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“Empathy is the antidote to everything” when sparking a movement: an interview with authors Sara Connell & Lorraine Devon Wilke
PODCAST: A Conversation About Fiction, Culture, Stories, Imagination & The Alchemy of Noise w/ The Three Tomatoes
“As part of my series about “How to write a book that sparks a movement” I had the great pleasure of interviewing Lorraine Devon Wilke…”
EDITOR’S PICK, LITRO #174: FREEDOM: ALL THE FREEDOM PRIVILEGE ALLOWS by Lorraine Devon Wilke
PRAISE FOR THE ALCHEMY OF NOISE:
“Part awakening, part trial by fire, The Alchemy of Noise is a timely social novel that unfolds with tenderness and cruelty. A story on fresh beginnings marred by police brutality, The Alchemy of Noise tests the limits of love. Lorraine Devon Wilke’s sharp interracial romance strikes at the heart of contemporary race issues with thoughtful, vulnerable characters who excavate their own beliefs to reaffirm what’s worth fighting for… Between its heartfelt message for allies and its cautious navigation of what it’s like to be made a target, a profound optimism emerges. Love can’t solve everything for Sidonie and Chris, but it continually encircles them.”
10 of the Most Anticipated Books to Make Time for in 2019:
“An impactful story about race, equality and love, The Alchemy of Noise has quickly become a highly-buzzed-about read in the vast community of female writers.”
“Wilke’s rewarding novel (after Hysterical Love) follows the relationship between a black sound engineer and the white manager of the club where he works. … When Chris is arrested for criminal trespassing and resisting arrest, and brutally beaten by police, Sidonie supports him as he decides whether to go to trial or take a plea deal. But the possibility that he may be implicated in another, more serious crime causes a fracture in their relationship that may be irreparable. Wilke’s story will satisfy readers with its emotional depth and strong characters, making for a memorable novel.”
“Wilke’s prose is cautious and empathetic, probing at the edges of politeness, taboo, and uncomfortable truth …the directness and openness with which the author explores the topic, as well as its continuing relevance, make this a novel that will still read as daring to many.”
12 Can’t-Miss Books by Women to Read This Year:
“In this devastating and touching new novel from Lorraine Devon Wilke, two unlikely lovers find themselves in the middle of a corrupt investigation that will change their lives forever. Chris is a black sound engineer and when his path crosses with Sidonie, a white and successful venue manager, the two quickly fall into a whirlwind love affair. But everything suddenly changes when Chris is arrested and charged with horrific crimes that will show the young couple just how wicked the world can be.”
“I absolutely loved this book, and found myself engrossed in their story and journey. I felt a somewhat deep connection with Sid and Chris’ characters. The story is just heart wrenching – I really couldn’t put the book down, and it will stay haunting me for a long time to come. If you haven’t yet read this – it must be next on your TBR!”
“This book. Stop what you are doing. And read this book. It’s heartbreaking, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s daring in the most important way… This book haunts me – but it’s a good thing. I cannot stop thinking about it. I feel as if Sidonie and Chris are real people, and in a way, they are – as the gut-wrenching brutality, tension, and racism is entirely plausible in this day and age… I loved every minute of this story.”
“This is not a run-of-the-mill love story. But Lorraine Devon Wilke is not a run-of-the-mill writer. The Alchemy of Noise, a powerful interracial romance with rich, cinematic quality, is gritty, clever and superbly crafted, sustaining a gut-wrenching level of tension until the final page.” ~ Jane Davis, author of Smash All the Windows and seven other titles; winner of the Daily Mail First Novel Award.
