Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Queen of the Owls by Barbara Linn Probst - Book Tour + Giveaway

Join us for this tour from Sep 9 to Sep 25, 2020!

Book Details:

Book Title:  Queen of the Owls by Barbara Linn Probst
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  307 pages
Genre:  Upmarket Women's Fiction
Publisher:  She Writes Press
Release date:   April 2020
Tour dates: Sep 9 to Sep 25, 2020
Content Rating:  PG-13: Includes situations and discussions of adult subject matter.

"A stunner" — Caroline Leavitt, best-selling author

"A must-read" — Barbara Claypole White, best-selling author

"Nuanced and insightful" — Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times
best-selling author

Book Description:

A chance meeting with a charismatic photographer will forever change Elizabeth’s life. Until she met Richard, Elizabeth's relationship with Georgia O’Keeffe and her little-known Hawaii paintings was purely academic. Now it’s personal. Richard tells Elizabeth that the only way she can truly understand O’Keeffe isn’t with her mind―it’s by getting into O’Keeffe’s skin and reenacting her famous nude photos. In the intimacy of Richard’s studio, Elizabeth experiences a new, intoxicating abandon and fullness. It never occurs to her that the photographs might be made public, especially without her consent. Desperate to avoid exposure―she’s a rising star in the academic world and the mother of young children―Elizabeth demands that Richard dismantle the exhibit. But he refuses. The pictures are his art. His property, not hers. As word of the photos spreads, Elizabeth unwittingly becomes a feminist heroine to her students, who misunderstand her motives in posing. To the university, however, her actions are a public scandal. To her husband, they’re a public humiliation. Yet Richard has reawakened an awareness that’s haunted Elizabeth since she was a child―the truth that cerebral knowledge will never be enough. Now she must face the question: How much is she willing to risk to be truly seen and known?

Author Interview 
Interview with Barbara Linn Probst, author of Queen of the Owls

Queen of the Owls is the powerful story of a woman’s quest to claim her neglected sensuality and find her true self hidden behind the roles of wife, mother, sister, and colleague.  Framed by the life and art of iconic American painter Georgia O’Keeffe, it dares to ask a question that every woman can relate to: what would you risk to be truly seen and known?

Could you tell us something about your relationship to your characters? How autobiographical is the book?

BARBARA: Even though Queen of the Owls isn’t a memoir, and I’m definitely not Elizabeth,  I couldn’t have written the book if I didn’t know what it was like to be seen as an owl, a sexless brain, instead of a desirable woman—as Elizabeth was, or thought she was. I had to dig into my own past and my own soul, and then translate those experiences and emotions into fiction. Like Elizabeth, I grew up labeled a “brain” and had to embark on my own journey to wholeness.

Why did you frame the story around Georgia O’Keeffe?
Did you have a background in art?

BARBARA:  I didn’t, but I’ve always loved O’Keeffe’s paintings! They called to me in a way that felt very connected to the question of what it means to be a woman. And then, when I started to do some preliminary research, I learned so much about O’Keeffe that ended up enhancing the story in ways I couldn’t possibly have anticipated. After a while, it became clear that there was no other way to tell this story! 

O’Keeffe herself isn’t a character in the book, but she’s present throughout as Elizabeth’s inspiration, the person whose blend of austerity and voluptuousness Elizabeth longs to emulate. And, of course, in seeking to understand O’Keeffe, Elizabeth comes to understand herself.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer?

BARBARAI’m a total perfectionist!  You wouldn’t believe the number of revisions I do!  Every when the book is typeset, I labor and labor over the rhythm, the phrase, the precise word or image. But at some point, of course, you have to let go and trust that you’ve done good work. The “letting go” is the hard part for me, because it never ends!  After publication, you have little control over the book’s fate, despite your best efforts.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of having written Queen of the Owls?

BARBARATruly, it’s been the interaction with readers!  There’s nothing better than hearing from a reader who took the trouble to write and tell me how much the book resonated with her—and to read the extraordinary reviews on Amazon from people I’ll never meet! 

The accolades and awards are great, of course. It was a thrill when Queen of the Owls was selected as one of the twenty most anticipated books of 2020 by Working Mother, one of the best Spring fiction books by Parade Magazine, and “a debut novel too good to ignore” by Bustle.  It’s already earned several awards and is up for several more.  But the conversations with readers is the aspect that’s meant the most to me.  

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever had, and the worst?

BARBARAThat’s hard to answer, because I’ve been fortunate to have received so much good advice from so many wise and generous mentors! But if I have to pick just one, I’d say that it was my writing mentor Sandra Scofield’s injunction to make each character worthy of love and respect. I had a tendency, early on, to make my heroines too angry or full of self-pity. I suppose I thought that made them “complex” or “interesting.” But Sandra helped me to humanize and care about my characters, which is the only way to make readers care about them too.

Worst advice? All those formulas, rules, and grids that tell you what has to happen at the one-quarter mark or halfway mark or in the first fifty pages. They kill the life of a story.  That’s not to say that a story doesn’t need tension, emotional turning points, dark moments, and all of that. Of course it does! But if you’re so busy trying make it conform to a recipe, you’ll never be able to hear what I call “the voice of the story.”

What’s next for you?

BARBARAMy second novel The Sound Between the Notes will be released in April 2021.  This time, the story is framed around music—influenced, of course, by my own study of the piano.  If the protagonist in Queen of the Owls yearns to be seen, then you could say that the protagonist in The Sound Between the Notes yearns to be heard.  The story is also about adoption and the search for where one belongs.

Meet the Author:

BARBARA LINN PROBST is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, living on an historic dirt road in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her debut novel QUEEN OF THE OWLS (April 2020) is the powerful story of a woman’s search for wholeness, framed around the art and life of iconic American painter Georgia O’Keeffe. Endorsed by best-selling authors including Christina Baker Kline and Caroline Leavitt, QUEEN OF THE OWLS was selected as one of the twenty most anticipated books of 2020 by Working Mother, a debut novel “too good to ignore” by Bustle, and "one of the best new novels to read during the quarantine" by Parade Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. It won the bronze medal for popular fiction from the Independent Publishers Association, placed first runner-up in general fiction for the Eric Hoffer Award, and was short-listed for the $2500 Grand Prize. Barbara has a PhD in clinical social work and blogs for several award-winning sites for writers.

Connect with the Author:  website  ~ facebook  ~ instagram ~ goodreads

Tour Schedule:

Sep 9 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 9 - Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 9 - Working Mommy Journal - book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 10 – My Fictional Oasis – book spotlight
Sep 10 - Bookish Paradise – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 10 - Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 11 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 14 – Pen Possessed – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 15 – Lamon Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 15 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 16 – I'm Into Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 16 - Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 17 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 17 - Library of Clean Reads - book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 18 – Hall Ways Blog – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 21 – Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Sep 22 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 22 - Deborah-Zenha Adams - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 22 - – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 23 - Alexis Marie Chute Blog - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 23 - Books for Books – book spotlight
Sep 24 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight / guest post
Sep 25 - Novel Escapes  - book spotlight
Sep 25 - 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:


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