Summer Festival Was Festive…

ImageLast Sunday was an excellent experience at Appletree Books at the Cedar Fairmount Summer Festival. Jane Kessler and staff were graciously wonderful and I met 2 other first-time authors with great first-time novels: Patricia Averbach (Painting Bridges) and Abby Vandiver (In the Beginning). And, of course, I was there with Branches. We talked to a lot of interesting people, sold and signed a few books and managed to have some meaningful exchanges with each other.

We all took different paths to publish our novels: Pat went the traditional route with a small publishing house. Abby took the bull by the horns and started her own publishing company and I self-published with Amazon’s CreateSpace. But we find ourselves pretty much at the same place trying to accomplish the same thing: trying to do self-promotion with varying degrees of knowledge and support.

Naturally, I recommend Branches to you if you haven’t already been fortunate enough to read it but I also recommend Painting Bridges and In the Beginning. I haven’t had a chance to read from beginning to end but a quick scan of each has been very rewarding. I look forward to spending some quality time with each.

Lots of good things are happening in addition to promoting Branches including finishing the editing of Lake Effect and having my great niece, Sydney, design the cover for it. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. But I’m not complaining…

Return visit to book club “a great evening”

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Parents' Book Club at Boulevard Elementary School

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Parents’ Book Club at Boulevard Elementary School

Branches, Angela and I had a great evening at the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Parents’ Book Club at Boulevard Elementary School. We initially met them on Feb 25 when they each got a copy of the book from the group organizer, Jane Harris. At that time, I promised I’d return after they read the book.

Tonight there were 12-15 of us and it was a lively discussion with everyone talking about the book and sharing their own stories of family secrets. I know my being there may have influenced their critiques but they said they loved the story, the characters and the writing. Their warmth and enthusiasm seemed genuine and I was truly honored. One of the ladies has shared the book with her sister in Columbus and asked if I would consider going there to discuss the book with her reading club. So Branches is branching out and I couldn’t be happier.

Branches not advancing to contest finals

crynDid you ever hear an Academy Award loser say they were just honored to be nominated? Well, it is an honor but losing sucks nonetheless. So you guessed it–Branches didn’t get selected to go to the Quarter Finals in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. But all is good. I’m still happy I entered. I’m not a competitive person (sorta goes with my shy streak) so it was a good test of stamina to try for it. I’m with Branches for the long haul. I love it; believe in it and will pursue all possibilities for it. So hang in there with me; more good things to come.

CWRU Book Store to carry Branches

BRANCHES got a big surprise today (so I guess that means I did, too!). Got an email from the Case Western Book Store (a division of Barnes & Noble) saying they saw the Daily’s 5 Questions article and they were going to carry a copy of my book. Already had it on order. Was there a flash of light in your peripheral vision about 3:47 p.m. EDT? Nah, that was just my smile.


Interview to appear in Case Western’s The Daily

Today was another good day for BRANCHES: I was interviewed for The Daily, Case Western’s eNewsletter. Every Friday, they do a story called Q&A-5 Questions where they feature a faculty, staff or student profile. My interview plus my answers to 5 generic questions will possibly be in the March 8 edition. I had emailed the editor over a month ago to tell her about BRANCHES but only heard late last week that she was interested in doing the Q&A feature on it. I’ll post the interview when it goes live.