Category Archives: Self Promotion

Who in This Room and Writerly Things

It’s been a while since I did a book related post, no? Oh, I guess it’s been a while since I did any post. That explains so much. Anyway, there are a few things on the calendar this spring.

THIS Friday, May 18th, which is incidentally my mother’s birthday and the anniversary of the Mt St Helens eruption, the Young Survival Coalition is putting on a very fancy event at the Pan Pacific Hotel downtown. It’s called Courage Night (rawr) and there will be four of us writer and breast cancer survivors reading and talking. And as if that weren’t enough, there will be appetizers including “boneless buffalo chicken bites” AND “fruit skewers.” What more could a girl want? Also a no host bar. There’s that too. It starts at 7:00 and you can find out more info and RSVP here.

In the hope of encouraging and helping others write their stories, I’ll be teaching a free writing class at Gilda’s Club in Seattle on June 28th. Anyone who has been affected by cancer can sign up, and really, I can’t imagine many people can say they haven’t been affected by cancer, so that means you, you can sign up if you want. Really, I’d love to see you. Or you can tell someone about it. You can find out more and RSVP here.

Hope to enjoy a fruit skewer with you on Friday!

PS – if you’ve read Who in This Room: The Realities of Cancer, Fish, and Demolition, I’d love for you to write a review on Goodreads or Amazon or Indiebound or the wall of a public bathroom, wherever you’d like.


How We’re Doing

Well, awesome. The readings at Elliott Bay Book Company, Village Books and Nordstrom all had strong attendance and book sales. The Bellevue Square Nordstrom is now selling the book in their lingerie department. I guess it’s kind of like buying a CD at Starbucks. Rumor is that the distributor is upping their order quantity and the publisher is burning through their stock. Thank you for buying copies, recommending it to your friends and spreading the word.

We’ve seen some great reviews and a little love from the online world. Here’s a recap:

Shelf Awareness for Readers, Featured, Starred Review – October 14, 2011

Shelf Awareness Book Brahmin Author Interview – October 12, 2011

The Next Family Blog Post – October 6, 2011

Coffee Jitters Blog Book Review – September 29, 2011

I’ve enjoyed getting your Who in This Room love notes on Facebook and in email. It’s been the best part of this whole experience. Some of you have asked how you can help. If you want to take these love notes and post them to your favorite book-review site, I’d promise to love you and care for you forever.

Since I’m asking for things… In the midst of all this book madness, Hysterical Mommy Network, Who in This Room’s neglected pet fish, is up for a Red Tricycle Totally Awesome Award. You can vote here. I’m late to this party and the contest ends the end of this month!

While you’re at the Red Tricycle site, you can pop over and vote for Josie and Little K in the Red Tricycle Spooktakular Pumpkin Photo Contest. We’re finalists!

Thank you! Love. Forever. You.


Shelf Awareness

I have a few questions for you…

  • What was your favorite book as a child?
  • Who are your top five favorite authors?
  • What book changed your life?

I’ve been asked to be the Book Brahmin, to answer a series of book-related questions, for an upcoming issue of Shelf Awareness. I love books. This should be easy.

But how ever will I choose? The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao! Refuge! Surely I’m overlooking something. Middlesex! I’ll send it off and realize that I’ve forgotten my favorite book of all time. Me Talk Pretty One Day! And then I will ask if it can really be my favorite book of all time if I had completely forgotten it. Sight Hound! These are the questions that keep me awake at night. OMG Cutting for Stone!

How would you answer? Or, how would you answer for me?

For those of you who don’t already know, Shelf Awareness is a newsletter about books and the book industry. They have two issues, one for trade professionals and a new one for readers. In the readers version, they write reviews and provide updates on books that are coming out that week. If you haven’t signed up for Shelf Awareness for Readers, you should. Right now they’re running a contest. You could win free stuff!

And just in case you’ve forgotten there are 55 days until Who in This Room: The Realities of Cancer, Fish and Demolition comes out.

