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Monday, June 25, 2012

Who's Your Daddy?

Everyone who has read One Fine Day thinks it's a memoir, or at least tells me they think it is a portrait of my family and all the characters are real people from my past.  This is not true!  If I'd been smarter, I would have thought to place a disclaimer on the front-piece, but now it's too late [unless I find a real publisher and it's relaunched!].  While it is true the story is based on some experiences I had, most of it is exaggerated and spiced up for dramatic effect.  Characters are combinations of people I knew and some never existed at all. My one main regret is that the parents in the novel do not come off as loving caring people; they had to be portrayed in the context of the novel's time period, i.e. victims of the 60's societal upheaval and subsequent "generation gap"  crises  which created the resentments and alienation of the era. It would not be fair to take for granted I've channeled my own parents into Bea and Karl Bruckner.  But that's the assumption.

My mother's girlhood home in Sullivan, Indiana
I have therefore decided to atone.  They are no longer alive, so  I have done this by reacquainting myself with my parents' roots which has renewed my appreciation of their life's journey.

My mother grew up on a farm in Indiana. I traveled to its location this spring, but, sadly, the farm had burned down a few years back [a charming farmhouse my grandfather had built with his own hands, see photo at right].  Surveying the vast flat, rural Indiana landscape, I can only imagine the loneliness and poverty my mother experienced  in the 1920's and 30's  growing up, though she always said her childhood was a happy one.  She was determined to make something of herself and worked her way to a job with the Tennessee Valley Authority. 

My father's boyhood home in Baltimore, Maryland

My father grew up in a row house in Baltimore. An only child, he lost his own father when he was 16 and had to quit school and go to work to support himself and his mother.  Those were hard times for him too; the Depression loomed and work was scarce.  Through a Depression-era  public electrification project, he won a job working on the Safe Harbor Dam in Pennsylvania and subsequently went on to TVA as well.

Both of my parents came from  hardscrabble backgrounds yet managed through work, hope and dreams of always better times around the bend to create a comfortable life for themselves and a privileged one for me.  I am grateful to them.  That a farm girl and a city boy met and built a life together is a wonderful and enduring story, of fate, of life-long devotion, and of, ultimately, thankful progeny. Me.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Shoulda coulda woulda

Well, another Indie author has hit the jackpot with a blog thanking Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing
for helping her self-publish  and getting noticed by Jeff Bezos himself. Bingo!  Book promoted front and center on Amazon's main page. Wish I'd thought of that...  Will be interesting to see how the book actually does [Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park] but, regardless, nice to be pulled out of the chaos of self-published books floating around out there. Definitely must make the blood sweat and tears of novel-writing seem worth it!

I'm considering paying for an ad with Kirkus Review's online newsletter and/or magazine to see if that might get One Fine Day noticed.  I've been passing out my book/business cards to folks I think might enjoy it, have not as yet made the effort I know book promoting  needs. Ah for the days when an agent would take care of all this [for when there were agents who would take a gamble on a newbie..].

But it is glorious to rise out of the pack and I take my hat off to Ms. Park!