First Things First:
Thank you readers, reviewers, book store owners, conversation partners and launch participant for what has been a fabulous start for the life of The Butcher, the Embezzler, and the Fall Guy!!
It was beyond joy to read the words first at Norwich Bookstore, my 25 year indie favorite near my old home town. Happiness multiplied by the full house and big huge bundles of thanks to Sam Kass and his team at the bookstore and former book store owner Penny McConnel and fifty-year friend who asked me just the right questions!
Live events are AWESOME!! Something I missed with first book during Covid. Thank you! Thank you!
And the Plot Continues:
As a memoirist I've learned that even when our books are published, the characters, story, and meaning continue to build and evolve. Despite the years of toil and final proofing, the The End of a memoir is just a point in time.
After the book releases, readers help push our stories and us further down the road. Since the publication of Poetic License I've heard from HUNDREDS of women and men who've told me new things about my father and their experience of him. Sometimes tough to absorb, nevertheless they round out edges or fill in gaps and have impacted how I think of him.
I wondered if this would be true with my new book. And it already has. Within two days of publication, I was contacted by a knowledgeable person with wonderful photographs from the period and place I've written about which have been both revelatory and validating.
These connections give me new ways of looking at the story and insight in ways only a different person growing up in a different context can provide. A happy collaboration.
And speaking of Austin, MN, Michael and I head out there on Tuesday to meet my two cousins Eloise Eberhart Chevrier and Elizabeth (Lil) Eberhart Moffat. We'll spend a full day touring all the sites of the Eberhart, Hormel, and Thomson famlies in Austin and in Cresco, Iowa, an hour south. We'll tour the Spam Museum — of course! — and meet up with friends I've made over my three prior trips to southern Minnesota. I'm certain I will learn still more about this 100 year old investigative true crime family memoir project that is now in book form and who knows what might come next!?
A true gift of memoir is that we memoirists get to continue learning and growing, revising and reconciling our stories with new encounters, while also recognizing those who came before us accompany us as we grow toward our own greatest humanity. I'm so very grateful I embarked on this journey. and thank YOU for coming along! It would not be as rich without you!
June 19 at 6 pm: Mechanics Hall, Portland, Maine in collaboration with Longfellow Books. Please note change of venue from Longfellow's store to Mechanics' Hall. Doors open at 5:30. I'm delighted to be in conversation with Bob Keyes, author of The Isolation Artist: Scandal, Deception, and the Last Days of Robert Indiana. Bob and I will likely be in conversation about my desire to write this story, how I developed my voice, my reflections on my family after the book was done, how I feel about legacy. We share a love for the place — Bob lived in South Dakota and his prior in-laws were from Austin. His father-in-law and brothers-in-law all worked at the Hormel plant., the nature of industrial agriculture. will be a wonderful conversation, likely. Click here to learn more. Books can be preordered through Longfellow HERE or PRINT: A Bookstore HERE. Portlanders — please pass the word! And let me just say that Bob's epigraph "A sum of money is a leading character in this tale about people" (Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater) could have been mine!
June 22 at 12 noon: I'm enormously excited to launch this book in the town in which the story takes place, Austin, Minnesota. I will be speaker at the Lunchbox History Series at the Mower County Historical Society at 1303 Sixth Avenue SW, Austin, Minnesota. Bring your lunch and your questions and I'm sure this will be a particularly lively conversation.
June 25 at 9:30 am: I'm super grateful to have been asked to be a featured author at Bookstock in Woodstock, Vermont. The fabulous crime novelist Sarah Stewart Taylor will be with me for a free-wheeling conversation about true crime vs. fictional crime and especially the current true crime craze. I can't wait!
June 26 at 6:30 pm: A true home-coming for me at the brand new Meriden Library, in Meriden, New Hampshire, I hope to see a lot of old neighbors and friends for this conversation with Marjorie Nelson Matthews, two time fiction author and a writing critique partner who watched The Butcher, the Embezzler, and the Fall Guy arise from my pages twenty years ago. Join us!
No book reviews this month — too busy to read much right now!
But here's a fun book fact:
My publicist and I offered ten free books to GoodReads for a pre-launch giveaway and we got over 6000 entries of which nearly all placed the book on their shelf. Thanks GoodReads and my readers!!
Finally, congratulations to Mona Kufalk from Norwack, Wisconsin — the winner of the big preorder prize for The Butcher, the Emezzler, and the Fall Guy.
Enjoy your June — I'm sure enjoying mine! With Places to Go and People to Meet!