Stephanie Elliot on why she wrote her controversial novel, A Little Bit of Everything Lost

a-little-bit-of-everything-lost-e-reader-copyToday's guest: Stephanie Elliot Why we love her: She's the best. From supporting other authors on her Manic Mommy Reads & Reviews Facebook page to writing her own novels, she's a superstar.

Her latest: A Little Bit of Everything Lost

The scoop: At 19, Marnie plunged into first love with Joe, a guy who was completely wrong for her. Their romance was fast and exhilarating and like nothing Marnie had ever experienced or understood. Just as quickly as it began, it was over, with no explanation. He left her with unanswered questions and unexpected feelings of loss and regret, and a quiet grief she would carry with her for the next fifteen years.

When Joe returns, Marnie is a 34-year-old wife and mother to two rambunctious little boys, who is slowly healing from a devastating loss. All the emotions she suppressed from the past fifteen years surge to the surface, threatening to ruin her marriage and destroy her family. She'll need to confront the one person who hurt her the most to realize that love and loss sometimes go hand in hand… and that you have to live with some of your toughest choices for the rest of your life.

A Little Bit of Everything Lost is part coming-of-age/part love story. It's a story about a woman desperate to make peace with the past. It's for all women who have ever experienced the magnitude of first love, whether it was a lasting bond or a fleeting moment. Because first love - while it might not have been the best love - is a love none of us ever forgets.

What she's dishing on: Why she wrote her latest novel, which, in Stephanie's own words, has content that could be considered sensitive to readers.

Giveaway:  TWO e-copies. Just leave a comment to be entered to win. Contest closes on May 2 at 8am PST.

The Background Behind A Little Bit of Everything Lost

By Stephanie Elliot

When I began thinking about writing what would become A Little Bit of Everything Lost I was a stay-at-home mom to three very young children. I can tell you that I was bored and tired and thinking about all of the 'what-ifs' in life, and remembering what it was like to be free of responsibility back in college and not having a care in the world. I was also thinking back to someone that I had what I would refer to as a "not-really-real" relationship with, one that ended as quickly as it started, and one that ended without any resolve. It was one of those flingy type things that was never defined but left me shaken, for lack of a better description, someone that I never really understood, someone mysterious and elusive, and so I decided to write my own ending.

It turns out I didn't really write my story at all. I took very few pieces of the truth, and then found Marnie one day and created her story. In reading what other writers say about their books, I think many do this -- hear about something that happens in the real world, or they think about an incident in their own lives, and then they expand it into something larger. That's what I did with A Little Bit of Everything Lost. Marnie did have a relationship with Joe. So did I. But that's basically where the truths and similarities ended.

I wrote about some hard topics as well, and feared that it might put off some readers, which made me very apprehensive about putting this book on amazon. I wrote about these topics because I think women place a lot of blame on themselves for choices made when they are young and don't ever internally let go of the guilt they have. And while the past can't be undone, we should be able to understand that we are given choices because they are there for us to make.

I also wanted to show what it's like to be 19 again, to be so free in ourselves that we can do whatever we felt like, without thinking, and have those feelings and experiences. Everyone has a first love, and I feel that most women can relate to those first feelings of wanting to be with someone so desperately that we'd do anything to please that person, things we could never imagine in our whole lives doing. It's a universal feeling and I wanted to experiment with that so I didn't hold back in the writing of Joe and Marnie's relationship.

In Marnie's current state, at age 34, married with two crazy little boys, I wanted to show readers how it is for a lot of moms - the day-in and day-out of taking care of a family while a husband travels, how hard life can be. And what can happen when one person wants something that the other doesn't - how it can tear a family apart. These are the things that I wanted to explore in A Little Bit of Everything Lost.

What I hope that readers will take away from A Little Bit of Everything Lost is that we women are hard on ourselves, we make mistakes, we can forgive and let go of any guilt we may carry in our hearts from past or present mistakes in our lives (And Marnie makes a few!). And that no matter what someone's first love was like, whether it was fleeting moment, or a heartbreaking dramatic experience, or even if you're still with your first love, it's not something any one of us easily… or ever… forgets.

Thanks, Stephanie!