October 30, 2013

Lifting the curtain: What recording my novel for AUDIBLE.COM taught me

I'm gonna lift the curtain on my novel Who by Fire and why you might want to listen to it via Audible.com. Here's the scoop.

I put aside this novel that was finished when my husband said after 22 years of marriage, oh-so-Greta-Garbo, "I need to live alone."

This event stopped me in my tracks—and eventually I blogged my life while I was living it. And that turned into the memoir (Re)Making Love: a sex after sixty story. Yes, there is sex after sixty.

That book like Who by Fire is a love story but oddly one that fiction would probably not find credible. You know the line: Truth is stranger than fiction?

I have a twist on that one.

I learned through these two books that the fictional account of my story has greater emotional truth and intellectual significance than the factual one that you can find online and in the 2011 Valentine’s Day issue of Real Simple Magazine where my husband and I tell our story.

Here’s how I learned what the so-called real story didn’t reveal. I am the reader for the audible.com version of Who by Fire. While reading it aloud in an NPR recording studio, I discovered my own book as if for the first time.

I realized I’d written this novel to find the man I somehow knew on the unconscious level I was losing. Good fiction, meaning you know while you’re reading that the writer is risking her life, can go to this place of hard truth in a way that memoir because of its hold on the so-called facts can’t do. What you’ll get here is the close-to the bone story that answers the deeply Jewish question, Can memory lead to forgiveness? I hope you’ll decide to read it--or, perhaps better, listen to it.

But don’t trust me. Trust a man.

How about Pulitzer prize winner Robert Olen Butler who said, "Who by Fire is a lovely, innovative, deeply engaging novel about how it is that human beings make their way through the mysteries of existence." Or, trust Pulitzer Prize finalist Lee Martin who said, "Who by Fire, is a lyric meditation on love and desire, one that will catch you up in the blaze of its eroticism, its tender evocation of love and the passions and accommodations of a life lived through the flesh and through the imagination. Who by Fire explores the question, Can memory lead to forgiveness? in a story I won’t soon forget."

With thanks here to Anthony Policastro, CEO of Outer Banks Publishing Group, for choosing this book that I had put aside because I thought it unworthy and who says this about the novel he published:

Who by Fire breaks new literary ground: A complex tale of love, betrayal, and
the search for self. A male narrator tells the story he does not actually know but
discovers through memory, through piecing the puzzles of his marriage, through
his wife’s goodness and her betrayal. He confronts paradox with music, science
and a conflagration he witnessed in his native Iowa. Underlying his search is
the quest for heroism and for his own father. Who by Fire has earned its place
among books that matter.Outer Banks Publishing Group

October 17, 2013

Radio Interviews: Updated list of artists, writers, directors, poets, the literary, the fascinating

Radio interviews with the fascinating. My radio show via Rare Bird Blogtalk Radio now has logged in twenty shows.

One caveat: When you click on a link below, a short pause and an ad (about 10-20 seconds) may first appear, not of my making, so do forgive, but then you'll hear the show as it ran live. Each show is thirty minutes. Listen at your leisure to all or part of any of the shows.

You can also find on my Facebook Page news for upcoming radio shows and the newest column I've written on the arts, culture and love—or for the latter, click the bird and the flower in the right-hand margin of this page.

Here's the list of the twenty radio interviews so far. Click on the name and you'll be taken to the radio show:

Carolyn Mary Kleefeld, painter, poet and Big Sur presence

Anne Marie Ruff, journalist, author of Through These Veins, plant biotechnology, AIDs, art

Richard Kramer, producer, writer of thirtysomething, My So-Called Life and a new HBO series

Marc Schuster: book reviewer, author of The Grievers

Henry Jaglom, distinguished, independent filmmaker, director, screenwriter

Jaki Scarcello, author of Fifty and Fabulous: The best years of a woman's life

Douglas Rogers, author of The Last Resort: a memoir of mischief and mayhem on a family farm in Africa

Peter Cox, British literary agent

Margaret Brown, publisher of the digital magazine Shelf Unbound: What to read next in independent publishing

Maureen Stanton, author of Killer Stuff and Tons of Money

Robert G. Pielke, author of Rock Music in American Culture

Alan Cheuse, author and NPR book reviewer

Jacquie Kubin: managing and senior editor of The Communities at The Washington Times

Sarah C. Harwell, poet, author of Sit Down Traveler

Derek Haines, self-published author of more than 14 books, novels and essays

Ravi Shankar, poet, author of Deepening Groove

The Third Man and Déjà Vu: A Love StoryConversation with journalist Harvey Black about the Graham Greene screenplay and movie starring Orson Welles and the Henry Jaglom film (See the interview link above.)

Dana Gioia, poet, former head of the National Endowment for the Arts and author most recently of Pity the Beautiful, poems

Eduardo Santiago, Cuban author of Tomorrow They Will Kiss

Molly Peacock, poet, memoir writer and author of The Paper Garden: An Artist {Begins Her Life's Work} at 72

Michael Johnson, journalist who lives in Bordeaux France and writes for The International Herald Tribune, Open Letters, Facts and Arts, The Columnists--and more.

Enjoy and do let me know what you think. Comments always welcome.

October 11, 2013

Jewish Literary Festival: Local Author Fair

Live in or near DC? The DC Jewish Community Center has held a competition to choose local authors and you can hear each of them give a three minute pitch about why you should consider reading a book each put heart and soul into. It's free and you'll get wine and cheese for showing up.

Amazon: Fine Paperback and Kindle version, Audible.com coming soon 
Sound like fun or torture for the chosen? I'm not sure which, but I'll be there with my pitch for Who by Fire.

Yeah, I got picked: Thanks to the committee that made the selections.

Perhaps I'll later post here my pitch  (just two and a half minutes: shorter is better, right?). Supporters welcome and needed: You can report here how it all went.

Here are the details: Sunday, October 13, 7 to 8:30 pm, 1529 16th Street, NW. 

Read the short story "The Burglar"  from The Woman Who Never Cooked--kinda like a wine-tasting, dontcha think?

Here's how it went:

JCC Clip from Mary Tabor on Vimeo.

October 04, 2013

History and Wine Interview

Sometimes a girl gets lucky: Jacqueline Coleman interview on writing, life and art.

Find out who Jacqueline is and read our conversation on her History and Wine blog, given the seal of approval by Wordpress, Freshly Pressed. 

Thank you, Jacqueline.