Do you live in Boston or near Newton, Massachusetts?
Outer Banks Publishing Group author Mary L. Tabor will give a public talk this Tuesday, Oct. 18 at Mt. Ida College as their Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow this week.
Wadsworth Lecture: Mary Tabor on Business and Art
When: Tuesday, Oct. 18th
Where: Campus Center Theater
Contact: Jamie Elliott
Mary will give a talk on her journey from high school English teacher to corporate
executive and the leap to creative work, to art. She will end the talk with a short
reading of one of her stories.
Author; former public affairs director, American Petroleum Institute
Mary Tabor published her first book of fiction at age 60 after a 16-year career in corporate
America, a senior executive, director of public affairs writing for the oil industry.
She was a high school English teacher who joined the business world, then made
a transition from the business world to the creative world, leaving her corporate
job when she was 50 to earn an MFA degree in Creative Writing.
Her first book, The Woman Who Never Cooked, won Mid-List Press’s First Series Award.
Ms. Tabor’s experience spans the worlds of journalism, business, education and fiction writing.
She was a visiting writer at University of Missouri in Columbia, and has been a long-time professor of Creative Writing at George Washington University and she works with the Washington, DC, library to reach less-privileged populations on how to begin writing.
Mary’s books will be available for sale at the event: The Woman Who Never Cooked: connected
short stories, (Re)Making Love: a memoir, and Who by Fire: a novel.
Or you can purchase any of them at our bookstore.
Who by Fire
by Mary L. Tabor
List Price: $17.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
Outer Banks Publishing Group
BISAC: Fiction / Literary
Who by Fire breaks new literary ground.
Mary L. Tabor has written a complex tale of love, betrayal, discovery and the search for self.
The form of the novel itself breaks ground. A male narrator tells the story he does not actually know but discovers through memory, through piecing the puzzles of his marriage, through his wife’s goodness and her betrayal. He confronts paradox with music, science and a conflagration he witnessed in his native Iowa. Underlying his search is the quest for heroism and the search for his own father.
Quite simply, Who by Fire is like nothing else you have read and has earned its place among books that matter.
by Mary L. Tabor
When Mary L. Tabor’s husband of 21 years announced, “I need to live alone,” she cratered and turned to the only comfort she had left: her writing.
What resulted was (Re)MAKING LOVE: a sex after sixty story, a fresh, witty, funny and brutally honest memoir of everything she felt and did during her long journey back to happiness.
This deeply personal account of her saga takes the reader from Washington, DC to Missouri to Australia through the good, the bad and the foolish from Internet dating to outlandish flirting and eventually to Paris where an unexpected visitor changed the author’s life forever.
Her story offers hope and joy told with passion and brilliance that is highly refreshing with the single and most prominent message—it is never too late to find love—and oneself even after age sixty and beyond.
The Woman Who Never Cooked
by Mary L. Tabor
Series: First Series: Short Fiction
Paperback: 175 pages
Publisher: Outer Banks Publishing Group
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
“The American adult woman is featured in this debut collection of stories about love, adultery, marriage, passion, death, and family. There is a subtle humor here, and an innate wisdom about everyday life as women find solace in cooking, work, and chores. Tabor reveals the thoughts of her working professional women who stream into Washington, D.C., from the outer suburbs, the men they date or marry, and the attractive if harried commuters they meet.”
Her collection of short stories The Woman Who Never Cooked, published when she was 60, won the Mid-List Press First Series Award. “Mary Tabor writes with astonishing grace, endless passion, and subtle humor,” one reviewer noted.
Reprinted in part from The Huffington Post
What amazes me is that there are no copies of this book released anywhere, yet some people are attacking the book and the author. I thought this is worth reprinting here.
– Outer Banks Publishing Group Publisher
By Claire Fallon Culture Writer, The Huffington Post
Author Laura Silverman wrote a YA novel, Girl Out of Water, that’s slated for publication in May 2017. The book hasn’t fully made its way through the editorial process, and review copies have not been sent out.
Nonetheless, one day last week, Silverman heard from a fellow author that Girl Out of Water had been besieged with one-star ratings and reviews on Goodreads, a popular site where readers keep track of the books they’re reading.
“There’s zero chance those reviews could have been legitimate,” she told The Huffington Post in a phone conversation. Not only is the book still under wraps, but she and others noted that many of the nasty reviews were posted by brand-new accounts.
So what was going on? Silverman, who is Jewish and frequently tweets about the election, had a good idea. Ever since this summer, her tweets calling out presidential candidate Donald Trump for his problematic statements had attracted bucketloads of anti-Semitic responses and threats from white supremacist accounts. After she tweeted her anger about Trump’s cozy interview on Jimmy Fallon last week, the trolls multiplied ― and, apparently, spread to other forums.
