shut the lid on my baby.

We lost it after that, totally cemented in our grief. Cade got into drugs, joined a rock and roll band, and even grew out his damn hair. At the time, I was sick of “the oatmeal option” (the only food we had), so I kicked Cade out of the house, and started modeling and working as a diesel mechanic. That was how I met Earl, an old man and unlikely best friend; the “big sag,” a middle aged woman who still flashed folks, and "The Cowboy" a man who fell in love with me.

It was slow at first, but Cade reverted to the man I’d busked with years before. It wasn’t until I killed a rogue skunk, and my daughter nearly choked on a fry, that I gave my husband another chance. But could our marriage recover from the death of our son?

ABOUT BIBLE GIRL AND THE BAD BOY

The book practically cried for me to spare its life, and for a moment I thought I'd rather burn in Hell than lose something my brother had given me in love. The pastor nudged me, though, and my heart turned to ice.
I thought of all those hours my brother had read to me. I thought of all that time he'd invested.
I couldn't throw it into the fire; not the last book of the trilogy. That funny little dwarf stared at me from the cover. Then, I closed my eyes. I stepped so close to the flames they almost ate my skin. I tore the book in front of those kids. I put on quite a show throwing in a section at a time because I couldn't stand sending the whole thing in at once. When the last pages went up in flame, and the dwarf on the cover curled with death, I dropped to my knees and cried. The kids all hooted and screamed in ecstasy, thinking I'd been freed, when the ropes of religion had just twisted tighter.

Surrounded by hypocrites, Elisa's foundation starts crumbling. She doesn't know who to turn to. That's when she meets a mysterious man. But maybe she shouldn't trust him.
Will he help her, or make things even worse than they were before?

ABOUT HOMELESS IN HAWAII

Running away from her past, Elisa finds herself homeless in Hawaii. The streets aren't what they seem, though, and cops make her stay in homeless park.

She's only seventeen and with a man she hardly knows. They must work together if they're going to survive as street musicians.

They might be in paradise, but even there, her past will hunt her down and make her face an uncertain future.

MY REVIEW

Whether you read these books in chronological order or in the order they were published (as I did) you are sure to get a glimpse into the life of an amazing young woman.

EC Stilson pours her heart out in The Golden Sky - a memoir about losing her precious infant son and the aftermath of dealing with a marriage that is crumbling. The amazing part is that through it all, EC (Elisa) has a remarkable positive attitude and a strong conviction to go along with it. The Golden Sky is a compilation of the journals Elisa kept during this time period and are raw with emotion and courage. Through Elisa's journals, you not only get a sense of her grief, but also her overwhelming joy in having had this special little boy. Elisa's strength and optimism are like none I have witnessed, and her writing style is such that you feel you are experiencing everything right along side of her.

Her story goes backwards in Bible Girl and the Bad Boy, as we get a glimpse of teenage Elisa and the story of how she met her future husband, Cade. The thing I love about this memoir is the innocence that surrounds Elisa during this period of her life. Like so many teens, she's searching for the place where she "fits." Despite some pretty serious moments, Elisa always seems to have a smile on her face, great perspective, and some really funny laugh out loud moments.

In the newly released Homeless in Hawaii, we follow Elisa and Cade as they venture off to Hawaii to live as homeless musicians. Once again, I felt as if I was right there along with Elisa as she experienced everything from her night in Homeless Park to her telling off the bellhop at the Ritz (way to go Elisa!) And even though I had an idea of how the book would end (having read The Golden Sky already) I still found my self cheering, because it wasn't so much the ending that was important, but rather the journey to get there.

Through all these books, EC's writing is light and whimsical, yet emotional and extremely touching. Her passion for life comes through in all three books, even in her most darkest moments. EC Stilson is a woman who truly lives life to its fullest. Thank you for sharing your extraordinary life with us.


Would you like to win a copy of EC Stilson's "Homeless in Hawaii"?  You can! Elisa is generously giving away a copy! Just enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Elisabeth Hirsch is a part-owner and editor at Wayman Publishing. All three of her memoirs (under the pen name EC Stilson) have become Amazon best sellers within the last two years. Since 2011, she’s helped Wayman Publishing raise thousands of dollars for organizations such as Angel Watch, the Pregnancy Resource Center, the American Diabetes Association and Primary Children’s Hospital. When she’s not parenting or writing, Elisabeth is speaking at assemblies and signings, or encouraging families at infant-loss relief groups.

Elisabeth is dedicated to helping other authors succeed. From editing, to formatting and marketing, she can share her knowledge and show aspiring authors how to best start their writing careers.

If you'd like to sign up for her next writing workshop, please go HERE.






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4 comments:

  1. Thank you for writing about Elisa. She is my gem.

    Love,
    Janie Junebug

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for this warm tribute to Elisa and her special and unique spirit. She is a rare human. Peace.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome tribute to her, well deserved too.

    ReplyDelete

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