Season 2 Episode 58: Elizabeth Gauffreau Reading Telling Sonny

“I am drawn to the inner lives of other people – what they care about, what they most desire, what causes them pain, what brings them joy. These inner lives become my characters.  I am here to share their stories.”  Elizabeth Gauffreau, Writer, Poet, Storyteller

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

Bookstores, libraries, and coffee shops are great places for book readings. There is something extraordinary about hearing the voice of an author reading their stories. Their voice and intonation are nuanced by the many hours of effort putting pen to paper.  They created the characters, structured the plot, and lived every twist and turn that introduced bumps in the storyline. 

Living in the reality of Covid-19, book readings at public libraries and bookstores have been curtailed.  We are learning to embrace technology in new ways.  Welcome to a new podcast series,  “Authors Reading their Books”, which will recreate the reading spaces in a virtual venue.  I invite you to put the kettle on and join the conversation on Tea Toast & Trivia. I am your host Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you.

I am thrilled to introduce Elizabeth Gauffreau, who has graciously agreed to be our guest author reading her novel, “Telling Sonny,” a story of a son who became an afterthought, told by a mother who had once loved the vaudeville show. Telling Sonny is available on Amazon.

Listeners, you would be interested to know that much of Elizabeth’s fiction is inspired by her family history, and lately she has developed an interest in writing about her family’s genealogy. Learn about her attempts to stick to the facts of her family history by visiting Elizabeth at http://genealogylizgauffreau.com.

Thank you for joining Elizabeth and me on Tea Toast & Trivia, Authors Reading Their Books. I invite you to meet up with Elizabeth on Goodreads.  You are only an internet click away from  her website lizgauffreau.com. It is a place where stories dwell. Until next time, stay safe, be well.

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45 Comments Add yours

  1. Timothy Price says:

    There’s nothing like family history to make great fiction. Dostoevsky used family and real life masterfully in his fiction. I’m love it when authors read their writings. Authors add wonderful dynamics when reading their own work.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am honoured that Liz shared these passages on TTT. I have been missing the readings at the library and bookstores. My mother, Frances, loved Dostoevsky! I confess that I have been intimidated! Thanks so much for your comments – you always make my day!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Timothy Price says:

        Dostoevsky is one of my all time favorite authors.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        Which book would your recommend that I read first?

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Timothy Price says:

        The Brothers Karamazov is fantastic. Also The Grande Inquisitor, which is a chapter in The Brothers Karamazov, is fantastic on its own if you want to get a sense of his writing. The Grande Inquisitor is available in PDF from various sites on the web.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Clanmother says:

        Found the Brothers Karamazov but still looking for The Grande Inquisitor. I love going on a book treasure hunt.

        Liked by 3 people

      5. Rebecca, you could start with some of Dostoyevsky’s short stories if you want to ease into his work. They’re available on Project Guttenberg.

        Liked by 3 people

      6. Clanmother says:

        On my 2021 list!!!

        Liked by 2 people

      7. Mary Jo Malo says:

        I enjoyed his novella “The Double.” Eerie.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Thank you, Timothy. I’ve written so much about my family history, it’s hard to tell now what actually happened and what I fictionalized. That’s not the case with Telling Sonny, however. I had a few basic facts with no way of ever learning the story, so I made one up to satisfy myself.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Timothy Price says:

        Taking a few basic facts and making up the rest can certainly make an interesting story.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. It can be fun, too!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. These are lovely readings. I have read and enjoyed this book so I know how it ends, but even so, the passages about Fabi’s train ride home made me feel overwhelmed with sadness. These words are even more overwhelming when heard read aloud. Thank you for sharing this podcast, Rebecca.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Oh Robbie, I was there when Fabi was walking up and down the aisles of the train. Like you, my heart went out to her – she was real to me. Liz has a marvelous reading voice that capture emotional nuances. I hope that Liz does more readings. Many thanks for adding to the conversation.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. My pleasure, I love this book.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I would love to do more readings!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Thank you so much for listening, Robbie! I do love reading my work aloud.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. PS, I realised I discovered your blog through Liz’s sharing of your original podcast interview with her.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. PPS I really like LIz’s writing style. I referred back to a few scenes from this book for inspiration when I was writing certain emotion filled scenes in my forthcoming novel, A Ghost and His Gold.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Oh, my goodness, what a compliment! I’m humbled.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. nickreeves says:

