Thanks to my good friend Barb Stahl who pitched a story to a terrific local journalist, this happened!
Canandaigua writer’s debut novel holds a secret
Sally Crosiar’s story was inspired by a Canandaigua Writers Group project.
CANANDAIGUA — Sally Crosiar got hooked on writing a novel more than a decade ago.
No stranger to writing, Crosiar is an instructor for Empire State College who is behind several published nonfiction works: “Love Builders: Tools to Enhance Any Relationship,” co-authored with Dr. Sidney Simon; “Find the Love of Your Life,” (currently out of print) about her relationship with her first husband Dave; and numerous health and youth development curricula written as a consultant for Cornell University, including “Choose Health: Food, Fun, and Fitness.”
A project in her Canandaigua Writers Group inspired Crosiar to delve into an imaginary world that became the basis for her first novel, “Come Back,” which is available on Amazon.
“We had a challenge and it was a challenge that grabbed hold of me,” said Crosiar, who lives in Canandaigua.
One of the group’s members wrote a backstory for a character she was about to portray in community theater. The challenge was to write a story about her character’s profession. Crosiar said that got her thinking hard about how someone gets started in that line of work and what happens after moving on to another career.
That was the jumping off point for the story set in a fictional small town in Iowa not unlike the town of Utica, Illinois, where she grew up. The characters aren’t based on real people, but “readers might recognize some of their traits” in themselves and people they know, Crosiar said.
“Come Back” tells the story of Vi Masters, who reluctantly returns to the hometown she fled 10 years before. From a teaser on Amazon: “What if you ran away from home at 17? Would you want to go back? Vi Masters would rather eat nails. But what if your aunt begs you to perform at her 60th birthday bash? She cared for you like neither of your parents ever did. And something about her voice on the phone seems off? Vi can’t say no. How bad can three days be? She can act like she has no secrets for that long, can’t she?”
Barb Stahl of Canandaigua, a fellow member of the Canandaigua Writers Group, said she was excited — and nervous — to read Crosiar’s novel. A retired school library media specialist, Stahl is an avid reader and writes regional history books.
“I confess I was very nervous to read it. What if I didn’t like it? What if I found lots of errors?” said Stahl. “I can be highly critical of books so no wonder I was worried. Luckily, I really did like it.”
“Like” is an understatement.
“A favorite book for me is one that allows the reader inside the heads of the characters,” said Stahl, who wrote a review on Amazon. “Sally Crosiar has accomplished this and much more in her debut novel.”
Stahl said she found “Come Back” to be a “brilliantly executed story” filled with all the elements that make for an exciting read.
“Hopefully, libraries will begin to add it to their collections,” Stahl said.
Crosiar said Stahl wasn’t the only one nervous about how her novel would go over with readers, especially those in a group in which a number of people have had books published.
“I had to laugh when Barb said that she was scared she might not like ‘Come Back,’” said Crosiar. “I certainly understand why she was afraid — but I was a lot more scared than she was to have any of them read it. And so terribly gratified — and relieved — when they liked it.”
On the web
— “Come Back” on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ju8MtI
— Goodreads about Canandaigua author Sally Crosiar: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7654240.Sally_Crosiar
— Canandaigua Writers Group: http://canandaiguawriters.blogspot.com/2017/