*The images in this specific piece are granted copyright privilege by: Public Domain, CCSAL, GNU Free Documentation Licenses, Fair Use Under The United States Copyright Law, or given copyright privilege by the copyright holder which is identified beneath the individual photo.
**Some of the links will have to be copied and then posted in your search engine in order to pull up properly
***The CRC Blog welcomes submissions from published and unpublished fiction genre writers for INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION. Contact CRC Blog via email at email@example.com or personal Facebook messaging at https://www.facebook.com/car.cooper.7
****Sonia Saikaley’s THE ALLSPICE BATH is #59 in the never-ending series called INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION where the Chris Rice Cooper Blog (CRC) focuses on one specific excerpt from a fiction genre and how that fiction writer wrote that specific excerpt. All INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION links are at the end of this piece.
Name of fiction work? And were there other names you considered that you would like to share with us? My new novel is entitled “The Allspice Bath”. I had originally called it “Maza of Memories”, maza representing my Middle Eastern heritage because the first draft was a series of the protagonist’s memories and the small plates of maza that are often served before a main course signified this collection of memories. However, things evolved as I worked on various drafts of this story and in the end “The Allspice Bath” was a better title for the novel. Keeping in line with a Middle East connection, allspice is perfect because this spice is often used in Middle Eastern cuisine.
Fiction genre? Ex science fiction, short story, fantasy novella, romance, drama, crime, plays, flash fiction, historical, comedy, movie script, screenplay, etc. And how many pages long? “The Allspice Bath” can fall under the following categories: contemporary women’s fiction; family life; literary fiction and Middle Eastern Studies. The novel is 309 pages.
Has this been published? And it is totally fine if the answer is no. If yes, what publisher and what publication date? My novel was recently launched in Toronto. It was a lovely gathering celebrating new books by women. I was thrilled to share my work with the enthusiastic and supportive audience and it was an honour to read alongside such talented writers such as Harriet Bernstein, Arianna Dagnino, Valentina Gal, Vivian Meyer and Giovanna Riccio.
My publisher is Inanna Publications. https://www.
They are a fabulous publisher and I would encourage other writers to check out their submission guidelines. Inanna produces beautiful and thought-provoking books.
What is the date you began writing this piece of fiction and the date when you completely finished the piece of fiction? I began writing this novel a few years after I graduated from university which was around 1997 and completed the first draft within a year but then I rewrote it many times and had the final draft completed around 2006-2007.
For several years, I had submitted the manuscript to publishers and agents but everyone kept saying ‘no’ to the novel and eventually I stopped submitting and set the manuscript aside. Almost twenty years later after beginning “The Allspice Bath”, I attended the Toronto launch of my poetry collection “A Samurai’s Pink House” and met the amazing Editor-in-Chief Luciana Ricciutelli of Inanna Publications. She asked me if I had any other manuscripts for her to consider. “The Allspice Bath” was sent to her shortly after that meeting and to my delight Luciana loved the story. So for those who have a dream that hasn’t yet been realized, keep at it because you never know when you’ll find those people who will equally believe in your dream.
Where did you do most of your writing for this fiction work? And please describe in detail. And can you please include a photo? I am not the type of writer who writes well in public settings such as cafés or libraries. I love people watching so I get easily distracted. For the first draft of “The Allspice Bath”, I did most of my writing in bed, either sitting up or lying down. I had hurt my back and for a couple of months the only comfortable way to write was on my back with pillows propping up my head. I raised my knees and rested my Hilroy coil notebook against my thighs while I wrote longhand. I wrote in bed (Right) sort of like the way the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (Below) painted in bed. The entire first draft of “The Allspice Bath” was completed longhand. When I was feeling better, I typed the draft on my computer while at the same time rewriting the novel.
What were your writing habits while writing this work- did you drink something as you wrote, listen to music, write in pen and paper, directly on laptop; specific time of day? As noted above, I wrote the first draft of this novel using a pen and many notebooks. I wrote around a day job and the care I gave my ailing father. I wrote in silence with the exception of the voices of my family and the birds that would sing in the early morning hours. In a way, the writing of this novel was therapeutic and helped me come to terms with the sorrow I was feeling during my father’s illness and after he died.
