When last I wrote about my upcoming brushes with fame (or at least notoriety), I failed to mention that I was interviewed over the phone on November 7 by Lauren Mosco for the 2007 edition of Novel and Short Story Writers Market. I’m going to be their featured New Author for the year. Once again, I have my publisher to thank for recommending me for this, my first really national exposure. Lauren asked me some interesting and enlightening questions, such as how did I gather the historic details used in the book, and what surprised me most about life in 1912 Oklahoma. She questioned me about my path to publication, and how I feel about being edited (I don’t take it personally). She wondered about some of the plot details in the book, and how I came up with them. The hardest questions of all for me to answer were, what did I hope the reader would take away from the book, and what did I learn about my craft during the creation and publication of my first novel. Lauren was a good interviewer, and it was a very pleasant experience for me. The 2007 edition of Novel and Short Story Writers’ Index will be on the shelves in August of 2006.
My publicity blitz for The Old Buzzard Had It Coming is winding down. I’ve done several simple bookstore signings at large Borders Books around Arizona. Most of those have been pretty slow – I’ll actually sell two to five books while I’m sitting there for two hours. The bookstore staff is usually quite friendly, but not very attentive. The most interesting part of these sit-and-sign things is talking to the occasional interested party who wants to ask you about the book and tell you about him- or herself. At one venue, I spent some time talking to an American Indian man about writing. He had joined a Christian writing group, but his mother was a Wiccan. He was an ex-Marine, and has several deaf people in his family. This is a man with lots to write about. At another store I spoke at length to a lovely Latvian-born woman who told me that she is divorced from an Italian, and had lived in and loved Italy. I told her about a trip to Italy I made with a girlfriend in 1969, where we were continualy harrassed by amorous Italian men. The Latvian lady said that’s why she’s divorced. When she complained about her husband’s womanizing to her mother-in-law, she told her that if a man didn’t have at least one lover, everyone would think him a sissy. She told me about an incident that occurred when she was in Berlin in 1945, and met a Frenchman in a restaurant. After they talked for awhile, he went to the piano and announced that he was going to play a song for his new friend, and then proceded to play and sing a beautiful piece for her in French. She was still taken by it all these years later. How many wonderful life stories are going to go unwritten!
I have an event coming up this Wednesday, November 30, at Changing Hands Bookstore here in Tempe. (see the events calendar for details). It’s called “Finding Our Voices”, and I’m going to be speaking along with two other women authors, Nancy E. Turner (These Is My Words and Sarah’s Quilt), and Barbara K. Levy (Mexican Strawberries). This should be very good, and I’m looking forward to it very much.