I was on the phone with author Barbara Taylor Bradford on Tuesday morning. We were just having a check-in to see how things were going in quarantine. I complained about my mornings of remote learning with my five and eight-year-old children. We both agreed that as women who have worked from home for years—she 40 and me 15—not much had changed for us in that respect. But having lived through WWII, she wanted me to know that it would be OK, that things would get better, that I had to have hope. She then commented that she was excited for the end of the day because after she completed a writing chapter of her next book, she would be shopping online for some Maybelline makeup. This was her reward for a chapter complete. This was the bright little ray on her day.
It made me smile.
In my last WRITER UNBOXED article, I discussed the positive movements in the book world since the pandemic. I’ve seen many a book launch since then, and as a publicist, I’ve been part of a few. Despite all the good, I’ll admit, there are days I feel less than hopeful.
With limited distribution, cancelled tours, fewer marketing dollars, media shifts and downsizes, and possibly decreased publisher support, many authors with books launching this spring are facing a challenge.
So I queried nine authors who have recently launched or are about to launch a new book. I wanted to know, as an artist, what or who gives them hope each day? And what gives them hope for your book despite this uncertain time.
I have to say, the power of US, is so very strong.
Richard Fifield, The Small Crimes of Tiffany Templeton, March 10
My second book was launched on March 7th. Three days later, the world shut down, and I had no live audience, no venues. I need an audience. On the computer, the camera creates a distance that cannot be closed. Last year, my mother died of leukemia, and I was holding her hand at the end, just the two of us, my laptop open, because I promised her that I would finish this book. She was my best friend, and in the last six weeks, I needed her. Our relationship was stormy, until I got sober in April of 2005. I did the work to make it better, and that work began with learning how to love selflessly, to find perspective. Fifteen years ago, I began walking the dogs at Animal Control, the worst dogs, the ones considered unadoptable, damaged beyond repair. I could identify with that. They were so grateful to see me, the real me, and it broke my heart that they had no idea they were set to be euthanized. I was spared, by the grace of something bigger than me, stopped from euthanizing myself slowly. I have adopted five of those dogs, learned to grieve without numbing myself, learned to love without the fear of loss. My rescue dogs rescued me, showed me how to love, and how to be loved. In the last six weeks, they remind me I’m fortunate to have published a book, no matter the outcome. We were all saved for a reason. [Read more…]