EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! I’m a literary debutante!

Printing Press

@TheDebutanteBall @ InannaPub #diversebooks #diverselit I am thrilled to report that I have been chosen for The Debutante Ball, a group blog for authors making their debut in the literary world. The blog is in its 12th season and celebrates 5 up-and-coming authors. Debutante Ball LogoFormer Debs include bestsellers in the genres of women’s fiction, mystery, literary fiction, nonfiction, young adult, and more. I’ll be blogging every week during the 2019-2020 season on a variety of literary topics, interviewing authors and hosting book giveaways as well as sharing exciting details about my big “dance” toward the publication of my novel, The Talking Drum, which is forthcoming from Inanna Publications in May 2020. The Debutante Ball was established in 2007. Check us out here.

Mark your calendar for the first-ever Women’s Fiction Day!

WOMENS FICTION DAY

June 8, 2019, marks the first Women’s Fiction Day. Sponsored by the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, the occasion is in celebration of women’s fiction authors, novels, publishers, booksellers, and most importantly, readers who appreciate women’s fiction and the power of a great story. As a fiction writer myself, I am very pleased by this news. Women’s fiction includes layered stories in which the plot is driven by the main character’s emotional journey. The stories can be contemporary or historical, and may have magical, mystery, thriller, romance, or other elements.

June 8th was chosen because it’s a celebratory month and many people enjoy summer reading. Summer signals a time to slow down, relax, visit a local library or bookstore, and discover new novels to experience during this beautiful season – and throughout the entire year.

Ways to Celebrate Women’s Fiction Day:

• Visit http://www.womensfictionwriters.org and subscribe to the free Read On! Newsletter where we’ll keep you up-to-date on new women’s fiction authors and titles. • Visit the WFWA shelf on Goodreads to find hundreds of titles.

• Visit your local library and/or bookstore to discover new authors and novels. • Follow WFWA on Twitter @WF_Writers or Instagram womensfictionwriters

• On social media, #bookstagram your favorite book and include a photo or stack

• Host or attend a women’s fiction book club event.

The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) was founded in 2013 and is now the premier organization for women’s fiction. The organization fosters an online community of inclusion and opportunity, and provides resources, professional development, networking, and support for aspiring, debut, and published women’s fiction authors, as well as industry professionals.

Win an autographed copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game!

InkwellBe the first person to correctly answer the following trivia questions about famous writers and I will send you an autographed copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game. Keep in mind that these are not your standard boilerplate publicist-vetted factoids about these writers. I dug a little deeper for this trivia quiz to expose the salacious, offensive, petty, and admirable side of those you’ve come to love and hate through their crafting of the written word.

Don’t be put off by these 10 questions! Researching the answers will be fun. Unlike scratch off tickets, the odds of you winning are very VERY good. That’s because very few people actually read my blog. So good luck. I look forward to hearing from you.

  1. Which 19th century writer continuously got his wife pregnant and then got mad at her when she was too tired to travel with him overseas on his lecture tour?
  2. Which writer, who in later years became famous during the Harlem Renaissance, strung along a high school romantic interest through letters for years with no intent of having a relationship with her?
  3. Which married 20th Century writer invited other women into his bed while his wife was in it, knowing that the wife would lie there in humiliation and pretend to be asleep?
  4. Which contemporary author spent much of his youth getting into bar brawls and street fights, partially because of his anger at his father, also an author?
  5. Which contemporary author spent much of his youth being raised by the regulars who frequented his neighborhood’s bar?
  6. During the 1800s this author helped a financially struggling African-American law student pay his tuition at one of the most prestigious universities in the country. The law student in later years mentored Thurgood Marshall, who later because U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
  7. This writer was tossed into jail repeatedly for what was called “The love that dare not speak its name”
  8. This writer was a college dropout who moved in with reclusive writer J.D. Salinger. The relationship ended when he announced to her that he didn’t want anymore children.
  9. This prolific writer’s relationship with prison inmates inspired the two novels that launched her career.
  10. Oprah seeks advice from this author and poet.

Writer by Day, Karaoke King by Night

KaraokeIt’s a Saturday night at independent bookstore Brookline Booksmith and the latest author event is about to begin. The chairs have been arranged. The book signing table has been set up. But before the author, Rob Sheffield, talks about his book, the people attending– in the order in which they signed up–grab a microphone, flip through a booklet of lyrics, and belt out their favorite tunes. Turn Around Bright Eyes, is Sheffield’s story of how he started a new life as a young widower spending nights in New York City karaoke bars. Karaoke played a big part in his emotional journey and led to him meeting his second wife. Karaoke also plays a big part in his book launch, getting readers to come to his events and plunk down the price of a Saturday night dinner to buy his book. 

It’s a clever marketing tool, taking a theme from your written work and making it a vehicle to generate sales. I’m sure plenty of karaoke lovers show up at his events who hadn’t heard of Sheffield before. Some of them probably don’t even read very much. What a great way to build an audience.Gone are the days when authors stood stiffly at podiums, wore drab, rumpled suits with elbow patches, or uninspired pantsuit and blouse/shirt combos to deliver flat presentations.

Authors and publishers are realizing that getting the buying public to pay attention, in this day of flashy video games and fast-paced social networking, requires creative thinking.Cookbook authors have been catching on lately. At Trident Booksellers and Café in Boston’s Back Bay, for example, the author of EATS: Enjoy All the Seconds, has a September 15th engagement to not only talk about her book, but to give a “free” cooking demonstration, billed as an event to ensure that readers will never be faced with tossing away the healthiest foods again. I doubt if all those in attendance, dining on balsamic strawberries and carrot and cumin fritters, will eat and run before making a pit stop at the cash register.This has me thinking.

My novel in progress features an African drummer. I’m making a mental note to book African drummers to do a demo or mini class when I eventually launch my book. I’m curious to know if anyone else has been to a nontraditional book event or hosted one. What other approaches are authors and publishers, and publicists using these days to get a reader’s attention?