My debut novel, which will be released to the world in July of this year—seven months from now—has a cover. A real one. Which I happen to love and whose image I open onto my computer screen several times a day just to gaze at it. The existence of this picture stirs up so many emotions in me: satisfaction, disbelief, scream-it-from-the-hilltops joy. But also, as with any big life milestone, there’s a sense of wistfulness, a deep longing to share with my beloved parents.
Here is the cover of Embers on the Wind, to be released by Little A Books on July 5, 2022. Artwork by Micaela Alcaino.
My mother, an avid reader and educator, died in 2018. I am fortunate that she was alive for part of the time I was working on the book, and even read an early version of the short story which grew into the finished work.
But Dad died back in 1995, before I even owned anything resembling a laptop. I was writing long hand and then typing things up on his old Corona (prior to the word’s current connotation). He read and critiqued things I wrote, predicting that I would one day “blow the literary world away.” Dad always regarded my endeavors with a blustery confidence he denied his own work.
My father was a brilliant writer and storyteller. An astute interlocutor of history and politics, of ace and culture, art, literature, and music. But luck and time were often against him. A visual artist who was legally blind. A screen writer whose Hollywood contacts lagged behind his skill and ambitions.
But my father’s name, Mel Williamson, lives on in the flaps and copyright pages of countless books, including volumes by Jimmy Breslin, Nadine Gordimer, Saul Bellow, Grace Paley, and other 20th century Giants.
My father was the chief art director at Viking Press, both before and after it was “Viking Penguin,” long before it was an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Dad designed book covers. It was what he did for most of my childhood. And therefore, it is to him that I dedicate this announcement, with his memory that I celebrate this moment.
(3 Easy Steps which may or may not work for you) #WritersLife #2022debuts
Recently, I received an editorial letter that was beautiful, complimentary, insightful and inspiring. I couldn’t wait to plunge back into my book, tackling my editor’s suggestions, transforming the story into everything it needs to be. I spent two full weeks furiously rewriting, revising, recreating, even hatching a brand-new romantic subplot between two characters who’d barely met in the last version. While solving some minor plot holes, I discovered that my roster of characters included two Peters, a Westly AND a Wesley. Oh! And a woman who tearfully fled a room in Harlem not two paragraphs after lighting up a cigarette in Quebec. But I fixed it all. Got it in on the due date, awash with relief. But then, once the holy-shit-I-did-it euphoria faded, I was wordless.
You’ve felt this too, right? The crash after flying on literary adrenaline? Whether it was completing your NaNoWriMo draft, a huge revision for your agent or critique group, line edits for your editor, or polishing a masterpiece in time for the last submission day of an essay contest. You hit send. Only to find yourself devoid of language, unable to write another phrase.
What if nothing comes? What if that was it? Everyone experiences wordless days, even weeks. But knowing you’re in good company doesn’t make it any less unnerving.
While I don’t claim to have anything resembling a magic formula to end writers’ block, here’s what has worked for me.
Step 1. Acknowledge the rut and find some other way to feel a sense of purpose. If it’s not your non-writing work, clean out a closet, make banana cake, volunteer to help someone with something—anything.
Purpose is the first thing that shakes me out of my rut. I am fortunate that my day job, my profession as a psychotherapist, is all about other people and what they need. When my writer-brain goes blank, I still have a shrink-brain: wholly absorbed in my clients, their strengths, their struggles, pain, and victories.
(And no—in case anyone is wondering, I have never, will never, use my therapy clients for “material” in my fiction. Those are two separate plots of turf. That is a strict rule which I will never violate. Though I do believe that my ability to think through stories and motivation enhances my work as a therapist and vice versa.
That said, if I am writing non-fiction that involves mental health or my experience as a therapist, I might write about a client—just with permission and a disguised name.)
Having a therapy practice is a gift when I’m struggling to get back into my writing. Partly it’s the sense that there are other ways I can have an impact. Partly it’s a reminder that there is a world out there much bigger than my books, a world of real live people with complicated histories, emotions, and aspirations.
Step 2. Read. Fill up on other people’s words until yours start to flow again. To jumpstart my process, it always helps to read something by someone I respect.
Have you noticed that throughout this post I keep slipping into the 2nd person? Maybe because I just read a raw and powerful essay by Deesha Philyaw about writing about love—which happened to be second person voice. (Also, if you have not yet done so, please pick up a copy of her masterful The Secret Lives of Church Ladies.) Read and keep reading.
Check out my Instagram for recent books I’ve recommended.
Step 3. Look over the last paragraph of the last thing you wrote.
Open up a document with a writing project you’ve got going—full of words you once wrote (that was you, remember?). Read over a paragraph. If it needs some work—fix it up till you like it and take it from there. If it’s good, you’ll feel re-energized, maybe enough to add another sentence. And one more. And before you know it, you’ve got your momentum back.
Full disclosure: just now, between the above sentence and this one, I took a break and read over a chapter in a WIP I’d been working on before I got my editorial letter. I read the last paragraph and was inspired to fix it up a bit, to add a few sentences and then stop in a place where I’ll be excited to pick it up tomorrow.
Alternately, open up a blank document. Stare at the blank screen for a minute and then tell yourself you’re just going to play around with some thoughts, maybe write a quick post—something about how it feels to be wordless. Because even those words count, right? Better than nothing.
And onto the blank screen, force out some of the residual words which did not make it into your revision, or which got extracted from some old version of something you wrote somewhere. Free-floating, aimless words, looking to partner with one another and make a bit of meaning. There might be just a few of them, disconnected, but words nonetheless. And when you look over the no-longer-blank screen, possibly adjust the spacing, it looks like you’ve got the start of something. Maybe.
You know, I think writing this helped. I think I’m back now.
By now, I’ve shared this all over Facebook and Twitter, but I thought I would share it here as well. I have been writing fiction for years, including three (yes, THREE) unpublished novels, one of which landed me a literary agent, thank you!
But, while I’ve published a number of nonfiction essays and one scholarly piece, I’ve never succeeded in having my fiction published until now. At the very last minute, I entered my short story, “The Birthing Room,” into the Fall/Winter Short Fiction contest held by The Piltdown Review and the rest, as they say …
A huge Thank you to Bill Shunn, editor of The Piltdown Review, who was a pleasure to work with.
This story was inspired by my father-in-law’s home in Monterey, Massachusetts, which was a stop on the Underground Railroad. There was a legend that a freedom-seeking African American woman died in the house and that her spirit haunts it still. As the only woman of color who ever visited, possibly the only woman of color who had stayed in the house since the 19th Century, I always wondered about that spirit. Who was she? And what in the world would she make of me?
Guess what, guys? I have another story going live in Longreads tomorrow. I am so proud and honored to have my second work published by this amazing online journal. That said, to have this particular piece of work OUT there in the world, on the internet, where anyone–including my psychotherapy clients, including my kids–can read it, fills me with something between jitters and trepidation.
See, this one is not just a personal essay—it is a really, really, super-duper personal story—that I began in a workshop, inspired by a prompt, with no intention of publishing. Then, editor extraordinaire, Sari Botton, asked to publish it and I said “yes.”
It is the kind of story I read online all the time, admiring the writer’s courage and boldness to say something so private that so many of us can relate to. The difference is that I am a therapist, guardian of my clients’ deepest secrets. Yet here I am, sharing one of my own, hoping readers can connect, even if my experience is alien to them.
This is a story about my body; the story of a journey—actually, a few stories within a story that I am proud to share. Mothers and therapists are also human beings, with human flaws and human solutions.
My clients and kids may not want to read this. Then again, they might. That’s up to them. Either way, I share this personal tale with love, humor and humility.
Whether trivial: a click-bait suggestion about Kylie Jenner’s alleged pregnancy—or weighty: panic about an unaccounted-for friend in Puerto Rico, or gnawing uncertainty about my mother’s health—I am unable to regulate my concentration these days.
Even if I weren’t riveted to the news reports about hurricanes and earthquakes and wildfires striking close to the homes of people I care about, terrified that people who have not yet declared themselves SAFE are NOT SAFE—I would still be distracted right about now. (By the way, friends in disaster zones, please, if you have power, post to let me know if you’re okay. I will be on Facebook waiting until I hear that you are.)
Where was I? Right. Distraction.
Aside from the confluence of natural disasters that have absolutely nothing—no, of course not—to do with climate change—there are plenty of man-made ones on my mind too. Not the least of which is THE man, made about seventy-two years ago by Mr. and Mrs. Fred C. Trump. Whereas I once opened a newspaper or a magazine and read an entire article, I now click on, read a paragraph, lose patience with the information I am taking in—because I can tell within three words that the article isn’t going to conclude with the sentence, “So it turns out, the 2016 election was a total sham and we’re scheduling a do-over”—and click something else. Click, scan, click, scan, then click again. Check social media to see if anyone there has insights to sample before my fleeting focus shifts elsewhere.
