Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Torch Songs & Diaries

What is the secret to writing about yourself? It has more to do with torch songs and less to do with diaries. Find out more on my guest blog at Chocolate Reality...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Are We There Yet?

The whirlwind To Have Not Virtual Book Blog Tour has just commenced, and I'm already exhausted. How nice to pull off the road and into A Cozy Reader's Corner, where we can enjoy a refreshing cup of tea and a stimulating conversation about books. Today, I talk about my visit with a college English class that recently studied my book, and how even in the day of texting and kindling, young people still revere books. The full blog is here.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Welcome to the Future: A Blog Tour

Ok, so I'm not the most dedicated blogger. I'm too busy writing books and articles. Also, tweeting. Yep, though I once declared "I don't know what Twitter is, and I hope I never do," I now see beauty and economy and expanse in those 140 characters. Like poetry, like anything small and limited, the restrictions seem magically to open up into possibilities. So you can keep up with me @MeetFrances, and also get poetic status updates at the Frances Lefkowitz Author page on Facebook. 

But for the next month or so, I will be blogging like crazy. Guest-blogging. On my Book Blog Tour. Or maybe that's Blog Book Tour. It's a whole new world, and the terminology is still sorting itself out. But instead of getting on a plane, train or automobile, and traveling to bookstores, cafes, and street corners around the country to promote TO HAVE NOT, I will be getting on the internet and traveling virtually to 20 to 40 blogs around the country. Upside: saves a lot in gas; environmentalists should be pleased. Downside: I don't get to read to my audience, something that people on my actual (as opposed to virtual) book tour seem to love.

My first guest blog is up at Crazy For Books. It's about the Xmas in the 'hood, San Francisco, 1974. And it features some priceless vintage photos of us raggedy kids: you won't know whether to laugh or cry, so just do like me and do both. I'll post the rest of the blog tour on the Events Calendar on my web site.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What Out Is

"Is the book out?"
"When's your book out?"
"Isn't your book supposed to be out now?"

Well, to paraphrase the immortal words of a certain ex-president, it depends on what your definition of out is. Publishing, it turns out, is almost as slippery as politics.

The book exists; does that mean it's out? In fact, thousands of copies of it exist. They were printed, boxed up, and shipped to a warehouse. Is that "out"? They are now in the process of traveling from the warehouse to bookstores (virtual and actual) all over America (well, here and there) that are clamoring (or at least asking politely) for them so that thousands (or at least hundreds) of eager readers can buy and read them. Right now you can order the book from Amazon or your favorite local bookstore--that sure does sound like out to me. But the book is probably not yet on a shelf at a bookstore, and Amazon says it can't fulfill orders--not so out after all. In fact, Amazon recently sent emails to customers who ordered the book telling them it's not available. Now that's an out and out lie; in the next few weeks, my book will be as available as a certain ex-president. In fact, a sighting has been made in Brooklyn, NY, where one satisfied reader was able to get out and get one from an unnamed online source.

I feel your pain; I've been waiting more than ten years for this book to come out. All I can say is, it is worth the wait. Oh, and my first reading and signing event is July 8 at 7PM at Books Inc in Berkeley, CA. So the book will absolutely, positively be out by then. I hope to see you there.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Pointed Questions

We're compiling a list of questions about To Have Not for book groups, designed to spark enjoyable and insightful discussions, and maybe a few arguments. The questions target the book's themes (exclusion, infinity, and helicopters, for example), and its provocative pronouncements (such as, "Kill your dreams, I say. Kill them before they kill you."). Good questions, all. But then there are the questions you really want to ask. I once belonged to a book group in the sleepy town of Kennebunk, Maine, whose sole purpose was to bring a bunch of girlfriends together to drink wine and talk about sex. We had a lot of fun, but the book was incidental. With that easily-distracted group in mind, I pose this list of 5 more pointed questions:

1.  Why is the author so hung up on what she doesn't have? Sheesh, she's got food, shelter, and surfboards. What right does she have to complain?

2. She describes meeting with Bonnie Raitt, Keith Richards, and Paul McCartney. Why all the name-dropping?

3. How could she go public with this book while her parents are still alive?  Does she have no shame?

4.  Why does she move so much? I think I counted almost 40 houses and apartments in California and up and down the Eastern seaboard. It's not like she's in the military or anything.

5. Speaking of sex, and settling down: shouldn't she be married by now? What's her problem?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's a Girl!

Yesterday I stopped into the offices of my publisher, MacAdam/Cage, to get my first glimpse and grasp of the memoir I have been writing for, oh, ten or maybe forty years. She's pink and fat and smiley, like a baby, and it will take some getting used to to refer to her as "my book" rather than "my so-called book," which is what I've been calling her in-utero incarnation. To be honest (and as a memoirist, what do I have if not honesty?), I had some fears of post-partum depression when I got the call from Mac/Cage to come in to see and hold the book. What if she had typos? What would I do with my life now that I no longer had to carry her unformed self around with me, worrying about chapter titles and commas and running themes? Would I be able to adjust my portion size after eating for two? So I postponed my visit--twice--and took five whole days to work myself up to it. Fear of success? Fear of failure? Fear of losing the project that has served as my constant companion for so long? All this and more, more. She's lovely, I'm proud, and I hope you get a chance to meet her soon.