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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

“What Beauty” author copies have arrived!!

Yes, I’m terribly happy. Print copies of “What Beauty” have come to my home in Prague, and the box of 40 books represents one more small achievement in my life. Maybe not so small, but modesty becomes me.

(Read an excerpt of “What Beauty”)

I’ve been champing at the bit for months now, because the ARCs I sent to reviewers went out from America, and my mom & dad were the first to see a printed copy. What agony! Now my happiness is sated; much more so when I thumb through the book and find that many, many sections read well to my reader’s mind. And I haven’t found any typos. Yay!!

I began this book — under the working title “Of Sirens & Muses” — back in July 2009 with notes and scenes and characters and its beginning and its ending. I finished a working draft in just over 14 months, while teaching full-time hours and falling in love. Meanwhile, in Sept 2010 “The Village Wit” came out under the Siren & Muse Publishing house and did well despite a shoestring advertising-marketing budget. And despite readers flocking to teenage vampire books like little bloodsuckers.

The great help and superior editing I received under the guidance of John Mitchell at S&M helped me to redefine some of the plot elements and character portrayal. That major rewrite between Jan – June 2011 put the book nearer its final form. Then I went at the clutter and the language and the dialogue and the imagery. By Dec — during the Christmas holidays — I had found that there was no more I could do without putting myself in the path of a completed story.

Now books are here. I’m waiting for reviews to come out from some — any — of the 45 reviewers who got a copy from the great work Bert Wells in S&M Publicity did to scare up initial interest. Those reviews should start sprouting like mushrooms (or, in the season and parlance of this part of the world, like asparagus) on or about June 1st. As a small press publication, I can’t expect that all 45 outlets shall read & review the book. I can hope for 10% and anything above that is gravy on the weisswurst (as they say in Munich ;-))).

Sometime in mid-June I’ll have a reading and reception at Shakespeare & Son, in Prague, where the sales and word-of-mouth will begin.

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