Thanks for joining me on the 2012 MARA-thon! This includes a physical book tour through Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California. And it includes a national blog tour. During the entire MARA-thon, please be sure to download your FREE prequel short story, When Whales Watch at http://www.MaraPurl.com/downloads. As of January 1, you’ll be able to find purchase links for all e-readers at http://marapurl.com/books/when-whales-watch.
This is posted from the road during my All-Indie-Bookstore book tour titled MAPPING THE JOURNEY OF YOUR HEART. Revisit the entire tour at any time by visiting http://www.MaraPurl.com/calendar where you’ll see event details, links to the bookstores, and soon, photo archives. Also join me on the ongoing Double Blog Tour, which will be archived at http://marapurl.com/fall-blog-tour-schedule.
In September, I wrote about what a joy it was to speak at the Central Coast Writers’ Conference. I also mentioned my brilliant new friend, the multi-faceted author Victoria Zackheim. We stayed in touch after the writers’ conference. And we began discussing the book tour that I’d soon be doing, and the fact that I’d be in the Bay Area, which is her neck of the woods. Wondering whether it might work to do a book signing together, we came to a stumbling block: her new books are non-fiction and mine are fiction. But when I thought about the essays she writes and edits—for example in her book The Other Woman—and the storylines of my protagonists, it struck me that me that at the core, we’re each interested in women’s lives: what we’re facing, where we find our allies, why we work so hard to live our best lives.
“What about Women’s Voices?” I asked. “How about that for the name of our event?” “Women’s Voices!” she cried. And by later that same day she had moved forward so fast, we had our first bookstore invitation! The store that invited us was Kepler’s . . . a fixture in Menlo Park with a rich history woven into that of this culturally colorful region. Maybe I particularly resonated with this store because, like me, its founder started in radio: Roy Kepler was a staff member at Berkeley’s KPFA, and as soon as the bookstore opened its doors it became an epicenter for both students and faculty at Berkeley and Stanford. In the ‘60s it hosted concerts by the likes of the Grateful Dead and Joan Baez and by 1990 Publishers Weekly named it Bookseller of the Year. With the encroachment of chain and on-line bookstores, Kepler’s actually closed its doors in 2005. But that didn’t last long. Three months later, local investments and donations had sprung the doors open again and all three locations of Kepler’s are thriving.
Women’s Voices at Kepler’s proved to be a fantastic event! Victoria expanded our event by inviting three other outstanding local authors with followings of their own.
Zoe Fitzgerald Carter, a noted journalist, wrote her first book, Imperfect Endings, a haunting memoire about her mother’s suicide. Its publication was followed by a slew of awards, starred reviews, and talks around the country. Elizabeth Rosner wrote the novel The Speed of Light, in which she drew upon the experiences of her own parents to chronicle the story of descendants of holocaust survivors. The novel has won multiple awards, been translated into nine languages, lauded by reviewers around the world and remains a favorite among book clubs. Her second novel Blue Nude brings together an Israeli model and a German artist who must confront their legacies. Elizabeth also writes poetry and teaches. Pam Houston, who lives on a Colorado ranch but is also Director of Creative Writing at UC Davis, is the author of two collections of linked short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, and the novel, Sight Hound. These and other works have earned her multiple awards, a loyal following and an active social media community.
As these accomplished writers began to read from their books, I began to wonder whether I was even fit to be in the same room. Their imagery, metaphor, and literary mastery powered over the mic. But then it was my turn, and I could feel their support and sisterhood. To hear them read from their hearts was to really hear women’s voices. And our voices both challenge and inspire us and those who hear us. What mattered most at this event was the authenticity of these tales, the words serving to rip away the veil that too often obscures the vital messages women have to share. These were messages that reached the heart of everyone in the audience. We hope to do more of these. I’ll keep you posted when they get scheduled.
If you’re just south of San Francisco in Menlo Park or Palo Alto, Kepler’s has a few signed copies of my new novel Where the Heart Lives. Or you can order your hardcover or e-book at your favorite on-line bookseller. Join me in Milford-Haven and discover where your heart lives.
For more information on the evolving world of The Milford Haven Novels, visit my new website http://www.MaraPurl.com where you can subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on social media, enjoy photos and videos, discover more special offers and more.