“Every character was authentic. Sidonie and Chris have great depth; they’re real-life people, and I wanted them to overcome, for their love to prevail. The plot line was great as well. The microaggressions, the hidden and overt racism, the passive-aggressive low-key racism—it was all in there, all very plausible and realistic. The book is a sort of Racism 101, an eye-opener for allies.” ~ Regina McRae, BLM activist, award-winning baker/owner of NYC bakery, Grandma’s Secrets, and author of Taking the Cake, Your Ultimate Cake Guide
“Beautifully written, perfectly balanced, and evenly paced, The Alchemy of Noise, Devon Wilke’s story of love, redemption, and racial conflict in the shadow of contemporary urban America, is a tour-de-force from an author at the top of her game.” ~ Mark Barry, author of The Night Porterand Carla
“A powerful novel that wraps the love story of a mixed-race couple in a ‘ripped from the headlines’ narrative, The Alchemy of Noise is alternately touching, painful, sweet, and enraging. With its exploration of race and privilege, and stunning, unexpected plot twists, it demands your attention from beginning to end.” ~ Susie Singer Carter, award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter (My Mom & the Girl and Soul Surfer)
“Reading this combination love story and page-turning legal drama, I was particularly moved by the exploration of the psychological and emotional impacts of racism on each of the characters. The Alchemy of Noise dives into those issues in new, unexamined ways, and as a professional working in the field of PTSD and family trauma, I found that element to be a powerful and authentic driver of this very topical story.” ~ Nancy Locke Capers, writer/producer, licensed psychotherapist
“Infused with beauty, humor and pain, The Alchemy of Noise is a modern American love story that asks if love can bridge the distance between two Americas. Author Lorraine Devon Wilke writes with authenticity, insight, sensitivity. Her characters Sidonie and Chris (and the loved ones in their orbit) stayed with me like old friends whose success I am rooting for, but is in no way guaranteed in a world where skin color may be destiny.” ~ Laura Nicole Diamond, author of Shelter Us and Deliver Me
“The story of Sidonie, a white woman, and Chris, a black man, is a well-written and compelling tale of love that offers a glimpse into the unique experiences couples face in interracial relationships. When allegations of criminal activity are lodged against Chris, the two are forced into a confusing and frightening reality which shakes them to their very cores. The Alchemy of Noise is an intense emotional journey, and Wilke masterfully guides us through it with laughter, tears, and thought-provoking insight.” ~ Kimberley A. Johnson, author of Peyton’s Choice and The Virgin Diaries
“The Alchemy of Noise is an honest, empathetic, and powerful look at racial tensions in modern America, explored through one interracial couple’s burgeoning relationship—and how it plays on the concerns and assumptions of their friends and families. The writing is excellent, the characters full and real and conflicted—just like life.” ~ Laurie Boris, author of The Call, a Baseball Novel and A Sudden Gust of Gravity
“Lorraine Devon Wilke’s The Alchemy of Noise includes brushstrokes of nightlife, music, the club world; true-ringing elements that too often in the lit-game are swung at and missed. Her portrait of Chicago as a representation of contemporary urban culture is so vivid it stands as a character all its own.” ~ Junior Burke, author of A Thousand Eyes and Something Gorgeous
Published 2.8.19 by Book Trib:
We live in a time when history is made by Tweets, when what happens there can instantly be known here. A time when anyone with a digital device can express views, publish opinions, or comment on news within moments of it unfolding, making the (somewhat dated) concept of “information superhighway” never more accurate…or glutted.
We want to be informed, we want to keep our awareness sharp, or maybe we just want some good old chatty entertainment, but given the sheer volume of what comes at us daily, it seems truth—and its ripple effects of impact, inspiration and illumination—often gets lost in the shuffle.
Yet truth is conveyed in many more ways than just news and social media, in just non-fiction tomes and memoirs of note. In fact, some of our most poignant cultural truths have been discovered and disseminated through stories, through imagination…through fiction.
The Alchemy of Noise
THE ALCHEMY OF NOISE Selected For Its First ‘Best Of’ Reading List by The Spirited Woman
With my third novel, THE ALCHEMY OF NOISE, I have been very fortunate to not only connect with a great publisher, She Writes Press, but to have found an enthusiastic team of early readers and supporters who are helping get the word out early.
Even four months before my 4.9.19 pub date, I was thrilled to be selected for this, Alchemy’s first, “recommended” list.
Lots of great titles are keeping me company, so be sure to check them all out! Click HERE.
Thank you, Nancy Mills and The Spirited Woman!
Posted December 16, 2018
Music News: SIXTH & THIRD… Another House Concert!
With everyone in town for the summer, Sixth & Third is performing another House Concert at The Pelham House in Beachwood Canyon, Hollywood Hills, on August 26th.
A project spearheaded by my brother, acclaimed actor, Tom Amandes, the band features me on vocals, nephew Ben Amandes on cello, guitar, and cajon, along with guitarist, Jeff Brown (a veteran member of earlier DEVON days), and Erik Krogh (from even earlier days with Lonnie & the Lugnutz!) on bass. We’ve put together an eclectic set of handpicked originals and select covers, and have won accolades for a show that’s both intimate and raucous.
Give a holler if you’re in Los Angeles and would like a seat at the House!
Photo by Meg Broz
Posted August 12, 2018
THE ALCHEMY OF NOISE: Cover Reveal
In the traditional publishing world (vs. the self-publishing world), it can take up to two years, from the time of signing until the time of publication, for a book to hit the market. So I was delighted when I was informed, as announced earlier, that my third novel will be released on April 9, 2019.
MOST exciting at this particular moment is the reveal of the official cover, which is as evocative and dramatic as the story:
If you’d like more info on the book (i.e., why that skyline is featured on the cover…), be sure to click the Coming Soon! page here on this site.
