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Guest Post & Giveaway: The Lovesick Author by Spencer Seidel

Valentine’s Day is the time to celebrate your loved ones whether they are spouses, significant others, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc.  But there is a darker side to love that creeps into novels like Lovesick by Spencer Seidel.

In the novel, forensic psychologist Dr. Lisa Boyers receives a call from an old friend Attorney Rudy Swaner who needs her to interview young killer Paul Ducharme, who claims he does not remember the events of a murder.  However, as she helps him uncover his memories, she realizes that she must confront her troubled past.

Today, Spencer Seidel is offering us a guest post about the darker side of love.  Please give him a warm welcome.  Also, stay tuned for a giveaway for my U.S. and Canadian readers:

Fiction is best when the author’s voice cannot be heard. But sometimes, inevitably, that voice creeps in. Perhaps a character’s political views too conveniently match those of the author. Or perhaps the raunchy, inorganic sex scenes you’re reading in a new novel make you wonder if the author’s wife really turns her back to her husband at night.

That gets me to thinking. What if an author were to fall hopelessly head-over-heels in love with a character? Better yet, what if he were compulsively and obsessively (ahem) lovesick with his own creation? Hell, it’s Valentine’s Day! We can have a little creepy fun with that, right? Surely things would eventually take a turn for the worse for our poor lovesick author. . .

I imagine a messy desk, littered with manuscript paper, sketches, rejection letters, and overdue bill notices. Above this, a series of composite photos of a woman are pinned to the wall, every image lovingly and painstakingly photoshopped together from various files pulled from Google. Each is slightly different from its neighbor. The woman to the right has larger lips. The other, at the end of the row, smaller breasts. Our author hasn’t gotten her quite right yet and never will. It’s more fun that way. Perhaps she was an old lover or someone he used to know. Or maybe this woman is no one at all. A figment of his imagination. His perfect woman.

The author himself is seated there at his desk, a scotch just out of reach of his right hand. Next to it, a cigarette smolders in a dirty ashtray. The room is dark because the shades are always closed. A pale, unnatural glow from the computer monitor highlights our author. His brown hair spikes outward in greasy clumps. His beard is dark and patchy on his white skin. He wears a faded threadbare bathrobe, untied. He is naked underneath.

To our author’s left is a stack of manuscript paper a foot and a half high, each page neatly aligned with the one beneath and filled with double-spaced type. There must be 1,000 pages or more stacked there, representing years of work.

He types loudly, angrily, in bursts, while gazing absently at the monitor in front of him. Gulps his booze. Pulls hard on his cigarette from time to time. After each writing session, he masturbates compulsively while studying her picture and waiting for his laser printer to finish printing the day’s work.

For months before she left him for good with their young daughter and black lab in tow, his wife tried to understand. She begged him to stop, but like a compulsive gambler, our lovesick writer can’t. He loves his character too much to stop writing about her. And it will cost him everything: his wife, his writing career, his health, his house, and his sanity. In the end, having spent a lifetime writing about his imaginary woman, he will likely die in a psychiatric ward at his keyboard, and his creation will cease to exist shortly after.

On page 18,699.

Thanks, Spencer, for sharing this darker side of love with us.  If you’d like to win a copy of Lovesick, please leave a comment here about the dark obsession of love.  Deadline to enter will be Feb. 29, 2012, at 11:59PM EST.  Happy Leap Year and Happy Valentine’s Day!

For additional chances to win, check out the Blog Tour Scavenger Hunt.

  • Anita Yancey

    I have heard a lot of stories about the dark obsession of love, but I have never seen it up close and personal. This book sounds absolutely wonderful, and I would love to read it. Please enter me. Thanks!

  • A sardonic look at the dark side of writing. Great post!

    PS No need to enter me in the giveaway.

  • Dianne

    This sounds like a realistic approach to the problems of substance abuse and the effects this illness has on relationships. Thanks for the giveaway

  • Pingback: Lovesick by Spencer Seidel()

  • Ellie

    An imaginative and unique plot which sounds enthralling and memorable. Thanks for this chance.

  • That would make a great book or movie! Seidel needs to write it!

  • I totally love this post! Now I have to read this author! The idea of fictional stalking is just great. I love that: gulps his booze and pulls hard on his cigarette. So amusingly noir-mocking. And the wife leaving and taking the black lab – how funny.

    I always, always wonder about how spouses (especially wives) react to sex scenes. To me, the spouse either has to be embarrassed because people will think that’s what THEY do or what SHE looks like or likes, or insecure because she will wonder if that’s what her husband really wants to do or really wants her to look like, or suspicious because how does he know so much about such stuff? The possibilities are endless! I’m glad I don’t have to deal with it! :–)

    Please enter me! I definitely think I will like this author!

  • Theresa N

    The newspapers seem to be full of stories of love gone wrong, very wrong.

  • One of the more creative guest posts I’ve read! No need to enter me, but I put this giveaway in my sidebar for you.