Friday, June 25, 2010

Book Club Members?

I was in a book club once. We chose, read and then discussed the books. We formed friendships and encouraged each other to read genres outside our usual favorites. I looked forward to each meeting, whether I'd finished that month's book or not. (I had small children, okay? It wasn't always possible!)

Sometimes, when the book included club discussion points at the end, we'd imagine bringing the author to our meetings. We were a small group in a remote area, though, so that's as far as it went. We never contacted anyone directly. Not even Amy Tan, a group favorite.

How about you? Have you been in a book club? Did you ever host the writer? If so, what did you like/not like about it?

There is a trend now for authors to use skype instead. I love this idea. Would this appeal to you, as a reader? Do you often have questions for the author after reading a book?

Chime in!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The PR Learning Curve

I had a cool assignment earlier this week, and now have questions for you. You see, I just got a crash course in the literary public relations world. My publisher has hired a big-gun PR firm (in NYC, thank you very much) to promote the Good Things to Know series, and I was asked to complete a comprehensive "author questionnaire". I turned it in already, but can't stop thinking about potential media opportunities for the book.

My question to you would be this- where do you see 20 Things to Know When Someone is Grieving being promoted? Is there a TV talk show, talk radio host, newspaper column, blog, website, etc., that comes to mind? I want to hear about it. Where do you find new books? Is there a specific magazine you think would be a good fit for a grief-related piece?

Don't be shy. I know you have ideas. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Harry Earl Lanterman 1918-2010

Earl Lanterman wasn't my real grandfather. He was my husband's mother's dad. The first time I met him though, 26 years ago, he and his wife Rose told me to call them Grandma and Grandpa. "Everyone else does", Rose said.

Grandpa died Saturday. He was 92. He has joined his "Wild Irish Rose."

We live thousands of miles from the rest of the family, so reaching out to my mother-in-law wasn't a simple thing. Thanks to much of what I learned from writing 20 Things, I knew how many of you were comforted by life celebration slideshows. I just finished Earl's.

Thank you.

We love you, Grandpa.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What's Next?

I have been asked this a lot lately. What's next? What will your next book cover? (I love these optimistic questions.)

I answer each time, "Either Grief Stories- 12 people, 12 Losses, or A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Funeral." Grief Stories will be an in-depth look at a dozen life-changing deaths, and how the survivor got through it. The funeral book would look at some of the wild stories I heard while writing 20 Things. I think it's important for families to know that crazy things can go wrong and it won't ruin the service. We put such pressure on ourselves!

I'd also like to say thanks again to everyone who shared their stories with me so far. I wish everything could have been included in 20 Things, but that just wasn't possible. Please know, even if your name's not in the final product, you were heard. Every account affected the book. So, whether your quote is in print or not, you're in there.

When someone dies, (other than attending the service), I do this for the family-