Category: blogging

A great month is in store!

FallMarigolds_final coverOn Tuesday, my first book with Penguin NAL, A FALL OF MARIGOLDS, will be released out into the world — always a wonderful, terrifying day. I love the characters in this book and I almost feel badly for what I put them through. Almost.  I am anxious about its debut, of course, and since I aim to please, I really want you all to like it.  It’s a dual time-periods story, like my last five have been, with the majority of the tale centering around a grieving nurse named Clara living at Ellis Island’s hospital in 1911. Her story is paired with that of a 9/11 widow named Taryn one hundred years later. The two never meet, but a scarf patterned in marigolds will bring them together in a way that I hope you find compelling.

To celebrate the release of A FALL OF MARIGOLDS, on Monday a blog tour will begin and which will continue throughout the month of February. The book and me will be featured on more than 50 blogs, more than half of which will participate in a drawing for some really cool stuff!

One winner from among all those who post a comment on the blogs will win the grand prize, which includes a beautiful up-cycled infinity scarf (made from Gift basket itemsa real vintage Indian sari), a signed copy of A FALL OF MARIGOLDS, a DVD copy of the PBS documentary Forgotten Ellis Island, and a $100 Visa gift card.  In addition, one winner from each individual blogger’s commenters will win a signed copy of the book. The grand prize winner from among all the participating blogs as well as the individual book winners will be chosen by random drawing. Comments must be posted by midnight Eastern on Feb 28. (The contest is limited to those residing in the United States.)

On Monday I will post the complete list of participating blogs so that you can begin the tour. Just hop over to the blogs each day and drop a comment in the comment section (just one comment per blog) and you’re in the running. The content of the blog tour (the question and and answer part) will likely be the same from blog to blog, but the blogs themselves are all different, and hosted by gifted people whom I hope you will get to know and want to revisit in the future.  Plus you will want to check back with them to see if you are the individual winner of a signed copy of A FALL OF MARIGOLDS — there will be a winner of a book on every blog!

I am so looking forward to hearing from you in the weeks and months ahead. I love hearing back from you, even if you DON’T like a book I’ve written. It actually helps to hear why, for I very much want to make your reading time memorable. Hope to see you along for the ride this month!

What if I say something brilliant

Every now and then I pop over to Technorati to get a read on the pulse of my web presence. It’s a vanity thing. Like Googling my name. I tell myself I do this to see how my books are doing. But in truth I want to know if anyone really knows who I am. It can be a humbling experience. Or enlightening one. I don’t do it very often.

Anyway, there is a a quote from Matt Nolastname on the Technorati homepage that always makes me smile. It also kept me from creating my own blog for many, many moons. “71 million blogs . . . Some of them have to be good.” Perhaps you can see why I smile. And cringe. When I went live with Edgewise last week, the blogosphere went from 71,000,000 blogs to 71,000,001. There’s a touch of the absurdly funny there.

The world truly does not need another blog. This was my mantra all those months (okay, more like a couple years) while I read friends’ blogs and posted on friends’ blogs. The world does not need another new blog and I don’t need to have another child. What can I say that hasn’t been said before? Or will be said tomorrow?

Okay, stop right there. If I really believed that, I wouldn’t be writing books. Certainly not fiction. There are no new stories, only new ways of telling old tales. Every story has been told before. The remarkable task of the novelist is to discover new words to describe old plots. What can I say that hasn’t been said before is the wrong question to ask. The right question begins with the word how. How can I say what has already been said before? How can I reinvent Cinderella or Moby Dick or Tale of Two Cities? How can I tell a tale of redemption or quest or sacrifice using old words in new ways?

If there’s no way to to do this, then the world doesn’t need another new book, either. May it never be.

So. The truth is I finally realized I can live with knowing I am a just a voice among a million voices. How did I realize that? Because I am already doing it. With books.

And my other fear? That other thing that kept me from creating my own blog all those months? The fear that I would actually say something brilliant and no one would read it or, dare I say it, pay for it?

Let’s just say delusions of grandeur keep my world an interesting place and provide fodder for the muse. They remind me who I am. Eventually.