Having my celebrity moment and raising money for a good cause

Dear Authors, 

We are so excited that our Dinner with an Author Gala is just one week away, and even more excited that you’ll be there with us! The event is officially at capacity with 250 guests, and your gracious participation along with 26 other amazing authors is what will make it unique and so special.

Excitement was building for me as I read this email update on the Raising a Reader MA gala. I would be rubbing elbows with other authors, some with a major publishing house, others whose novels had been made into major motion pictures, Like Lisa Genova, author of Still Alice. When I arrived at the swank Newbury Hotel the following week, I was whisked to a reception area for cocktails and mingling. Photographers snapped our pictures and wait staff served us beverages of our choice along with creatively arranged hors d’oeuvres.

TV personality Liz Brunner and I had a lovely conversation about our local television news careers and her podcast. Jennifer De Leon and I agreed to strike a pose for the camera, her with her novel, Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From and me with The Talking Drum.

At the appointed time all of us authors took a group photo in front of the “step and repeat” like they do at the Oscars. While the photographer was setting up the shot, I reminded Lisa Genova that we had met years earlier when I was the president of the Women’s National Book Association Boston Chapter and she gave a reading at one of our events from Still Alice. She must have been in negotiations with Hollywood at the time because she mentioned that there was some “buzz” about her book but she wasn’t at liberty to get more specific.

By evening’s end, we had succeeded in helping to close the literacy opportunity gap among young children and their families in under-resourced communities across Massachusetts. More than $358,000 was raised!

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.