And then, Facebook, my reliable friend, my chief brain-appropriator, lets me know at least once per day that the followers of Lisa W. Rosenberg haven’t heard from me for a while.
Dear Facebook. What would I do without you? Who would entice me with photos of my friends’ teenagers learning to drive, or the same teenagers turning sixteen, seventeen, juxtaposed with adorable baby photos of said teenagers—stirring in me the nostalgia to post baby photos of my own teenagers?
Who would cleverly draw me in and obliterate endless hours of my day, usurp acres of my mental space, while daily enhancing my skills of procrastination? My tolerance for dog videos? Impromptu math challenges? On-the-spot invitations to describe the president using one choice word?
Aside from all that’s going on in the world—natural and unnatural—I have my own personal preoccupations. I’m in the sandwich generation, with teenage children and an aging parent. My worry ranges from mild to catastrophic in proportion, but is always present.
Not at work. I’ve been a therapist for almost twenty years and I know how to be present with my clients, shutting off my own life when I’m in session. In fact, what I love most about my work is helping others to identify their own inner resources, master their own obstacles to fulfillment. In other words, helping them do what I’m currently struggling to do myself.
But I’m a writer as well—or so it says on my blog. I have an agent who believes in me, three novels and a book proposal—all at various stages of revision.
But my creative energy is sapped at the moment. I face this fact for my own mental health, just as I encourage my clients to face their own realities. Some things simply ARE. It’s best not to hide from them. It weighs on you to hide from them. So, with this statement, I shake off the guilt and shame of being a “writer who isn’t really writing right now” (except for my column and sometimes this blog). This is my “I forgive you, self” moment, that so many of us need and deserve.
So—I forgive you, Me! For focusing on your children, your mother, your clients, the news, your friends. And I encourage everyone reading this, everyone who has a Self that they’ve been judging for not being enough—in every way, at every minute—to forgive that Self as well.
I’m not suggesting checking out and binge-watching reruns of Friends or That Seventies Show. Forgiveness-of-Self doesn’t mean avoiding the stuff you have to do. I’m talking about finding a balance, however you can. Sometimes you’re extra-energized, well-rested, or at least hyper-caffeinated and ready to take on the world. Other times, you’re more vulnerable—tired, overwhelmed, overwrought by the news, preoccupied about the safety and health of loved ones. At times like that—and it’s a time like that for most people these days—you need to breathe. Be. And pace yourself
Forgive me O blogging muse, for it has been over two months since my last post. In the meantime, much has happened.
Our house, which suffered a terrible post-Hurricane Sandy fire is nearing the point where we will be able to move back into it. My children had an incredibly eventful summer, mostly in the form of day camps to which I sent them so I could finish my revision. And speaking of the revision, I don’t remember whether I mentioned it here or not. In any case, I was offered—not representation—but a “Revise and Resubmit” by an agent with incredible vision regarding my book. She gave me a ten page document on what I needed to change, so I spent the summer changing it. Exciting, yes, and downright scary, to essentially lop off the second half of your book and write it all anew. But it’s done-ish, not yet submitted, but in the hands of “beta readers” who have been reporting back bit by bit.
So that’s me. How are you?? Because, the thing is, I haven’t just not been blogging, I’ve also not been reading many blogs, and not commenting at all. It was hard to let go; I missed my fellow bloggers and was curious about what they were up to. But I know myself; once I start reading and commenting, it leads to more reading and more commenting and I often lack the discipline to stop and get back to work! It had to be all or nothing. So I gave myself permission, not just to step back, but to step out of the blogosphere altogether for a summer. As Jodi Aman noted in her guest blog several months ago, we all need to prioritize without second guessing ourselves.
And just yesterday, the inspiring Dahlia Adler did a post on time, specifically making time to write when it looks to the naked eye as if there is none. Working, writing mothers are known create time out of the ether. How do they do it? All too often my way of making time is to rely on the wee hours when everyone else is asleep. But when you’re parenting, working and trying to be a decent human being, when your life requires you to drive, or otherwise operate machinery, not sleeping can really backfire. So you find other things that can give for a while.
I have a friend whom I’ve known since college, who has always seemed to me an alchemist of time. At school, what she accomplished in a day, took others a month. She aced her courses, wrote plays, acted in them, participated in many student-run organizations, managed a relationship here and there, and taught herself to play the guitar. Really well, as a matter of fact. How did she do it? With a lot of creativity. Which is how she did everything.
