HOW ONE PERSON BELIEVING IN MY BOOK INSPIRED ME
TO WORK ON A SECOND EDITION
It had been 23 years since I sat in Professor Kessler's writing class, when I found his editorial notes from a couple assignments I had written back then. His notes and editorial report inspired me. Add my hours being cut during the pandemic and time on my hands, I took the two chapters I wrote in his Fiction Writing class back in 1998 and wrote and edited until the words became a full blown near-miss, mostly true story. Then after a bit of detective work, I found a way to email Professor Kessler. "Your name is on my dedication page," I wrote in the email. "Would you like a copy of the book?" I was humbled and honored when he replied with a yes, and other kind words. That was in 2021, and over this past year, Rod Kessler's belief in me grew.
"If you plan a new edition, I think I caught a typo or two and could suggest a tweak every once in a while. Just say the word," he wrote in an email. A month or so later, I attended his Speaker Series, when he shouted me out in his audience, and mentioned my book. What a surprise it was to see him lift his Of School and Women paperback copy for all to see. Mostly, what a blessing it was to feel valued and honored, especially by someone I highly revere. Anyway, I couldn't stop thinking about that second edition email and I figured it was time to act. "I like you and I like the book.", Kessler said over coffee. "We all have imposter syndrome," he said, "Don't worry about it."
So, rebranding is underway with a focus on the electric pace of 1980s cultural history. The interior of my book has been tweaked and copy edited. Many thanks to Professor Rod Kessler, Author of Off in Zimbabwe. All his support is precious and priceless.
About Kessler's book:
Off in Zimbabwe is a collection of 15 short stories that I enjoyed reading many years ago. And here's what some folks have said about it.
"Kessler's voice of a singular man, his humor, his self deprecatory way of being, his tender regard for other people, and the way he uses metaphor at highly emotional moments are all purely authentic." -May Sarton
"Kessler is skilled at humorously rendering scenes in which contemporary men and women, victims of pop culture and pop politics, speak a jargon that often lands them in bed with one another, but rarely gets them any further."
-Carolyn Coman, Essex Life
"Kessler pulls at our attention in these stories the way a cat uses your leg for a scratching post in the middle of Sixty Minutes."
-Carolyn Hardesty, North American Review.
NOVEMBER 5th WAS INDIE AUTHOR DAY 2022!
I was excited to participate at the Nahant Public Library Indie Author Day Event for a second consecutive year. Besides a reading from my book, I gave a brief talk on What is gained and what is lost by being educated? Many thanks to Director Sharon Hawkes! Her generosity of spirit and event hosting has really helped me cope with my debut author imposter syndrome. And as an added bonus, she bought two paper back copies of my book -- one for the library collection and one for herself. The Nahant Public Library is a masterpiece of architecture under renovation. If you have resources for charity, consider supporting this community library. To learn more visit: nahantlibrary.org
HOW I WAS INSPIRED TO WRITE MY FIRST SCRIPT
I submitted "Holiday Hitchhiker", my debut script adapted from a scene in Of School and Women, to The Red River Script Competition. I was grateful to be able to participate. Feeling positive about learning something new and with a screen writing template from Microsoft Office Suite, it was easier to write then I thought it would be. I was thrilled when the script made the finalists list. The next competition deadlien is coming up in December 2022. So, get on your 12 point courier font and enter your own script. Proceeds from the nominal entry fee go toward helping Veterans in need. The spark that ignited this project was C.A. Cuddy, the leader of The Cuddy Family Foundation for Veterans.
Learn more at tcfffv.org
THE CREATION OF A COVER DESIGN
I've read that authors should never design their own covers, but on my first edition, I DIY'd it anyway. Experience is a tough teacher. I never considered what would happen if the print-on-demand printer cut was off a sixteenth to an eighth of an inch. Something I learned the hard way. Evidently the printer is allowed that much leeway. Now I know. The color of a book spine should not contrast with the front cover. So, for Of School and Women second edition I contracted with Artist, Todd Engel from Engel Creative Graphic Design. I requested a snappy, vibrant, and retro feel and I absolutely love how he captured the essence of my vision in his artwork. If you're in the market for a graphic artist, Todd Engel will be happy to assist you.
Visit him at Engel Creative Graphic Design.
AUTHORS ARE SOCIAL INFLUENCERS!
Authors becoming social influencers is key to growing relationships with readers. I am truly inspired by Neal Schaffer's book The Age of Influence, which focuses on leveraging social media relationships that translate into potential sales. I still haven't completed the book, because I had to stop in Chapter 8 to give one of the book's strategies a go. So, The Weekly Book Feature Team Collaboration project kicked off on the first weekend of March 2022. We are 45 Authors strong.
Here's what we did: Each weekend all 45 of us featured the same book at the same time in our Instagram feed and story. In other words, we posted only once a week, giving the featured author a blast of 45 posts from 45 different accounts. The project required a long-term commitment of 45 weeks plus. We posted from March1 2022 through January 22, 2023.
I'm so grateful to everyone who was on the team for believing in the project based on the idea that there is strength in numbers. This collaboration was a success. And I truly enjoyed getting to know and work with so many talented, determined and committed authors.
RECENT BOOK REVIEWS:
Recently, I was thrilled to read and review Villainous Minds by Joan Wiley, Misty Dreams by Josephine Strand, and Troubles in Bellmount by Nicki Pascarella. For book reviews, visit my Goodreads shelves.
While OSAW did not make the cut in the Annual Kindle Book Awards 2022, it received many votes in the nonfiction category of the Kindle Reader's Choice Awards.
Many thanks to all who voted.
The results of the North Street Book Prize Contest are yet TBD.
"Holiday Hitchhiker", my debut script was selected as a finalist in the Red River Script Competition.
1) I enjoyed attending many of the events of the Salem Literary Festival 2022 this summer. I especially loved the talk by Edward Renehan, Author of Deliberate Evil. And I enjoyed the webinar with Ashley Audrain, Author of The Push. Then there was the unforgettable Barks and Books event, where you could bring your dog and buy a book. To learn more about this organization, visit salemlitfest.org
2) For previous volumes of my Author Newsletters, visit my Blog.
1) If you have a Goodreads account,
ADD OF SCHOOL AND WOMEN from your TBR onto the following Goodreads List:
80s Flashback (Current Books with 1980s Settings)
Lists like these help a book get more eyes on it. And books are nothing without eyes on them. Just click here to access the list.
2) I'm planning a social media break for 2023.
3) Hoping to begin writing a second book in 2024-2025.
BIG THANK YOU:
Many thanks to the Tattered Page Book Club members who entered my August Giveaway. Congratulations to Winners: Tracy Wirick, Lisa Wetzel, Linda Martin, and Megan Brown, who received my last four copies of OSAW first edition. Thank you to C.A. Cuddy for purchasing a copy of my book.
Thank you to Joan Wiley, C.J. Pearson, J.S. Strand, and Nicki Pascarella
for their time reading OSAW and writing reviews.
Wishing everyone a warm and cozy Winter Season! ☮️ -Dee
OF SCHOOL AND WOMEN is available at
Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and BookLocker.
Make your purchase here:
Purchases made directly from My Shop or
the publisher BookLocker are most appreciated!
ADD Of School and Women to the Goodreads List
of Books with a 1980s Setting.