What is the summary of this specific fiction work? Crisscrossing between Ottawa, Toronto and Lebanon, “The Allspice Bath” is a story about the cultural gap and the immigrant experience. Told from the perspective of a remarkable young woman, the reader experiences a journey of possibilities, healing and forgiveness. Spices are scattered throughout the novel as the reader dips pita bread in olive oil, celebrates, belly-dances and smells herbs on the pages of this tale of tradition and the weight children of immigrants sometimes bear while trying to find a balance between the old and new worlds. Adele, the protagonist, searches for her identity while living in two cultures. She falters many times but she’s tough, smart and compassionate. Yet the question remains: can she find her freedom without losing part of herself in the process?
Can you give the reader just enough information for them to understand what is going on in the excerpt? In the below excerpt, Adele is now in Lebanon. She has travelled there with her family. In this scene, she is in Beirut with Elias, a man whom she’s starting to develop feelings for. While they are in Beirut, a street bomb explodes and this is the first time Adele has ever witnessed such horror. Shock overwhelms her then tremendous pain as she observes a wounded woman and child. Elias holds Adele while she tries to come to terms with what she has just witnessed.
Please include just one excerpt and include page numbers as reference. This one excerpt can be as short or as long as you prefer.
She swallowed and watched the fire dying down with the tide of water spurting from the emergency crews’ hoses, embers burning on the streets. She had never experienced any of the violence in the Middle East firsthand, though she had witnessed it many times on Canadian broadcasts, and read about it over and over in the world information section of newspapers.
The noon sun rose above the haze and cries. She suddenly became aware of how hot it was. Beads of sweat trickled down her ribcage. The intense sunlight made her raise her hands to her eyes, protecting her pupils from the brightness.
Some distance away, she saw a woman on her knees clutching a child. The boy jerked a few times, then remained still in his mother’s arms. Blood was on the woman’s hands and on her son’s face. She pulled him tight to her chest, her wails drowning out the sirens. Adele hated the light that now hit these victims. She saw the torn look on the woman’s face—her eyelids swollen, cheeks disfigured by shards of flying glass—and Adele cried out at the stranger’s grief, and her loss. She turned away, stepped back from the noise, the sun. Burying her face in Elias’s hard chest, she felt him stroking her head as she wept. (Page 214)
Why is this excerpt so emotional for you as a writer to write? And can you describe your own emotional experience of writing this specific excerpt? I found this excerpt emotional to write because the death of a child is such a tremendous and painful loss. I was also grieving the loss of my own father and could empathize with the character of the grieving mother. While writing this scene, I could feel myself tearing up and the physical signs of grief overwhelmed me to the point that I had to take deep breaths while creating the scene. The scene stuck in my mind for days after writing it and still sticks in my mind when I think about this novel.
Were there any deletions from this excerpt that you can share with us? And can you please include a photo of your marked up rough drafts of this excerpt. I can’t recall any deletions from this excerpt and, unfortunately, I no longer have my marked-up rough drafts.
Other works you have published? I have published a novella called “The Lebanese Dishwasher” and two poetry collections entitled “Turkish Delight, Montreal Winter” and “A Samurai’s Pink House”.
Anything you would like to add? It took a long time for this novel to enter the world but with hard work and perseverance and the support of some amazing people in my life, Adele’s story is now out there and I hope it resonates with many readers. I am so grateful to my readers and thank them for their support. And thank you, Chris, for reaching out to me to participate in this exchange. The work you do helps writers introduce their books to a wider audience. Thank you, merci, shukran!
Sonia Saikaley was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada to a large Lebanese family. The daughter of a shopkeeper, she had access to all the treats she wanted. Her first book, “The Lebanese Dishwasher”, co-won the 2012 Ken Klonsky Novella Contest. Her first collection of poetry, “Turkish Delight, Montreal Winter”, was published in 2012 and a second collection, “A Samurai’s Pink House”, was published in 2017 by Inanna Publications. She is currently working on a novel called “Jasmine Season on Hamra Street”. A graduate of the Humber School for Writers, she lives in her hometown of Ottawa. In the past, she worked as an English teacher in Japan.
INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION links
001 11 15 2018 Nathaniel Kaine’s
John Hunter – The Veteran
002 11 18 2018 Ed Protzzel’s
The Antiquities Dealer
003 11 23 2018 Janice Seagraves’s
Science Fiction Romance
004 11 29 2018 Christian Fennell’s
Literary Fiction Novel
The Fiddler in the Night
005 12 02 2018 Jessica Mathews’s
Adult Paranormal Romance
006 12 04 2018 Robin Jansen’s
Literary Fiction Novel
Ruby the Indomitable
007 12 12 2018 Adair Valerez’s
Literary Fiction Novel
008 12 17 218 Kit Frazier’s
009 12 21 2019 Robert Craven’s
The Road of a Thousand Tigers
010 01 13 2019 Kristine Goodfellow’s
Contemporary Romantic Fiction
The Other Twin
011 01 17 2019 Nancy J Cohen’s
Trimmed To Death
012 01 20 2019 Charles Salzberg’s
Second Story Man
013 01 23 2019 Alexis Fancher’s
His Full Attention
014 01 27 2019 Brian L Tucker’s
POKEWEED: AN ILLUSTRATED NOVELLA
015 01 31 2019 Robin Tidwell’s
016 02 07 2019 J.D. Trafford’s
Little Boy Lost
017 02 08 2019 Paula Shene’s
Young Adult ScieFi/Fantasy/Romance/Adventure
My Quest Begins
018 02 13 2019 Talia Carner’s
Mainstream Fiction/ Suspense/ Historical
019 02 15 2019 Rick Robinson’s
020 02 21 2019 LaVerne Thompson’s
The Soul Collectors
021 02 27 2019 Marlon L Fick’s
The Nowhere Man
022 03 02 2019 Carol Johnson’s
Silk And Ashes
023 03 06 2019 Samuel Snoek-Brown’s
Short Story Collection
There Is No Other Way to Worship Them
024 03 08 2019 Marlin Barton’s
Short Story Collection
025 03 18 2019 Laura Hunter’s
026 03 21 2019 Maggie Rivers’s
027 03 25 2019 Faith Gibson’s
028 03 27 2019 Valerie Nieman’s
To The Bones
029 04 04 2019 Betty Bolte’s
Veiled Visions of Love
030 04 05 2019 Marianne Maili’s
Lucy, go see
031 04 10 2019 Gregory Erich Phillips’s
032 04 15 2019 Jason Ament’s
033 04 24 2019 Stephen P. Keirnan’s
The Baker’s Secret
034 05 01 2019 George Kramer’s
Arcadis: Prophecy Book
035 05 05 2019 Erika Sams’s
Rose of Dance
036 05 07 2019 Mark Wisniewski’s
Watch Me Go
037 05 08 2019 Marci Baun’s
The Whispering House
038 05 10 2019 Suzanne M. Wolfe’s
Murder By Any Name
039 05 12 2019 Edward DeVito’s
The Woodstock Paradox
040 05 14 2019 Gytha Lodge’s
She Lies In Wait
041 05 16 2019 Kari Bovee’s
Peccadillo At The Palace: An Annie Oakley Mystery
042 05 20 2019 Annie Seaton’s
Time Travel Romance
043 05 22 2019 Paula Rose Michelson’s
Inspirational Christian Romance
Rosa & Miguel – Love’s Legacy: Prequel to The Naomi
044 05 24 2019 Gracie C McKeever’s
On The Edge
045 06 03 2019 Micheal Maxwell’s
The Soul of Cole
046 06 04 2019 Jeanne Mackin’s
The Last Collection: A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and
047 06 07 2019 Philip Shirley’s
The Graceland Conspiracy
048 06 08 2019 Bonnie Kistler’s
The House on Fire
049 06 13 2019 Barbara Taylor Sissel’s
Domestic Suspense/Family Drama
Tell No One
050 06 18 2019 Charles Salzberg’s
Short Story/ Crime Fiction
“No Good Deed” from Down to the River
051 06 19 2019 Rita Dragonette’s
The Fourteenth of September
052 06 20 2019 Nona Caspers’s
The Fifth Woman
053 06 26 2019 Jeri Westerson’s
Shadows in the Mist
054 06 28 2019 Brian Moreland’s
The Devil’s Woods
055 06 29 2019
056 07 02 2019 Randee Green’s
057 07 03 2019 Saralyn Ricahrd’s
Murder In The One Percent
058 07 04 2019 Hannah Mary McKinnon’s
Her Secret Son
059 07 05 2019 Sonia Saikaley’s
Contemporary Women’s Literature
The Allspice Bath
Contemporary Women’s Literature
The Allspice Bath
Post a Comment