Monday, February 22, 2021

Rhiannon Gelston with Lark and the Loon

Please welcome Rhiannon Gelston to the blog today!

As someone who has dealt with memoir writing in Dancing With Dementia, I had a question for Rhiannon:

How did you decide on the parts of reality that were going to be the basis of this memoir with a twist?

It was a very organic process that essentially evolved as I was writing it, with no real set plan. I knew I wanted to write about my family, to capture who they were at the time and document some memories of my kids when they were little. The book was originally started out just for them, without actually thinking I was going to publish it but, as time went on, and the novel took form, I started to think I might try and share it with others as well. I eventually pursued having it published.

Within the story the protagonist, Lark, ends up in a magical world in a symbolic tree. He goes on to travel back and forth from ascending this tree with some special friends, to traveling to the real world and experiencing events from the past, reliving moments from his mother’s memory (my memoir).

Essentially, all of the experiences outside of this magical world, in the real world, are the memoir piece. I describe it as almost a modern-day Scrooge journey, without the grumpy part!

The descriptions of the children in the story, from the memoir parts, were easy because it was just them, my five kids, and moments from our life together thus far. I am not quite sure how I decided which moments to share, as some were quite big while others were very simple everyday moments, yet they all taught me something.

I did know I wanted to write down some memories about when my daughter was ill, as that was a big life-lesson. It is one of those things that you wish you didn’t have to go through but, like anyone who goes through a hard time and comes out on the other side of it, you gain perspective, you figure out what really matters, and you try and really live and love the moment you are in moving forward. When the awareness that the next moment may not happen for someone you love, it simply changes everything. I didn’t want to ever forget those lessons.

I hope maybe my children one day, when they are a bit older, and anyone else who reads Lark and the Loon, can gain that awareness too, through riding that ride with us in the pages of the book.

Another big part of the book is from my time spent in Africa, doing my occupational therapy internship and traveling. That experience, in beautiful Africa, was another eye-opening experience that changed how I view the world. It was something I always wanted to write about. I intended on sending a query to some occupational therapy journals upon my return, as my internship experience was so unique. I just never did that for some reason. I guess it was meant to go in this book instead!

So, maybe the answer to your question, now that I think about it, is the way I decided which parts of reality were to be included was they were all some moments from my life, both the big and the small, that shifted how I see the world in some way. Moments that provided me with a greater awareness of what matters in the big picture.

I’m delighted to be participating in author Rhiannon Gelston’s blog tour for her latest release, LARK AND THE LOON.

Genre: Memoir with a Twist
◊ Publisher: WiDo Publishing (July 17, 2020)
◊ Print & eBooks
◊ Paperback: 284 pages
◊ ISBN-10: 1947966251
◊ ISBN-13: 978-1947966253

Lark and the Loon follows the adventures of a tentative boy named Lark, as he is catapulted out of all that he knows, into a courageous journey beyond his wildest imagination. 

Upon receiving a special gift from his Gramps, Lark embarks on a reflective journey of self-discovery as the innovative story weaves the true-life memoir of his mother (the author) in with a fantastical journey. With some special new-found friends, Lark travels back and forth from a symbolic tree to his mother’s true memories of life and death moments, and simple moments, found everywhere from wild Africa to their very own living room. Lark and his friends must ascend this tree and gain the important life lessons offered along the way if they ever hope to find their way out. Within this journey, Lark finds these lessons, and ultimately himself, in the space between imagination and truth in this wild tale.  

The story explores friendships, philosophies, and everyday challenges and joys, both from a child's perspective and from a parent's perspective. This memoir with a twist results in a coming-of-age story that ultimately leads to a new understanding of self, others, and the world that surrounds us.

is available at AMAZONBarnes & Noble * WiDo Publishing. Also, be sure to add it to your TBR List on Goodreads.

Meet the Author

loves to lose herself in all things creative. She enjoys writing, painting, live music, traveling, sports, being outdoors, exploring, playing, spirituality, and energy work. She has a BA in English and an MS in Occupational Therapy with a pediatric focus. Rhiannon just had her first novel published. It is a memoir with a twist called, LARK AND THE LOON, available wherever books are sold.

Rhiannon grew up on Spa Creek in downtown Annapolis. Home for Rhiannon will always be the sound of the halyards hitting the masts on a breezy day, a pile of crabs saturated in Old Bay, raft-ups with friends as kids cannonball off of the stern, and time with family and friends, in, on, and around the Chesapeake Bay.

She lives in Annapolis with her husband, their five lovely and lively children, and their black lab, McNasby.

Connect with Rhiannon on Facebook and Instagram.

Be sure to enter the tour wide giveaway. It ends May 3. The grand prize is a $25 Amazon Gift Card and an eBook of LARK AND THE LOON. The second-place winner has to be a US resident as the gift is a signed copy of LARK THE LOON. The third-place prize is an eBook that two winners will receive. If the Rafflecopter widget doesn’t work, you can still enter by clicking HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by today. Doesn’t this sound like an intriguing memoir?


Mason Canyon said...

Enjoy learning insight into how a story comes about. Jemi, thanks so much for being a part of Rhiannon's tour.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a really interesting way to present a memoir.

Jemi Fraser said...

You're very welcome - I always enjoy seeing how other writers create!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I love the idea of a modern Scrooge tale. :) Congratulations to Rhiannon!

nashvillecats2 said...

Extremely interesting to read, Thank you.


Elephant's Child said...

Thank you both. Memoirs (with or without twists) are one of my favourite genres and this sounds like a beauty.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats to Rhiannon! This sounds like a really interesting twist on a memoir.

Lark and the Loon said...

Thanks Alex! It was a fun way to step in and out of the memoir piece and gain some insight into the various events! Thanks for your comment!

Lark and the Loon said...

Thank you Elizabeth - I really appreciate it!

Lark and the Loon said...

Thank you so much Yvonne!
Warm wishes,

Lark and the Loon said...

Thank you so very much - I love memoirs as well. I think we all have a story worth telling!

Lark and the Loon said...

Thank you Natalie! It was a different approach but the blending of genres, although unique, really allowed me to include the lessons I learned, sprinkled throughout. Thanks so much for your comment!