Fast forward twenty-some-odd years: my friend is a successful corporate executive, managing a large staff. She is also the mother of two little girls. Spare time, needless to say, does not exist. Nevertheless, out of the ether, my friend has managed to publish a novel this year. Her first, but certainly not her last. I don’t know how she did it. But I do know that her creative side could not be silenced. Her imagination was too entwined with her identity to be forgotten. She had to do this.
(Spoiler alert: this very friend same friend, Louella Dizon San Juan, will be writing a guest blog later in the week!)
There are always things in your life that you can skip, at least temporarily, for the things that matter most. You might feel guilty at first, for not volunteering to be class parent this year, for dropping book group for a month or two. But in your heart, you know what you can’t sacrifice. Your family, for example. And the pieces of your identity that you hold most dear. If you are a writer, professional or aspiring, one of those pieces is writing. You have to do it. You just have to.
I’ve just had the honor of writing a guest post on my multitalented friend and fellow writer-blogger, Louella Dizon San Juan’s blog, Magic and Fantastic. Louella is one of the most multitalented people I know: working mother, businesswoman, playwright, author/illustrator and advocate for women and girls in math and science. Louella recently published her first middle grade novel, The Crowded Kingdom, which my son and I loved! (Available on Amazon).
I was thrilled when Louella asked me to write a post for her guest series: Reboot: Start Up Your Life Again. Owning the Gift, my first guest blog, is about the life-changing moment when I realized that writing was no hobby, but part of my identity.
Here’s a sneak peak:
Owning The Gift
“So you call yourself a writer?”
Am I a writer?
Without a doubt, though it took me years to say it so emphatically. Writing was always background music, my secret identity, like a private security blanket that accompanied me through my every incarnation.
I had the idea for this post a while ago, after reading a few articles about whether white writers have the “right” to write from the perspective of a black main character–see The Confessions of Nat Turner and The Help. Both books have been both widely admired and scathingly criticized for their respective authors handling of the “white author/black protagonist” problem. I have also read a number of blog posts and articles encouraging authors of YA fiction to diversify their books, including characters that reflect the mosaic of our nation. Justine Larbalestier, a white author and blogger, is so committed to this purpose that none of her main characters are white.
I agree that this is important, as long as it’s organic and feels natural. (As opposed to every non-white character being beautiful and/or noble.) And, I agree that the world American teens live in is not monochromatic; YA authors therefore need to show diversity in their work. As a non-white writer, I have the advantage here; white is not my default, I experience the world through a non-white lens. So, why is the protagonist of my first YA novel white?
I think when an author is black, we expect the protagonists to be black, the story line to deal with black themes. As a biracial author, shouldn’t I deal with racial identity somehow?
The fact is, I do and I have—in this blog, in the adult books I’ve yet to complete, as well as the adult novel I spent six years writing and three years submitting. Birch Wood Doll, which sits in my hard drive, awaiting a big revision, a WIP I refer to as The “Eddie” story, involving a guy with dissociative identity disorder, and Big, Black Woman Mad, the one I’m determined to finish a draft of by year’s end, all have protagonists who are mixed-race. The characters cope in various ways with being non-white in mostly white ballet companies, universities or families. What does it mean, for example, that your white birth mother chose to parent your white half-sibling, but placed you for adoption? These adult characters wear their races like coats that don’t quite fit.
For Second Company, however, my focus—like that of this blog—is on body image and identity, just not racial identity. Yes, there are non-white characters in Second Company. For example: Lynette, whose story is coming in a sequel. She gives a few hints that she’s struggled with difference as the only black girl in NYBT II, but Lynette is fortunate to have the ideal ballet body. She has therefore escaped the mistreatment her best friend, the novel’s female protagonist, Livia, suffers because of her weight.
Second Company started with my wish to write about the experience of being a member of an elite society—the ballet world—who barely fits in because of some difference. This was me back in 1989, when I joined Boston Ballet II, Boston Ballet’s own “second company.” How was I different from the rest of BB II?
*I had graduated from a four year college (I was keeping it secret, because back then, college was considered the death knell for an aspiring ballerina; ballet companies wanted you at seventeen, so they could mold you, intellectually as well as physically.)
*I was over twenty-one and lying about it. (Really, twenty-one was way too old not to be in a first company. I claimed I was nineteen and mostly pulled it off.)
*I was black (okay—biracial, with a fairly European body type, but still, the only woman of color in BB II. The one Greek girl who’d had a tan when the contract started had lost it by Nutcracker season.)
