I'm excited. My writer friend Edith Parzefall just released her second novel, Crumple Zone, a story of psychological suspense published by MuseItUp that has cultural clash--quite literally--at its center. And you know how culture clashes make me all warm and fuzzy inside...
Oh, and the story was inspired by a real accident--one with Edith in it. I thought you might want to hear it from Edith herself.
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My psychological suspense Crumple Zone was inspired by an accident while my partner and I were traveling through Chile. The rented Nissan X-Trail offered just enough crumple zone for us to step out of the wreck uninjured, only bruised and battered.
Of course, I needed to write about the experience and the actual accident offered inspiring symbolic elements: X-Trail, an intersection, two vehicles heading in the same direction, stopped at a crossroads by a liquid gas truck pulling in from the left. A shove in the right direction, one might think, but at first the two drivers were only stalled.
Since the story is set on the continent where magical realism is a literary genre more wide-spread than anywhere else in the world, I wanted to play with two extremes, magical realism represented by my Chilean trucker Enrique and scientific disenchantment embodied by my American workaholic Lara.
While Enrique imagines his wife by his side as he drives his rig along Ruta 5 through the Atacama Desert, Lara just lost her job and flies to Chile to avoid dealing with her personal problems. She studied biology, but like so many ended up working in IT. Nevertheless, what she learned writing her thesis on brain chemistry still determines her outlook on life and love. She thinks of human emotions in terms of neurotransmitters running amok. Still, the flowering desert might be promise of hope for her.
As the story unfolds, Enrique resembles more and more Don Quixote while Lara experiences her temporary exile as a challenge of her convictions. When these two collide, they must risk a glimpse at reality, blinking, peering through half-closed eyes, before they can face life with eyes wide open. The cultural contrasts blur as they lean on each other to emerge from the desert.
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When Chilean trucker Enrique bumps into jobless workaholic Lara, he thwarts her flight from life and his escape from reality.
To read the opening, check out Amazon's Look Inside feature or go to the publisher's book page for a different excerpt.
Edith studied literature and linguistics in Germany and the U.S.. She worked as a technical writer and editor before moving on to people management at an IT company--the attraction lay in added career challenges and--of course--more traveling opportunities. Today she writes and edits full-time, but somehow manages to keep a respectable amount of traveling in the mix.
For more information about Edith and her novels, check out:Her blog
Her Facebook page
For more photos of her Chile trip, go to: