Thursday, October 1, 2009

Shameless Self-Promotion

Normally, I post interviews of Avalon authors or editors, but something happened to my calendar and I didn’t have anyone scheduled for this month after all, so I am going to—gasp—talk about myself.

This is always the problem for me as a published author—the balance between being humble and promoting myself. When I talk about my books, I feel a little guilty afterward like I’m bragging or something. Yet if I don’t talk about my books, how will the word get out that they are around.

Right now, only two of them are, one from Avalon. Family Guardian is the book that kept me writing. I had decided, because of my time-consuming corporate job, that I would stop writing by August 1, 2005. I got “the call” on July 18. God has a sense of humor.

That book is a Regency (still available from the publisher ) and won the 2007 National Readers Choice Award for best Regency. Talk about a shocker!

A long hiatus passed before I sold a second book to a different publisher, then another one before I sold again. But now, since December of 2008, I have sold eleven books. I’m proud—oops, I’m supposed to be humble about this—excited to say that four of them are to Avalon.

When the Snow Flies is an August, 2010 release. In 1892, a widowed doctor arrives in the town, where she is to take up a practice she and her late husband spent their savings buying, only to discover the doctor refuses to acknowledge the sale to a woman physician. She can either go home to her society family and not practice medicine, or she can marry a man, who can no longer practice medicine, and fight for her right to be a doctor.

I have to work on that elevator speech, but that’s the brief description.

Should I be embarrassed to say that the idea for this story and the subsequent ones in the series were inspired by a nursery rhyme?

Over the centuries, this little rhyme has had many incarnations. When I was a child, we used to count on our buttons. Research tells me that a form of the poem goes back as far as the fifteenth century and the counting buttons goes back to the 1840s.

Doctor, lawyer, Merchant chief,
Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief…

I went with the first line and changed ‘chief’ to ‘chef’

The late 1800s were an interesting time. Women were beginning to enter the professions. After many years of struggle, including an unfavorable Supreme Court ruling, they were beginning to gain admittance to the Bar to practice law. Johns Hopkins University medical school started admitting women into the regular classes so they didn’t have to go overseas to get the same medical training as a man. And women were ship’s captains—merchants. Whether or not a fancy restaurant, also a growing concern, would have had a female chef is uncertain, but not impossible under the right circumstances.

I’m looking forward to writing the rest of these books. When the Snow Flies was a pleasure to write.

End of shameless self-promotion.


mulligangirl said...

Sounds like it will be a pleasure to read too, Laurie. :-)

Zelda Benjamin said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us. I too used a nursery rhyme for my wip. The rhyme is Mary Had a Little Lamb - only my character had a culinary muse and she can't tell where to find it. I haven't researched the origins of the rhyme, but I will now. See what opening up inspires in other writers. Thanks.

Jane Myers Perrine said...

The books sound wonderful. Congratulations on your success. This is not shamelesss--it's communication so all of know what you're doing and what we should look for.

Jane Myers Perrine