*I had real boobs. (In a world where a girl with a b-cup was considered top-heavy, I was a C-D. This disqualified me from being considered thin. I had a petite-enough frame; most costumes fit me with no problem, but people usually expressed uncensored surprise that I could get into small sizes. At 5’3” and 101 lbs., I was considered chunky.) Oh, I have a photograph:
Me in the center. Lying about my age, height, weight and cup size.
So—for review—I was “old,” over-educated, dark and curvaceous. Which of these differences do I write about now? Well, all of them, I think—just not all at once.
My adult novel, Birch Wood Doll was swamped with too much subject matter—biracial identity, eating disorders, the clash of socioeconomic classes, the collision of the dance and academic worlds. In Second Company, which I intend to be part of a series, I’ll take the issues one or two at a time. Livia may be white—Irish and Italian American–but she’s short and curvy-to-zaftig in a reed-thin ballet company. (Her twin brother Oliver, also white, is gay, dealing with homophobic Dad’s efforts to stop him from dancing.)
The ballet world isn’t—let’s face it—especially diverse. In a corps de ballet, the girls are supposed to look fairly interchangeable on stage. Standing out isn’t encouraged, but skin color is less likely to be held against you than weight, which is supposedly in your control. You are not judged for having dark skin (ok—we were all cautioned not to get tan before Swan Lake, and I will write a post about that one day). But gain weight and all bets are off.
There may be racism in the ballet world, but it’s quiet—an assumption here, a hushed comment there. Weightism, on the other hand, buttism, boobism, shortism—that stuff is expressed loudly, welcomed and condoned by those in charge. This is the difference I chose to tackle in my first YA book.
My (patient and supportive) followers know: if I’m neglecting this blog, it’s because I’m letting my other writing take center stage. Still I wanted to update my home page because I have some exciting entries coming up, including a guest blog and hopefully an author interview. Several of my fellow bloggers, Louella Dizon San Juan and Robyn Oyeniyi have recently self-pubbed and I have to say I am so proud of them and very much in awe. I’m also in the process of writing reviews for Amazon, which is a daunting task in itself! For my part, I’ve decided to hold out for now and go the traditional route, which means all (well, much) is riding on one teeny weeny little document that can make or break me. I mean, of course, my query letter. A query letter is your calling card to agents (one of whom will hopefully rep your book one day, and go on to find you a deal with a publisher). The most important part of your query is the plot summary, which you write to entice–just as the blurb on the back of your book will do for readers. It should be grabby–not gimicky–intriguing enough for an agent to ask for pages, and–according to various sources at the many, many query letter writing, and pitch prep seminars I’ve attended-NO MORE THAN TEN SENTENCES LONG.
Of course, your query letter is meaningless if your book isn’t done–really done. I have learned this the hard way. When I first wrote Birch Wood Doll, I struggled so much with the query letter; I just could not find a catchy way to summarize the plot in ten sentences. I revised my letter over and over, never satisfied that I had correctly portrayed my book while making it sound interesting. This, I have to say, was a red flag. The reason I struggled with my query letter, the reason it sounded like a different book each time ai rewrote it, was that Birch Wood Doll, though I had gotten to the end, was not finished. What was it even about? It didn’t know. I didn’t know. Sure, it was a biracial jewish girl with an eating disorder, torn between two men, struggling with dual identity, unresolved about her career in ballet versus her academic life at University. And her father is dead. And her grandmother threatens to disown her. And her friend falls off a building high on cocaine. And there’s this guy who whittles her a doll made of birch and … Yikes.
So I took the book back, whittled away myself, figured out what I was trying to say and finally … no I didn’t get it published, but I was able to come up with a heck of a pitch. No fewer than five agents asked for partial or full manuscripts when I attended the Pitch Slam at the 2012 Writer’s Digest Conference.
Just for fun, here’s my “Before” pitch for Birch Wood, followed by the “after” letter that worked for agents.
Birch Wood Doll (mainstream fiction,complete at 85,600 words), is the story of a biracial, bulimic ballerina’s search for self and true love.
Navigating two cultures, two divergent career paths, and two lovers, Amy, a biracial (black/white/Jewish) dancer, uses sex, cigarettes and starvation diets to cope with stress. Forced by her wealthy grandmother to give up a ballet contract and attend Princeton University, Amy meets and falls for two men: smooth, sexy Jack, also biracial, quick with a love song and access to cocaine—and sweet, noble Kole, a white, rural-bred, wood-whittling, football player who wears his heart on his sleeve. Over the next fourteen years, as her identity unfolds in the context of the love triangle, Amy learns—with the help of a symbolic doll made of birch—to let go of the past, trust her instincts, and find her own way to self-respect, wholeness and love.
