Frank Wilson, of The Philadelphia Inquirer and the blog, Books, Inc.—The Epilogue, has written a quite favorable piece about my novel, Waiting for Zoë, on the “opinion” page of today’s Sunday paper. I cannot thank him enough for the exposure:
- If you are local to where I live, I will hand deliver a personalized, signed, and discounted copy to you for $17.00 (Retail price: $19.95), cash or personal check, plus 4.6% sales tax (or a total of $17.78) since I cannot sell within the state of Colorado without collecting sales tax appropriate to the county where I live—Jefferson County. You can also buy it at HearthFire Books in Evergreen, CO or Mountain Books in Conifer, CO and Broadway Book Mall in Denver, CO
- If you reside within the continental United States, you can buy my book at the store (“Buy my Book”) on my website www.jamesrament.com using PayPal or a check. Or, you can simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with instructions on where to ship the book (or books). You will receive a personalized, signed, and discounted copy for $17.00, plus sales tax if you reside in the state of Colorado, plus $3.00 shipping and handling, for each book.
- You can also buy my book via amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com and it is available in Kindle and Nook formats. These channels would be best for all international customers.
At Mullholland Books is an article titled, B. Traven: The Writer Who Wasn’t There, or A Case for His Works. For those that may not recall, B. Traven wrote The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, a good read and an excellent John Huston directed 1948 movie with Humphrey Bogart. The author of the article, Cortright McMeel, believes Traven has been neglected as one of the great adventure novelists of the 20th Century and asks, “Why?” He says,
“Perhaps because the author who wrote such adventure masterpieces as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Death Ship, and General from the Jungle is a mystery himself. He might have been Otto Feige, the son of a Polish potter. He also could have been the anarchist actor Ret Marut, who ended up in a London prison before traveling to Mexico. Two contradictory biographies present each case with compelling fact and argument. Whoever B. Traven was will no doubt always be shrouded in secrecy because that is the way the reclusive author wanted it.”
He then gives a pretty good case for including him with the greats (found at the above link).
At TED is a video, 22:49 long, by novelist Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, and The Hundred Secret Senses. There is also an interactive transcript of the video. This is well worth listening to and reading.
She raises some big questions that clearly I raised in my (unpublished) novel. My questions: Why do things happen in life the way they do…in the order they happen? And how significantly do they influence your thinking and emotional well being from then on? And what if you had a large impact on other people, for reasons you are completely unaware, and what if you got it wrong?
She also speaks of quantum mechanics, moral ambiguity, intentions, randomness, accidents, mysterious forces and serendipity. She asks another big question: “And how do I create my own life?”
Examples of my understanding of the definition of an elevator speech:
You’re a bright young businesswoman with credentials waiting for an elevator on the first floor and you’re on your way to the eleventh floor for an important meeting at a high class firm. The door opens, and as you step in, Warren Buffett appears behind you, enters the elevator, and pushes the button for the tenth floor. You’re the only two people in the elevator. He notices you and not only asks you what you do for a living but is interested in your career goals. The elevator starts to move. What you say is your elevator speech–and you’ve got a very short time to impress him.
Or…you’re an unpublished novelist and a similar situation occurs but this time it’s your favorite writer, one that you know has influence and helps new writers get in the door with major publishers. You introduce yourself and tell him you’ve written your first novel. He is gracious and then says, “What’s it about?” You’ve got maybe thirty seconds to knock his socks off.
So here’s my elevator speech: Continue reading
I give my mother credit for putting this notion of writing a book into my head. In 1976, at age sixty-three, she sat on a stool in a narrow hall closet of our home in Ohio and slowly typed a short memoir on an ancient black Underwood typewriter. My father had her manuscript professionally typeset and printed as a small pamphlet. Mom and Dad then distributed her memoir to the extended family and friends. It was her only real writing effort, and as far as I was concerned, it was an impressive achievement, full of warm reminiscences of growing up on a farm and some signal events in her life. I thought, “One day, I could do something like that.”
The Maytrees, by Annie Dillard (1945-), published in 2007
I’ll start with a confession, actually two: First, Annie Dillard is one of those authors that reinforces the fact that sometimes I prefer books to people. I can become engrossed in her writing—contemplating difficult sentences or paragraphs over and over, wondering where meaning is found for us mortals—without a care for humanity at large while doing so. Reading her work is a form of meditation; and I am not alone when I read her work. It is also like spending time with an old friend, which gets to my second admission…her books are old friends that I never quite fully comprehend. But I relish her company anyway. She leaves me at peace in spite of her dangling philosophical questions. Annie Dillard’s work has touched me, particularly Holy the Firm (1977) and Teaching a Stone to Talk (1982), standouts by my reckoning, read many years ago, and again in 2007. Her novel, The Maytrees (2007), is another notch on her belt, so to speak.