I've mentioned before that I love being in a community of writers, because it helps to inspire my own writing. So much has happened recently (or will be happening) for friends of mine that I thought I should take the time to recognize them in one post.
Starting with...Ms. Joan Price who spoke in January at a meeting of my writer's club. She was named "Best and Mightiest Aphrodite" AKA "mature and wrinkly sex kitten" by the Bohemian newspaper. Hopefully it'll help bring more people to read her blog and buy her lively and engaging book, Better than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty.
Ari Siletz, another guest who spoke at a meeting of our club, will be back in print soon. His wonderful book The Mullah with No Legs and Other Stories is being reprinted and should be available for purchase again soon. You should also check out his blog, he recently wrote a thoughtful review of the movie "300" and showed just how inaccurate it was from an historical perspective. I'll post again on this subject once the book is available.
My friend John Granger will be a featured presenter at a conference in June in Lancaster, California. I am hopeful that I will be able to attend, and be able to finally meet someone that I've corresponded with by email for the last four years. I recently received an autographed copy of his latest book which is Unlocking Harry Potter: Keys for the Serious Reader. I haven't had the chance to read it from cover to cover yet, but as always it is thought provoking because John provides insights regarding literary alchemy of which I am unfamiliar. Please check it out along with his other recent book, Who Killed Albus Dumbledore which is a collection of essays analyzing clues from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. If nothing else, please stop by his blog, Hogwarts Professor and check out some of his entries which allow for reader interaction with your thoughts and theories about the series.
Erika Mailman has a novel that has launched named A Woman of Ill Fame. It is through the eyes of a prostitute in San Francisco during the Gold Rush. She talks about the difficulties of researching and writing historical fiction in this posting on her blog. She has one more reading scheduled for her book which is next Wednesday, April 4th at Black Oak Books in Berkeley. After that, I think she'll be just waiting for her latest addition: a baby!
Then next September Erika has another book coming out in September titled The Witch's Trinity by Crown/Random House. It is about a medieval German woman accused of witchcraft. Another historical novel about a strong woman. Huzzah!
Now I'd like to share a funny story about both my friend Erika and another friend Lee Lofland. Erika and I first met at a writers conference in 2000 when we shared a room, and had asked the conference organizers to find us a roommate. We got along wonderfully. So much so that in 2004 we decided to room again together at the East of Eden Writers Conference. We hadn't seen each other in a long time, and were enjoying our chat trying to catch up with each other. I had wanted to go to a "night owls" session on Friday night because one sounded interesting. It was a police procedural question and answers session given by a retired homicide detective. Neither Erika nor I wrote mysteries, but you never know when a piece of information gleaned might come in handy.
Erika and I arrived late to the session because of our gabfest. I thought we could just sneak into the back of the room and not disturb anyone. WRONG. The room was set up so that the door was at the front. We walked in and saw a crowded room with no chairs and everyone facing us.
We slunk onto the floor at the front and tried not to be too embarrassed for arriving late and disrupting the proceedings. There were many questions Lee fielded with aplomb and then he was asked what he thought of "reality shows" such as "Cops." Lee grew disgusted and said that it was all fake, a pack of lies, etc. I was feeling a bit facetious, raised my hand and tried to sound as innocent as possible and asked:
"What about Reno 911?" (For those unfamiliar with the show, it's a comedy that spoofs shows like "Cops.")
Lee looked me directly in the eye and said, "That one's true. It's just like my old squad back in Virginia."
Then he laughed and began regaling tales about some of their personalities.
The next night I ran into Lee again, we chatted and laughed, exchanged cards and have corresponded ever since.
Lee's first book Police Procedure and Investigation: A Guide for Writers is due out in July from Writers Digest Books.
Another writer friend, and former guest speaker to my club is Jordan Rosenfeld also has a forthcoming book from Writers Digest. It is Make a Scene: Creating a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time, due out in November.
Jordan had created a radio show on KRCB our local public radio station entitled "Word by Word"where she interviewed authors. She moved away and there has not been a new show in quite a while. However, there will be a new host starting in April, and he is a member of my writers club the Redwood Writers Branch. As soon as more details are available to the general public, I will share them.
Shelley Singer, who will be our guest speaker in April, has a new novel Black Jack due out in June under the pseudonym of Lee Singer.
And last, but certainly not least, I stumbled across this the other day as I was surfing the internet. Donna Woolfolk Cross's novel Pope Joan had been selected as the Book of the Month for discussion by the Historical Fiction forums. I'll have to join that website, if for no other reason than to post my thoughts on her engaging and provocative historical novel.
I had the good fortune to meet Donna back in 1998 when she offered to do a reading and book signing. Due to her own tenacity for marketing her novel, her book is now in its seventeenth printing. Utterly amazing. I talked about the method she used in my first ever blog post which can be read here.
Once again, congrats to all my friends!