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Tag: chickens

Have I told you about the time I was at a book launch for my beloved mentor Rebecca McClanahan where I found myself seated on a sofa and a woman with the most pronounced South Carolina low country drawl I’d ever heard leaned over and said, “My huzzzz-band wrote Riiiiising Tide,” and I realized the man seated next to me was John Barry, the author of the book that was at that moment my most favorite book ever? I was not cool. I erupted into a fit of hero-worship. John graciously offered to sign my book if I mailed it to him, which I did, and he did, and I have loved him even more ever since.

Autographs matter.

Now I’m the one who’s published a book that’s calling for me to sign it for all the lovely people who are buying it. I refuse to be daunted by the geographical distance that separates us. Blame it on my peripatetic life or relationships born on the Internet, but we’re miles apart. You couldn’t sling the book at me if you had the world’s strongest arm. And I WANT to sign it. 

Sooooooo.

If you click here and send me your address using this website’s contact form, I’ll send you a bookplate, a little sticker you can put in the front of your book. I’ll sign it. With my name. And inscribe it to whomever you want (you or a person receiving the book as a gift.) It’s specially designed for TRACKING HAPPINESS: A SOUTHERN CHICKEN ADVENTURE and features a shot of the book cover. I’ll send it to you FOR FREE (I mean, it’s an envelope and stamp 🙂 ). It’s cute as all get out.

To make this work, put Sign My Book! in the Subject box of the Contact form and in the Message box tell me:
* how many you need—I’ll send you one for each book you’ve bought
* who you want (each) inscribed to or if you simply want me to sign (them)
* the address where you want me to send it

Then hit Submit. In a few days, you’ll have a book signed by me, the author. It’ll be magic.

TRACKING HAPPINESS: A SOUTHERN CHICKEN ADVENTURE Bookplate for Your Book

Chicken Musings

“I have written a novel about the commercial abuse of chickens.”
Every time this statement comes out of my mouth, I think, that is the strangest thing.
Yet, it’s true.
Train Trip pivots on a drug scandal made possible by our “modern” methods of chicken raising and processing. The theme has grown in importance as the novel has been revised. It’s been so long since I began this novel, I don’t even remember how chickens came into it in the first place. But they’ve been integral to the plot (and humor) since the beginning.
Only as I worked on the novel—and worked on it and worked on it—did the really disgusting facts of commercial chicken production come into play. Karma twists and turns the plot, a little odd in itself since the characters are Bible-Belt Southerners. But rest assured: all works out well in the end. At least it does for the chickens.
Frequently, you read articles by authors who marvel at how “the characters just took over.” Never before have I read writerly advice to let the chickens take over.
So here it is: if you are writing a novel involving chickens, don’t be afraid to let the chickens take over. You might just wind up with a novel with a conscience.

here’s to creative synthesis . . .

As irrefutable proof of my ingrained belief that the problem must be mine, I retained the title, description, and target audience given to me by a former agent whom an editor said was not marketing my novel correctly. That period is over.

Old Title: Trouble at Big Daddy’s Chicken Palace Emporium

New title: Don Chickote: Or the Strange Adventures of Lucinda Mae Watkins on the Train 

Old Description: a Southern “train trip” novel

New description: The daughter of a fast food chicken magnate hits the rails in a wild ride across America to restore her dead daddy’s rightful place in fried chicken lore.

Old Audience: Fannie Flagg lovers

New audience: Those who mourn the demise of “The Flight of the Conchords.” Who think Darnell was the funniest character on “My Name is Earl.” Who follow Bubbles on “Trailer Park Boys,” who sing along to Beck’s “I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me?”  Anyone who thinks the funniest movie ever made was the one where Johnny Depp wore the fake arm. Readers whose favorite hardback is, “All My Friends are Dead,” who can quote Douglas Adams by heart. Those who don’t understand when you call it “quirky”—it’s just funny.

New secondary audience: devotees of all things chicken

OK. I”m still working on it. The point is, it will be mine this time. Rise or fall, sink or swim, give or take—it will be my sensibilities. Such as they are.

here’s to creative synthesis . . .

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