Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Guest Post & Grand Giveaway: Bluff by Lenore Skomal

Original Title: Bluff
Author: Lenore Skomal
Publisher: Lenore Skomal Press
Release Date: October 1st 2012
Genre: Psychological Thriller

"To the medical world, I was a host body, surviving only to bring a new life into the world. And while I wanted to die more than anything in the world, I never wanted this. No, I never wanted to cease to exist. This was the worst death of all.”

Jude Black lives in that in-between, twilight place teetering on death but clinging to life in order to bring her baby into this world. Only she knows the circumstances surrounding her mysterious fall off the bluff that landed her in the hospital being kept alive by medical intervention. Only she knows who the father of her baby is. In this poignantly crafted literary novel, the mystery unfolds and the suspense builds as the consequences of Jude’s decisions threaten to reveal everyone's deceptions, even her own.

Bluff offers a sensitive look at essential questions such as the value of human life, the consciousness of those in a coma and the morality of terminating life support. At the core is the story of a tragically misunderstood woman who finds peace, acceptance, understanding and even love on her deathbed.

Research in the making of Bluff 

- Guest Post by Lenore Skomal

Like most novelists, I believe having a great story line is the best place to start but it certainly doesn’t make the novel complete. For BLUFF, a story about a 40-year old coma pregnant coma patient teetering on death, the plot needed to be vetted by medical professionals. I knew this going into the writing and thankfully my skills as a journalist came into play.

It was absolutely essential for me to interview trauma surgeons, palliative care physicians, ICU nurses, pediatric care physicians, rape counselors as well as hospital administrative staff in order to get the most authentic information to provide the bones of what would be the storyline.

My goal was for the reader to feel the stress of the E.R. to hear the way doctors really talk to and about patients, to taste and smell the sights and sounds of the ICU and to experience the time warp that only hospitals create.

Toward that end, I made sure to interview those who are in those situations each day. And while none of them had to deal with a pregnant coma patient, they all took great care to put themselves in that hypothetical situation.

Because of my parent’s deaths—both of whom died in hospitals after long term illnesses—I had my own perceptions about the linoleum floored halls and protocol, which I drew from liberally. But there were large gaps in terms of the medical handling of having my protagonist, Jude, fall from a cliff and end up in a coma. In order to reconstruct the accident and the resulting injuries, I had long discussions with a trauma surgeon. The exactitude was important to me, not only as an author but also as a former journalist. After all, I was asking a lot of my readers, in terms of taking a leap of faith when it came to accepting the seemingly highly implausible premise of the narrative coming from a coma patient. Having an accurate and reliable description of detail, starting with her fall and proceeding through the time spent in the hospital was essential for several reasons.

First and foremost, it added much needed credibility. I didn’t want to lose my readers, especially those who were sticklers for precise details. (I also didn’t want to bore the snot out of them, so I edited these parts continually to streamline yet not gut them.)

As a writer, I know how easy it is for someone to get derailed because something in the story doesn’t smack real. I also believe that with authenticity comes the stability of boundaries. The reader can trust me because I am not just making up crap in my head and trying to slam it down their throat. They can feel safe with my storyline because it is believable, it is real, and that’s where the trust comes from.

And in the end, I do believe we have a responsibility to maintain that trust with our readers, or run the risk of losing them for good.


Lenore Skomal is the author of the recently released novel Bluff. As an author, Lenore wants you to eat her books. She wants you to chew them in your teeth, savor them on your tongue, breathe them in, and feel her words in your skin. Her passionate desire is to touch your heart, inspire you, and luxuriate in the world of the written word. Winner of multiple awards for blogging, literature, biography and humor, Lenore Skomal’s catalogue spans many genres. With 30 years of writing experience, over 17 books published and a daily blog, the consistent themes in her work are the big issues the human experience and adding depth and voice to the intricacies involved in living a multi-dimensional existence.


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  1. sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks, Vidya, for allowing me to guest post! I love your site! You're the best.
    Lenore Skomal


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