More as we go!
Posted June 8, 2018
In Screenplay News: A Minor Rebellion Moves Another Step Up The ScreenCraft Ladder…
“The scripts listed below comprise the semifinalists of the 5th annual ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship, representing approximately the top 10% of submissions received.” Announcing the 5th Annual ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship Semifinalists
And with that announcement, A Minor Rebellion takes another step forward in the Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowship contest…. more to come!
Posted May 19, 2018
Was informed today that A Minor Rebellion did not make the last cut to the “Finalist” category, so the journey with this competition ends here. Still great to get as far as it did and we soldier on!
Posted June 8, 2018
A Minor Rebellion Receives Another Honor
Just found out A Minor Rebellion (the same screenplay that was just “officially selected” at the BH Film Festival) made the QuarterFinalist cut for the 5th Annual ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship. Delightful to be culled out of over 2000 screenplays, so we’ll see how far we with get with this go-around.
You never know: perhaps with enough critical mass, this project will actually get made…wouldn’t that be swell? 🙂
Posted April 18, 2018
An Invitation To a Film Festival… the Beverly Hills Film Festival
Look at the gold box in the top-right corner of the screenshot below. Note the text highlighted by the amber oval… go ahead; I’ll wait until you enlarge the image enough to read those impossibly tiny words.
What’d you see? Yep:
Title: A MINOR REBELLION
Writer: Lorraine Devon Wilke
This, to the uninitiated, is the official announcement alerting the public that my screenplay has been designated a “2018 SCREENPLAY OFFICIAL SELECTION” for the 18th Annual Beverly Hills Film Festival.
Yippidity do dah day!
Though, frankly, I have no idea what that actually means or what might ultimately come of such an assignation. None. But, hey, in a world and business where far too little of one’s work ever gets anywhere, much less “selected” for the film festival of one of the most prestigious cities in the world, one doesn’t shake a damn stick at that sorta thing!
Unless plans change, I won’t be attending the resplendent Awards Ceremony at the Sofitel Hotel, so there’s no need to drag out my tiara or bemoan the fact that I look hideous in those fluffy red carpet type sleeveless gowns. There are a slew of interesting events and gatherings to which we’re given carte blanche, most scheduled at the iconic Hollywood landmarks of the Roosevelt Hotel and Grauman’s Chinese Theater, so that’s some fun stuff right there.
I get a big fancy badge, a free pass to everything besides the banquet, so I’ll see some movies, maybe sit in on a session or two (if you’re around Hollywood April 4th-8th and feel like festivalling it up with me, give me a holler!). But, to be honest, I don’t know what the Festival does with all these “selected screenplays,” or what might actually come of this honor. I don’t know if they have a cadre of skilled readers currently slamming through that hefty stack with an eye toward story arc and character development, focused on choosing whichever 120-page manifesto merits acknowledgement beyond “selection,” but whatever the protocol, it almost doesn’t matter.
Because, let’s face it: the reality of winning whatever it is someone might win in this vaunted scenario is miniscule, but still… how nice is it to submit your screenplay amongst thousands and actually have someone decide they like it enough to select it as a “selection”? That’s nice. It really is. So I’m thrilled.
For those wondering what the screenplay’s about, let me give you a short logline:
A former 80s rock singer is thrown back into her mysterious past when her boomeranging daughter secretly – and successfully – posts her old band’s music on the Internet.
Yep.. right there in my wheelhouse. 🙂
As you’d expect, it involves lots of music, 80s and otherwise; there’s a love story or two; it’s a good mix of humor and poignance, and the collection of characters involved would be a treat to see onscreen. So I hope the project garners some attention out of this honor; I hope it ultimately gets developed into a brilliant film, but I will be adapting it as my next novel either way, so no matter what happens, it has a life beyond this.
For now, I’m reveling in the fact that I can say “Beverly Hills Film Festival” and have it connect in some way to something I wrote. That does not happen every day.
Posted March 22, 2018
‘Fair warning… do NOT read this in public!’ – Latest Review of HYSTERICAL LOVE
“This is aptly named! This novel is HYSTERICAL! Fair warning….do not read this in public. There are places you will laugh out loud!”
I’ve always loved making people laugh… when it’s a book? Even better.
Click the link below for the latest review on Hysterical Love… and much thanks to Reeca Elliott @ “Reecaspieces” book blog!
“The characters in this tale are a hoot! I love the interaction between Dan and his sister, Lucy. True sibling interactions! And his mother….always wanting her dish back! 😂. But, my all time favorite is the tow truck driver! You have to read this to find out.”
To read full review: Hysterical Love by Lorraine Devon Wilke
Posted February 26, 2018
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