Outer Banks Publishing Group author Ron Rhody has agreed to serialize a few chapters of his newest novel, Concerning The Matter of The King of Craw, giving readers a sneak peak into his book based the real life of John Fallis, a legendary figure, who was like a Robin Hood in Frankfort, Kentucky during the Roaring Twenties.
Each week, we will present a new chapter here or you can read it on Ron’s blog. Here is the second chapter Ron released.
Sketch by Karen Piedmont of the “Craw” section of Frankfort, KY in the early twenties.
CONCERNING THE MATTER OF THE KING OF CRAW will be released Nov. 5, 2016 at the Kentucky Book Fair, Frankfort, KY. You can pre-order a copy from our bookstore at the publisher’s pre-release price of $11.99.
By Ron Rhody
CHAPTER FOUR: RISE PEON
The day Tubby and his merry men would be expecting to collect their tribute, the day that would mark the start of my second full week of school in this town still strange to me, the day that would set the way my peers would think of me.
I knew they knew of Tubby’s shakedowns. They must have talked of it. The word must have gotten around. Not that they were likely to ostracize the timid and the weak among them. They’d just have no respect for them.
I understood that. If you don’t respect yourself, no one else will. To prove that you do, you can’t let others push you around.
While I was a boy, the only instruction I ever had in fighting came the afternoon Andy Charbonneau got beat up.
Jigger Swinson beat hell out of him. Jigger was the biggest and meanest boy in class.
We were playing marbles after school behind the swings. Jigger said Andy cheated. He grabbed Andy’s taw and wouldn’t give it back. Andy called him a liar.
“Don’t call me a liar you little bastard.” He took Andy apart.
When Andy couldn’t stand up any longer, Jigger kicked him in the side and walked away with Andy’s taw.
Jimmy D. and Winston and me helped him home. Andy’s dad, the guide, the elk hunter, was there. “What happened, boys” he said as he washed the blood from Andy’s face.
Mr. Charbonneau, Baptiste Charbonneau, was a cheerful man with an easy way and the build of a bear. His face was wind-burned and sunburned and his eyes crinkled at the sides when he smiled. No smiles now.
When we finished, Mr. Charbonneau said, “Did anybody help this Jigger Swinson beat on Andrew?”
He waited a moment or two, considering, then said, “I’m not for fighting, boys. But some things you can’t let pass.”
He looked around to each of us. “I want all you boys to pay attention to this.”
Another long pause, waiting to be sure we were listening.
“I don’t expect you to fight unless you have to. But from time to time you’ll have to. Life works that way.” He seemed saddened by that, but continued.
“If there’s going to be a fight, don’t stand around jawing. Don’t waste time pushing or shoving. Knock the sonofabitch down and stomp on him. Hit him as hard as you can! Go for the stomach. Knock his wind out. When he bends over to try to get a breath, hit him behind the head with both your hands locked together. When he falls, stomp on his hands so he won’t be able to hit again for a long time. Don’t give him any quarter. Don’t give him time to collect himself.”
Mr. Charbonneau was a respected man. He had to master the mountains. Sometimes had to master the egos of the swells who could afford his skills but who drank too much or wanted to take a calf for the meat when it was bulls only season and he wouldn’t permit it.
“Beat him so bad he’ll never want to fight you again,” he said. “Blow through him like a Maria and then stand over him and tell him if he ever sees you coming he damn well better get out of the way.”
We were gathered in his kitchen when he told us this. Andy was sitting on a stool by the sink with the bloodstained washcloth floating in the basin and we were ringed around him. Mr. Charbonneau was standing behind Andy with his hand on Andy’s shoulder.
“Understand, boys? Understand what I’m telling you? Don’t get caught up in ideas about fair fights. There are no fair fights. You hit first! Hit with as much force as you’ve got. Drop him down and stomp on him before he knows what’s happening. Make him never dare mess with you again.”
He ran his gaze over each of us, satisfying himself that we understood.
“Now, Andrew,” he said, moving around to stand in front of Andy. “I want you to go find this boy Jigger Swinson. I want you to give him that message. And I want you to get your taw back.”
He walked to the corner by the fireplace where he kept a staff that he used when he was scouting in the mountains, a long wooden staff of fire-hardened oak that had been shaved into round and varnished slick. He hefted it, swung it, slapped it against his open palm a couple of times, walked to the window and looked out. The afternoon was fading but there was still an hour or two to sunset. He walked back across the room to stand in front of Andy.
“This boy’s bigger than you. Take this to even that up. When you find him, don’t say anything.”
Mr. Carbonneau raised the staff above his head and swung it down in a sweeping arc.
“Smash him! Hit down, like you’re chopping a log. Hold the staff in both hands. Hit hard. Aim for a spot between the shoulder blade and the neck. Then switch your hold and swing like you’re hitting a baseball and hit him across the upper arm.”
