Tough Girl

7:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 26 Comments


Let me get the blog tour bizness out of the way fast...'cause Use Your Words has a visitor today!!

The HEALING SUMMER blog tour is heading north and south. Posting from Alabama is Ashley Chappell and she wants to know..."What's it like working for the man?"
And live (or scheduled) from New York, is Jessie Andersen and she provided the prompt: "Family".

Now, I am excited to bring you Libby Heily!! 

I just finished reading Libby's book, "Tough Girl" this weekend and I can honestly say...this book is exactly why I like to read self-pubbed books. I'm going to rip an analogy from Forest Gump just so we can keep this post moving and get on to Libby...self-pubbed is like a box of chocolates. All kinds of flavors and surprises. Sure sometimes you grab a coconut one and you hate coconut, but other times, it's a caramel melt-away and it makes you go, "Mmm," and then you have to eat four more trying to find another. 

"Tough Girl" is a caramel melt-away. This book was anything but a light, brain shrinking read. It's laden with rich characters and symbolism. It was like S.E. Hinton's "Outsiders" only poor Reggie has no food and her best friend is imaginary.

Bravo Ms. Heily! 
Now entertain me...all the talk of chocolate has me looking for a snack.

Thanks for letting me drop by Elizabeth!  I'm so excited to be a guest on your blog! (My pleasure!!)

I thought today we could discuss an odd side effect I had from writing this novel.

Why I Gained Weight Writing Tough Girl
Here's lookin' at you Lib.

I'm not a light woman.  Never have been, never will be.  Even when I'm trim, exercise frequently and eat well, I still weigh between 140 and 150 pounds.  Just how I'm made.  So I wasn't exactly surprised that long hours writing in front of a computer led to a weight gain of twenty pounds.

But it wasn't just sitting for extended periods that did it, though anyone who has had an office job can attest to the fact that inactivity isn't great for weight loss.  No, I gained the weight for the same reason I crave a beer whenever I watch a movie about alcoholism.  I experience sympathy cravings.  My need to eat is motivated by my brain way more than my belly.

Reggie, the eleven-year old main character of Tough Girl, never has enough to eat.  She savors every bite she takes during the course of the novel because she's always on the brink of starvation.  And she feels that way from the very beginning of the novel.  She dumpster dives in the early pages, eating cold french fries and half-eaten burgers to keep her hunger pangs at bay.

Writing about a character that is starving (or close to it) can wreak havoc on your own diet.  Half an hour into writing, I would feel hungry, so I'd go and make some soup.  Then a half hour later, I'd feel the need to eat some candy and maybe a few spoonfuls of peanut butter.  The peanut butter looked lonely, so I covered it in chocolate sauce, and that turned quickly into Nutella on toast.  Within weeks of starting Tough Girl, I was snacking constantly to stave off my imaginary hunger pangs.  I'm pretty sure my daily intake of calories increased by over 1,000 calories a day. 

It took me a few months to realize what was happening, and even then, I could not stop it.  I had to write the story.  Tough Girl's been on my mind for years.  But my stomach couldn't take it.  I downed glass after glass of hot tea (a trick a formerly anorexic friend told me about, and one that Reggie uses in the novel as well) and while that helped, I still snacked at a near constant rate.

The novel has been done for months, and while I haven't lost a ton of weight, I have managed to not gain anymore.  I'm considering making my next novel about a chronic over-eater in the hopes that it inspires me to snack less often.  I've also been tempted to write about someone who never wins the lottery, just to see.  

LOL! I vote for the lottery story. Maybe I could be a minor character who wins small? I mean I wouldn't complain about winning a measly couple hundred thousand! 

Thanks for stopping by Libby, thanks fro bringing Reggie to life. I love her so much I want to adopt her. Seriously. 

Get the book for yourself on Amazon.
Follow Libby's blog Here.

26 comments:

  1. Starving kids...that is a real heartbreaker to me. I can see why you felt hungry as I have I obsessed with food. My mouth watered from the Gump boox of chocolates quote through the Nutella on toast.

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    1. Poor Reggie...food is only one of her problems!

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    2. It was a lot. Having a young NC go through so much is gut wrenching.

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  2. When I used to smoke and drink coffee, I did those two things triple when ever I was trying to write. It was absolutely necessary or nothing would come out of my brain. I can relate.

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    1. My problem is working and putting off eating until I am really hungry and then hurrying to scarf whatever I can find. And anything that is quick is hardly ever good.

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    2. Wow, glad you didn't have a heart attack.

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  3. Chronic overeater! Funny. You could write about a health nut and see what happens. Never heard about that about hot tea though.

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    1. When I was in college I had friends who would "diet" for spring break on coffee and cigarettes. The hot drink swells the stomach lining a little and makes you feel fuller faster.

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    2. Oddly enough, I was a health nut for one full year.

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  4. Sounds like a gritty book, Libby! I'll definitely check it out. And I'm going with you, Elizabeth, I think she should test the lottery theory. :)

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  5. I'm feeling hungry all the time at the moment, and I don't even have your excuse, Libby. But I sympathise! I love the lottery idea!

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  6. Wish me luck! If I win, I'll buy you lunch!

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  7. You are so right. I have a character who believes all of life's problems can be solved with a glass of wine and the three Ss (swirl, sip, savoir). Let's just say I drink a lot of wine when I write her.

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who channels characters! (If we weren't writers, they'd give us medication for that!)

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  8. Interesting. I don't think I have sympathy cravings, but maybe I should monitor my thoughts and actions more carefully.

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    1. Medeia, you're so organized and put together, you may have them but know how to control them!

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  9. Sorry you gained weight Libby, but with all of the excitement I bet the pounds will fall off soon. I can't wait to read Tough Girl! Thanks for hosting Libby, Elizabeth! Julie

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    1. It was my pleasure Julie. Flattered to be part of her launch!

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  10. Tough Girl sounds amazing and I love the cover. I'm intrigued by your cravings, Libby and I'm so with Elizabeth on your next choice of book ;)
    Thanks for introducing us to Libby, Elizabeth!
    x

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    1. You're welcome! And I agree, that is a great cover. Lonely and cold...perfect!

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  11. Looks like a great book, Libby - feisty girl who's had a tough time, I love that kind of character. Writing makes me gain weight too. I tend to want to snack when I'm thinking so I eat and pace (maybe the pacing will count as exercise? No, thought not)

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    1. I disagree. Pacing most certainly does count as exercise. As does stretching!

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  12. I've heard good things about Tough Girl. Your post is yet another reason to buy a copy. Sorry about the over eating but at least you haven't gained anymore Libby.

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    1. I really enjoyed it...but I will say, it's not your average story...and I mean that as a compliment.

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