Please join me on Saturday October 12th for the West Broadway Neighbored Association’s house tour – Where They Live/d. The Historic Armory District will be featured which is very close to my mother’s childhood home on Marshall Street. I’ll be selling and signing copies of A Girl From the Hill with the Old Crow herself! Click the link for more details. Hope to see you there!
Thanks to Martha Reynolds once again for featuring me on her blog. A Girl from the Hill is one of the hundreds of books that will be available at the Association of Rhode Island Auhors (ARIA) annual expo at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet this coming Saturday, December 2nd, 10am to 5 pm. Come visit- books make great gifts!
The Girl, with her fiance, in 1946
A Girl from the Hill is a tribute to my mother, who grew up on Federal Hill during the Great Depression. The collection of essays depicts her life of as one of laughter and love, as well as its share of suffering and sorrow.
Providence’s Federal Hill neighborhood was, and still is, Rhode Island’s “Little Italy.” Thousands of Italian immigrants, including my grandparents, came to Rhode Island at the turn of the 20th century to begin new, better lives. They struggled to assimilate into American culture, and my mother’s parents, Giovanni and Maria, tried their best to become John and Mary. My mom, their youngest of eight children, was full of joy, and enjoyed much of her childhood despite her mother’s struggle with diabetes.
I began the book merely as a simple exercise, to see if I could actually write a book…
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Stop into Symposium Books this Saturday from 1 to 3 PM for a spot of tea, a little trivia and some nice conversation with me and three other women authors from Rhode Island about our books, writing, publishing and being an woman author in this wacky little state. Hope to see you locals.
Symposium Books is located at 240 Westminster Street in Providence.
Read Mike’s blog to see his interview with me to promote the ARIA Book Expo on November 8th – that’s next Saturday! He has been doing a fantastic job promoting the event and the authors. Check out his Overlordsfantasy series too!</http://theoverlords.blogspot.com
When I first took the plunge and decided to publish A Girl from the Hill, I never considered the next logical step – selling A Girl from the Hill. I was clueless about the feelings that come from creating something, sweating and crying and laughing and agonizing over this baby of mine, only to then try to convince the rest of the world that it’s worth their time – and money. Holy crap, I said to myself then and still say now. This marketing stuff is not easy.
I am not sure what I expected, for though I’m expressive, I’m just pathetic at networking, small talk, and walking up to people and asking them if they’d like to read my book. No, I’m the person who will sit with a million boxes of books printed and ready to sell in her living room, calmly waiting for the crowds to arrive. My ninety-year-old mother is a better salesperson than I am. “Didja know there’s a book about me?” she crows to anyone who will listen. And they listen.
So I’ve been trying to sell my book, and having all kinds of interesting adventures in the process. The best part of the selling process, besides making money, is, and I never thought I’d say this, meeting people. Not only meeting people, but talking to people. About me. And my book. And a whole bunch of other things that are important to us. Yes us. I am learning to become engaged, and hopefully, engaging.
You see, I often dread the thought of new places with new people. Even familiar places with familiar people. Call it social anxiety because that’s exactly what it is. It isn’t apparent to people I work with, and I enjoy leading teams and projects successfully
Tonight, though, I wanted to take a moment to mention how incredibly fun it has been so far to talk to new people about writing and books, especially my book, these past eighteen months. Really, it’s been great therapy to share part of my life with others and not feel responsible for their happiness at the same time. Maybe they like me and my work, maybe they don’t. But I will not pass out and die if they don’t approve of me. Who knew?
The other aspect of this whole marketing thing that I’m grateful for is the writer friends I have made along the way. Whether it’s my blog buddies who write great stuff and urge me on when I blog, or the writers from ARIA or ASTAL who share their work and their advice with me, and whose work provides me with the inspiration I need to keep writing even if it’s for 5 minutes a day.
So thank you all, who I’ve met so far on this journey, who write, read, share, and who have helped me grow as a person and a writer. Looking forward to next weekend at the Scituate Art Festival, when I’ll get another opportunity to reach out and find some more reasons to feel grateful and inspired.
I know I’ve been quiet lately, but am working away at a whole new version of my new book. Formally known as Don’t Call Me Poundcake, my new working title- Carry That Weight. It has taken me much time and reflection, and lots of slow running around the Smithfield High School track, but I believe I found the key to what was stalling me out after page 40.
CTW is the story of a girl who has a lot placed upon her shoulders – and learns how to cope, to love herself and realize the strength she possesses as she conquers her demons and makes positive contributions to the world around her. And it’s co-starring (sort of) The Beatles. That’s all I’m going to say, except that I’ve taken the theme that is most important to me, standing up for yourself and taking responsibility for your life, and paired it with other elements I love like, music, food, running, and the strong bonds between friends, mothers and daughters. I can’t wait to share some sneak peeks with you all in the coming weeks.
I am fortunate enough to have some dear lifelong friends that have helped me think this through without even knowing it. That includes my family of course, my sisters, my in-laws, my parents, my husband and my adorable bouncing baby girl that’s now at least 3 inches taller than me (Her new nickname for me is Midge- VERY non PC). And my friends, after all of these years, who are still so special and dear, and have experienced so many of the same things we all do as we learn to find our own unique voice. We’ve held each other up over the years and I hope this book is a proper culmination of my love and respect.
The biggest discovery for me is that I’m most comfortable and content when I write about the things I love; perhaps I’m not good enough yet to weave these important concepts into something unrecognizable. As they say, time will tell.
And if that all isn’t enough- I’m on the road this fall! My version of on the road, which is appearing around the area promoting my first book, A Girl From the Hill.
First, On Sunday October 5th there’s the Southern New England Women’s Expo
Then Sunday October 12th and Monday October 13th I will be at the Scituate Art Festival
And on Saturday November 8th I will be participating in the Second Annual Association of Rhode Island Authors Expo, with over 70 local authors making their work available. Why, you can get most of your holiday shopping done just by stopping by!
You can follow the links to the event sites for more information. I hope to see you locals at one or more of these events, to buy a book or just stop over and say hello. And as I move more fully into Carry That Weight, I’ll provide updates when I can and throw ideas out there for you to think about and provide your feedback.
Have a great weekend and remember that All You Need is Love.
Okay I may have not done the best job here, but I needed to put a video together quickly for the Unicorn Writers Conference in March, where copies of A Girl from the Hill will be available for sale. I’m very excited about the opportunity to participate in this great conference again, and this time from a real live author standpoint.
Please let me know what you think of the video – it kind of blips off at the end and it’s just a simple slide show with music, but this is not my foray at all.
Also, if you’re interested in attending the conference in Portland CT this March, here is the link to their site. There are workshops, Editors, Agents, all there to help new writers get started.