It’s almost time to hit the road for many of us–not just me! I’m going to Blue House for the 4th of July and a family reunion, bringing a disproportionate number of books, as usual. Where are you going–and what will you bring to READ?
Do you miss the THOSE WHO SAVE US characters? Do you, like me, fall in love with books and want to see more of their people after the back cover is closed? Then this story is for you. Called “Max & Josephine,” it’s what I call a “shrapnel story”–a short story I wrote after THOSE WHO SAVE US was finished, when the novel and its characters were still working their way out from under my skin. It’s about the Good Doktor Max Stern and what his life was like in the early days of the Reich in Weimar–and what kind of peril he was in.
Just about every writer (myself included) has dealt on tour with Invisible Audience Syndrome: the readings where NOBODY SHOWS UP. But some writers have had much more hair-raising experiences than that. In honor of so many friends publishing books this spring, I’ve compiled a Best & Worst of the Book Tours column for Grub Street. Here are some of these moments, featuring thieves, stalking exes, jail time, and ghosts.
I’m utterly thrilled–and a little shy–to announce my 1st-ever photography exhbition, “Ain’t That America Somethin’ To See,” comprised of photos I shot while stormchasing.
The show will open at the Bluff Country Artists’ Gallery in Spring Grove, MN, on Saturday, May 18, 2013. First I get to do an author/ photographer presentation, sponsored by the Spring Grove Public Library, at the Spring Grove Theater at 2 P.M. Then there’s the exhibit, opening at 3 P.M., at the gallery, where there’ll be a meet, greet & signing. And those of you who have so kindly said over the past few years that you’d buy my photos–now you can.
This morning I got an email from a reader wanting to know what had happened to Trudy after the end of THOSE WHO SAVE US. It’s a fairly frequent question, not just about Trudy but about all the characters–and not posed just to me but, I imagine, to many writers. I was just listening to an audio essay by Stephen King on this same topic, how readers will ask him what happened to this character or that? “As if,” Mr. King said, “I get letters from them every now and then.”
I know there isn’t a single person among us who hasn’t been affected by the Newtown shootings. How did you handle it? If you’re anything like me, by grieving–and wondering how you could cry so much for people you didn’t know. My thoughts on why here, for Grub Daily.
If you’re my friend on Facebook and/ or follow me on Twitter, you know that for a few months leading up to the Presidential election, I seemed to have….lost my mind. By which I mean, I was Tweeting my brains out during the debates and posting my political thoughts freely on my wall. Since it’s widely held you should never talk about religion or politics in polite company, and we like to at least pretend social media is just that, social, WHY would anyone do such a thing? And why especially would a writer, who could very well alienate and lose readers based on her vehement political views, take that risk?
A former student wrote to me this morning to ask, via turning her historical thesis into a novella (Godspeed!), HOW the hell do you organize the mountains and mountains and mountains of research involved?
Thanks to the sheer amount of information out there, a writer can feel as though she’s standing in the Alps, with no idea how to find her way through.
The one sore spot about my life in The Middle–aside from missing my amazing writer peeps and colleagues at Grub Street Writers–is that I haven’t been teaching. I miss it so badly! But now I have another chance to warp impressionable novelist minds–I mean, be helpful. If I can. (And I will try!)
If you’ve got a novel in progress and want some help wrangling it to agents’ and editors’ desks, please join me at MISA, the Madeline School for the Arts, next August 12-16. We’ll get to workshop on this beautiful island in the middle of Lake Superior! Kind of like Nantucket but with more cows and red barns.