Set in the 1980s and 1990s, Amy’s story is inspired by my own experiences as a Jewish, biracial dancer who took a leave from Princeton to join the Cincinnati Ballet, as well as by my own eating disorder struggle and recovery. Like Amy, I stopped dancing to become a clinical social worker and later hung out a shingle as a psychotherapist.
This wasn’t my first attempt at a pitch by any means (I’d be too embarrassed to share that) but, I think any agent who made it to the part about “over the next fourteen years …” probably checked out then. Now here’s my after-pitch, the one that more or less worked.
Birch Wood Doll, set in the 1980s and 1990s, is the story of a young, biracial ballet dancer’s search for self and true love. Amy loses half her racial identity at 10: she’s mixed but looks “any race,” her black father dies and her white mother’s family tries to erase his memory. Amy grows up searching for ways to define herself. At first it’s ballet; she’s a gifted dancer with a knack for self-starvation and a cool stone-face to rival Morticia Addams. Then—convinced she can only find herself when she finds love—Amy turns to men. When she’s forced to give up a ballet contract to attend Princeton, Amy falls for two male classmates who satisfy opposite needs. Jack is biracial too; he helps Amy rediscover her “lost black childhood.” Kole is a linebacker, generously proportioned, which gives Amy a nice break from her eating disordered mindset. Through college and beyond, Amy holds her position at the center of the love triangle, certain that either man could be the soul-mate who resolves her conflicts and heals her pain. The devastating, unexpected result of her choice will break Amy’s heart but ultimately teach her who she is and open the door to real adult love.
It turned out that none of the agents who went for my pitch wanted to represent Birch WoodDoll, but the book did wind up being a Nilsen Literary Prize finalist. Based on feedback the Nilsen people gave me, I now believe that Birch Wood is one last sweeping revision away from being really, truly done. I’ll get to it, but for now, I’m focused on my YA book, Second Company (formerly known as Twice the Dazzle) …
…which is, I now believe, really, truly done itself. Of course, a few months ago, I believed it was done, though I had not in fact heard back from all my beta readers. And because I couldn’t resist, because I just couldn’t wait—even though my query letter wasn’t perfect yet either–I queried a few agents. No big deal, querying before you’re ready, except that you may be wasting an agent’s limited time, as well as wasting opportunities for yourself. Those agents I queried before I was ready are agents that might be great for my book, but agents I can’t query again. Nor can I get away with querying other agents in their agencies. That’s considered bad form too. But you live and learn, sometimes the same lesson a few times over before you get it.
The good news is that my beta readers liked Second Company a lot (some said Love!) AND were really great about giving me fine-tuning suggestions. One more revision, another month of well-worth-it hard work. (Another tightening of the query, too.)
Now my query letter is good; my book is the best it can be (I believe). I have changed the title (on the advice of a well-published friend) as well as reordered my chapters, so it begins in the middle of the action, rather than with an emotionally introspective scene. You can read my new, improved first chapter here. So I am really ready. I’m also strong enough to say, bring on the rejections, because they’re not personal, because everyone gets them, and all you really need is one solid, enthusiastic “Yes!”
I’m reblogging this from fellow writer, Louella Dizon San Juan. On her blog, Louella (also a close friend and former college roommate) shares the details, as well as some fun photographs of our reading at Dewey’s Candy in Brooklyn. It was such a delightful event, in such a sweet setting! I read, listened, met some fascinating people–including the author, Karen Heuler, and agent, Brooks Sherman of FinePrint Literary– and also shopped for my kids’ Valentine’s Day candy!
We literally had a “fantastic” time at our Sugarplums and Fairies reading event at Dewey’s Candy on Thursday night, Feb. 7th.
Dewey’s Candy owner Alison (Dewey) Oblonsky and I thought that the combination of candy and fairies would be a natural crowd-pleasing event, so we decided to throw that party in the first week of February, in time for Valentine’s Day and as a book launch and platform for a few author friends and I.
We had 2 rounds of readings from Karen Heuler, Lisa W. Rosenberg, and myself, with ample opportunity for attendees (walk-ins) to purchase candy during our Candy Prelude, Candy-mission, and Candy Wrap-up.
During our Candy-mission and Candy Wrap-up Q&A, over Perrier and Prosecco (courtesy of our host, Alison!), queries centered on topics like, “What served as the inspiration behind your story?” and “How do you feel about traditional publishing vs. self-publishing?”