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Monday, May 8, 2017

Achieving a Big Goal without My Soul Mate: Seven Noble Knights at the Harvard Book Store

My trip to Massachusetts last week was the culmination of so many hopes and dreams. It was also the first time I'd been back to the place where I met my husband without him. Friends, beauty, and acute loss combined to create an emotionally complex triumph for my writing career.

Reading at the Harvard Book Store is the most obvious validation I've had of my book baby, Seven Noble Knights. I've been planning this event since before my husband passed away so unexpectedly. I always thought he would come with me, be his wonderful supportive self, and take photos and videos. I had to look elsewhere for the support I needed, and am amazed and thrilled that I found it.

Among the awesome people who attended the event were the other reader, talented memoirist Nadine Kenney Johnstone, author of Of This Much I'm Sure; Jennifer S. Brown, author of Modern Girls; Rick Heller, author of Secular Meditation; and Maile Hulihan, author of the forthcoming comedy Trinity of Bitches. Their enthusiasm helped me focus on the wonderful things about the evening.

I've rarely seen anything more beautiful than my book baby for sale in the Harvard Book Store.

Right next to checkout, ready for the next eager reader! Looks like it's already sold a copy or two...

I wanted the audience to love my epic novel as much as I do, so I read from it with great gusto.

Want to see the reading in action? You can because of kindness and support from my college creative writing advisor and dear friend, who took the video.

After the reading, Nadine Kenney Johnstone and I took questions from the audience. We discussed inspiration, how to get the writing done even when moving across the country, our next projects and sequels, working with an academic press, the lost medieval epic poem on which the novel is based ("It doesn't get more exciting than that!"), and the value of human life in the tenth century in light of the excerpt's mention of a "homicide fee." One audience member astutely pointed out that Seven Noble Knights would make a great television series. I'm not the only one who thinks so!

On a side note, look at the book behind Nadine: The Regional Office is Under Attack! This is by Manuel Gonzales, with whom I'm going to have the honor of working this July at the Tin House Summer Workshop!

Nadine also spoke about the reliving/processing/healing effects of writing her memoir and I wondered if that was in my future, too.

One of the prettiest city blocks in the entire USA
Many readers purchased books and I got to sign them with a nice pen I wish I could've kept. After the rush, Alex from the Harvard Book Store had me put my name in the remaining copies. Signed copies of Seven Noble Knights are now available if you drop by or order online! Nowhere else.

Friends tell me my husband's spirit was there to witness this event that meant so much to me.

I know. It wouldn't have happened without him.

If you can't get enough Seven Noble Knights videos, don't miss the intimate reading of Chapter I—murder, mayhem, and machismo in just five minutes!