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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Accidental Art Thief by Joan Schweighardt

"The Accidental Art Thief is a well-written literary novel with complex, skillfully developed characters—ordinary people moving through life like ghosts, it seems at times. Their emotions are what makes this novel compelling. Themes of love, friendship, self-growth, and emotional survival interlace in this sometimes darkly humorous story. Elements of magical realism further deepen the tale, adding a light touch of the paranormal to the plot."- Mayra, Goodreads

Description:

Published: May 2017

For a quarter of a century forty-five-year-old Zinc has worked as a caretaker for a wealthy old man, living in a small casita on his ranch in New Mexico. She doesn't make much money, but she has the old man, her dogs, and gorgeous views of the mountains. She is basically a very content recluse who doesn't invest much time thinking about what she might do if her circumstances change. So when the old man dies suddenly, and his daughter all but throws her off the property, Zinc is forced to reinvent herself—and quickly. With a touch of magical realism and a collection of offbeat characters, The Accidental Art Thief explores the thin line between life and death and the universal forces that connect all things. 

"Zinc is an engaging, quirky, and utterly unique heroine, instantly likeable, with a hefty mixture of strong intelligence and overwhelming naivety…. While the novel is realistic, there is subtle magic woven in nearly every line, as coincidence and confusion come together into what might be termed the wisdom of time, spirit, and love." ~ Magdelena Ball, CompulsiveReader.com, author of Sublime Planet, Black Cow, and other titles.

"Schweighardt populates her modern-day odyssey through the southwest with fascinating, quirky characters thrust into a complex (and hilarious) web of emotional turmoil, poignant misperceptions, and downright lies. As laugh-out-loud funny as it is thought provoking." ~ Julie Mars, author of the memoir A Month of Sundays: Searching for the Spirit and My Sister, and the novels Rust, Anybody Any Minute, and The Secret Keepers.

"A sensitive, gripping, artfully rendered novel that kept me reading from the first page to the last." ~ Faye Rapoport DesPres, author of the memoir-in-essays Message from a Blue Jay.

DISCOVER THIS AUTHOR:
Describe your book 
The Accidental Art Thief is about a forty-five-year-old woman, Zinc, who has worked for many years as a caretaker for a wealthy old man, living in a small casita on his ranch in New Mexico. She doesn't make much money, but she has the old man, her dogs, and gorgeous views of the mountains. She is basically a very content recluse who doesn't invest much time thinking about what she might do if circumstances change. So when the old man dies suddenly, and his daughter all but throws her off the property, Zinc is forced to reinvent herself—and quickly. 

What inspired you to write this book? 
A number of years ago I sent an email to a friend of mine, but because I misspelled her email address, it actually landed in a stranger’s inbox. The stranger and I discovered we had a lot in common and we became great friends for a while. My protagonist has the same thing happen; an email she intends for one person winds up in someone else’s possession. That’s the end of the similarity. But my reinterpretation of the experience became the nucleus for the novel, with all kinds of other events clustering around it. 

What are some of your pet peeves? 
We have lots of wonderful bike/walking paths in the city of Albuquerque where I live. Walkers, runners and bike riders can get almost anywhere without ever having to go out on the roads. I myself use the paths for both walking my dog and riding my bike. One of my pet peeves is that a lot of people who bypass me on their bikes don’t bother to shout out, On your left, or On your right, and if you are a daydreamer like me, it can scare the hell out of you when someone goes whizzing by on such a narrow path without any warning… not to mention it puts my lovely dog in jeopardy. I’ve tried hard not to let any of my characters take on any of my pet peeves, but I admit the character Sonie in The Accidental Art Thief has a serious problem with people who fly by her on their bikes. 

What do you hope readers will get from your book? 
I will be thrilled if readers walk away feeling highly entertained. The book deals with the plight of the protagonist, Zinc, who gets thrown out of the only home she has known for the last 25 years in the first chapter, and the plight of Marge, the woman responsible for throwing her out. Their trajectories crisscross throughout the book, and ultimately impact one another. The plot line is humorous, maybe even a little zany. On the more subtle level the book touches on themes of betrayal, forgiveness, isolation, self reliance, how we think about money in today’s day and age, and the thin line between life and death. So there’s a lot going on, but it doesn’t feel “heavy.” 

About the author:
Joan Schweighardt is the author of five novels, and more on the way. In addition to her own writing projects, she writes, ghostwrites, and edits for individuals and corporations. 

Author's Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

3 comments:

KATE SARSFIELD said...

I adore the cover - would look gorgeous as a large print!

Stephanie LaPlante said...

The title and cover are very intriguing.

Wendy Hutton said...

thanks for sharing the book sounds very interesting