    Liz reads the words that show the story. Wonderful xo

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am so pleased that you listened in Nick! You said it so well – “Liz reads the words that show the story.” Thank you for joining the conversation – so very much appreciated.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. nickreeves says:

        Always a pleasure. You have a great podcast. xo

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Thank you for listening, Nick. I’m glad you enjoyed the reading.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. nickreeves says:

        You have a great reading voice, Liz.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Thank you, Nick.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Paul Andruss says:

    I am not one for using words lightly but this was truly beautiful.
    Boy, can Liz write.
    The strong authentic dialogue drew me into the first extract.There was a delicacy of touch and a bright innocence in the chatter. Liz’s writing is very nuanced. One of the outstanding things were the little light jokes within the banter. Enough to make you smile not enough to laugh out loud. I found myself thinking- this is how real people talk. In fiction a lot of conversations are constructs to progress the plot, this felt more like eavesdropping.
    The second section presents a total contrast. Here the fantastic attention to the descriptive detail of the landscapes, elements such as the false starts of the train, all build the weight of oppression hanging over Fabi. I felt a genuine sense of loss. Even though I really do not know what was lost – not having read the book.
    Liz, your voice is perfect by the way.
    This deserves to be a New York Times bestseller. One hears the words Great American Novel bandied around, if the rest is a good as these extracts I suspect you have one on your hands.
    And in case you are wondering: No, I am not being nice. Writing is to important to be nice. If I did not genuinely think what I said, I would have said very little. Magnificent work, Liz. wish you all success

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am delighted that you listened in, Paul. Thank you for adding depth and breath to this conversation. I felt that same genuine sense of loss, which came through in Liz’s voice. Liz has an excellent reading voice – she has a flexibility to change with the scene and evolving and underlying emotional currents. I enjoy our discussions, Paul – and there will be many more in 2021. We are on a grand journey.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Paul Andruss says:

        We are indeed, Rebecca.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. Thank you for your kind words, Paul. I’m deeply gratified and humbled.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Paul Andruss says:

        Liz they are not kind words, they are true and well deserved. Best Paul

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you, Paul. I do appreciate the affirmation.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Mary Jo Malo says:

    Yes, Rebecca, it’s really wonderful to have authors read their works for us. Liz’s story leaps off the pages, as they say, and into our hearts. Her generous sampling/teaser for us has prompted me to order Telling Sonny just moments ago. I can’t wait to receive my copy! (Of course it helps that she read out loud one of my family names. Talk about genealogy 🙂 )Liz is a very gifted writer, and no matter what genre she employs, she fulfills her mission to explore the inner lives of her characters. I’ve enjoyed reading her poems and short stories alike. Excellent podcast!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you, Mary Jo, for listening in. I have been missing visiting libraries and book stores. I find myself looking at photos of bookstore with their overflowing shelves and warm lighting. I am delighted that Liz shared passages from her book Telling Sonny. Her writing style is crisp and poignant, nuanced with emotional dynamics that create a compelling read. Thank you for you support and encouragement of Tea Toast & Trivia. Hugs and more hugs coming your way.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Thank you so much, Mary Jo! I hope that you enjoy Telling Sonny.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Mary Jo Malo says:

        Listening to your voice will enhance the experience!

        Liked by 3 people

  7. Dave Astor says:

    Liz, I am VERY impressed with the two excerpts from your “Telling Sonny” novel and the way you read them. Great characterization and dialogue, with the second excerpt packing a major and melancholy emotional wallop.

    Rebecca, you chose a really gifted writer to launch your “Authors Reading their Books” podcast series.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am honoured that Liz shared her excerpts on Tea Toast & Trivia. Her voice came through beautifully, didn’t it? And speaking of gifted writers – I’m hoping that you will join this august group. I miss library and bookstore visits dreadfully and the feeling of anticipation waiting for an author to start reading the words on the page. We continue to learn how to live within a virtual world, which has opened so many opportunities and possibilities to connect across the globe. Thank you for listening in!!! Always enjoy our conversations.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Thank you so much for listening and commenting, Dave! I’m glad you enjoyed the reading.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Darlene says:

    I enjoyed Liz’s reading. I agree, it is always great to hear the author read as they bring the character to life. Telling Sonny is a compelling story.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you, Darlene, for stopping by – so pleased that we have connected. Looking forward to the many conversations that are coming in a new year. All the very best!!!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Thank you for listening and commenting, Darlene! I’m so glad you enjoyed the reading.

      Liked by 3 people

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