Save the Kittens!

We were in Monterey a few weeks ago and one night there was a terrible thunder storm that shook the house and cut the power, at least that’s what I’ve been told. I have no recollection. All I remember from that night are my dreams.

In the first dream, a box of kittens had fallen from someone’s car and there were tiny kittens running all over the freeway. I was driving and suddenly trying not to hit the kittens or the people who were trying to save them. They were so tiny with eyes closed and their mewing mouths. So tiny! Don’t hit the kittens!

In the next dream I’d scored the lead role in a musical. I was wearing some kind of costume that may or may not have been made of paper mache, and I was about to go on stage without having practiced at all. Oh, and I’m tone deaf. There’s that too.

Anxiety anyone? Apparently I’m stressing about my upcoming readings and “author signing” events and wondering how we will keep a baby, a tiny little baby, from being run down by the speeding hatchback of life.

Lots of things are happening over here. Lots of good things. No news on the adoption front, sounds like the waits are longer than ever. BUT, it looks like I’m headed to New Orleans to party with 30,000 librarians at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference on June 25th. I’ll have an author signing and a hopefully do a reading at a bookstore while I’m there. If you know anyone in New Orleans, pass it on; let them know I’m coming. More details later…

The first version of advanced (rough draft) copies of Who in This Room: The Realities of Cancer, Fish and Demolition will be done on Friday. I can’t wait to hold it.

The and websites are under construction.

The launch party and reading dates are being finalized for October. I get sweaty palms just thinking about them. Save the kittens!

Finally, the lovely people at CALYX Books are making a video trailer for the book. What fun! Have you seen any book trailers that you really like? Any thoughts on what should be included?

PS – Save the kittens!

PSA: Small Publishers and Independent Booksellers

Before Who in This Room was picked up, I had a vague idea of why independent booksellers were important. Now I understand.

When Who in This Room made the rounds to the big publishing houses, I was told, over and over, that the writing was good, the story enjoyable but that it wouldn’t sell. In a few cases, the editors were in favor of the book, behind the book, but the process always got hung-up in the marketing department. They didn’t know how to sell the book and they weren’t willing to take the chance. Too risky, they said.

Finally, the book was presented to CALYX Books, a small press who has been discovering and publishing women writers for thirty-five years. They were the ones who believed the book would sell and decided to take a risk by publishing it. I am flattered and honored by their generosity. They publish two issues of their excellent literary journal and one book each year. That’s right, they publish one book a year. They take great pride in the work they do and they should, they do great work.

You know all those tables near the entries of the big chain bookstores, piled high with books, the latest, soon to be best sellers? Those spaces are all paid for. The big publishing houses purchase those spaces to push books they think will do well. You can be sure that Who in This Room will not occupy one of those spaces. CALYX Books simply can’t afford it.

The people who work in independent bookstores – Elliott Bay, Third Place, Powell’s, Village, Tattered Cover and many others – they actually read the books they sell. They read the books and they develop opinions; they make recommendations based on those opinions and upon what they hear from customers. They put books they like on tables and, sometimes, they put the books they like into customers’ hands. I am grateful for them and I am hopeful that some of them will put my book into yours.

PS – CALYX Books is always in need of donations. They are a 501c3 so your contribution is tax deductible. You can also support them by subscribing to their fantastic journal. One of the stories from Who in This Room will be featured in the next edition.

A Few Things I Love

I want to talk to you about Happy Hour, but first I know I’m not a design blog but I’m in love with this calendar and these advent calendars and this blog. I want to be her when I grow up.

I’m also in love with the Washington State Fairies. They’re emceeing a girl’s night out event called Happy Hour on Vashon this Saturday afternoon. Shauna James Ahern from the Gluten-free Girl will be there and so will Giyen Kim from Bacon is My Enemy. I’ll be there too. Reading um… Something… Not sure what… Ahem. Come, it should be a fun event. Say ‘hello’ I’d love to see you!