He drew back, pivoted and stepped into the swing as if he expected to drive it out of the park.
“Then swing it down and bark his shins. Then stab it into his gut. When he falls, stand over him and jam the stick into his neck where the Adam’s Apple is. Not too hard. You’ll kill him if you press too hard.”
Mr. Charbonneau stood there, legs apart with the staff’s point shoved into the floor at his feet and him leaning into it, steel in his tone.
“Tell him give me back my taw. Tell him don’t you dare come at me again.”
He handed the staff to Andy. “Go now.”
And turned to us. We were breathless at what we’d seen, shocked at what we’d heard. “You boys go with him,” he said. “See that no one interferes.”
No one did.
Andy got his taw back.
Jigger Swinson didn’t mess with any of us again.
Tubby and his three merry men circled me when class let out for morning recess.
“Pretty boy, pretty boy, we’re waiting for you. It’s Monday morning and tribute is due.”
They were standing by the outside water fountain. You had to pass it on the way to the playground. Tubby made his little sing-song chant loud enough to be heard by those who were passing. Most of the class knew what to expect. They didn’t stop as they passed but began to gather in little groups just far enough away to be close enough to watch.
The morning was chilly. Tubby had on knickers again and a neatly knotted tie and a button- up sweater, with hair slicked back and an arrogant smile. He stood hands on hips, looking big and threatening. The three merry men grinned at each other.
He held out his right hand, palm up, smirking. I smiled right back and drove my fist into his gut with all the force I had. Tubby’s eyes widened. He folded over, gasping, and I hit him behind the neck with my interlocked hands. He splayed out flat, almost bouncing off the concrete pavement at the base of the fountain. I let him lay gasping for a minute, then rolled him over and knelt down with my knee in his chest. I grabbed his tie and forced his gagging face up to look me in the eyes. The surprise on his face was deeper than the pain.
“Wha….” he tried say but he was fighting too hard to breathe.
I tightened my grip on his tie. “Tubby, the peons have risen,” I said.
I dropped him down then and rose to deal with the merry men. But there was no need. Lucas was standing behind me, protecting my back.
Across the schoolyard kids were running in to get closer.
Tubby was still on his back gasping for breath. The merry men seemed dazed. Lucas nodded his head toward Tubby and said to them, “Your little shakedown is over, boys. I wouldn’t try it again or pretty boy might get mad. Now pick your friend up, clean him up, and get out of here.”
Then he turned to me laughing and shaking his head said, “Where’d you learn that!”
(more to come)
Outer Banks Publishing Group author Ron Rhody has agreed to serialize a few chapters of his newest novel giving readers a sneak peak into his book based the real life of John Fallis, a legendary figure, who was like a Robin Hood in Frankfort, Kentucky during the Roaring Twenties.
Each week, we will present a new chapter here or you can read it on Ron’s blog.
CONCERNING THE MATTER OF THE KING OF CRAW will be released Nov. 5, 2016 at the Kentucky Book Fair, Frankfort, KY or you can pre-order a copy from our bookstore for $11.99.
By Ron Rhody
I’m not sure how to characterize it. It is a work of fiction, yes — but it is based on real people and real events. A mystery? Yes, but not of the usual kind. This one has to do with a man of glaring contradictions — a mercurial man of lethal temper and tender compassion whose acts cause him to becomes an iconic figure in Bluegrass folklore.
No one who knew him, not even he himself, could explain why he did the things he did. He was either Lucifer let loose or Galahad to the rescue of the poor and the powerless. The debate on whether the sum of his actions was good or evil was intense then and remains so now. And the matter of his death is still suspect. Was it a fight over a game of dice as the newspapers reported, or a killing ordered by powerful men who had had enough of the King of Craw?
The book is about all that, and friendship, and the odd turns love can take. Considering this, I thought it might be good to give prospective readers an idea of what the story is and how it unfolds. So over the next few weeks we’ll run a few of the opening chapters here. The one that follows is the Prologue – the “overture” before the curtain rises. Comments and questions are welcomed.
I have been able to reconstruct most of the facts of his life, but I still cannot explain the man.
The sudden explosions of violence.
Like the cutting of Semonis.
The surprising acts of compassion
Like the burial of the mountain child.
What drove him?
He and Semonis were friends. At a dance. A woman. A remark by Semonis that John Fallis thought insulting? The knife was out and in Semonis’ side before anyone could move.Some spark, some circuit in his mind connected and he reacted violently and without thinking.
That happened often.
Ted Bates.Not serious. The bullet missed the bone and the leg healed. Tubba Dixon had a pool cue broken over his head and would have had the jagged stump shoved down his throat if he hadn’t been pulled out of Fallis’s reach.
There were other shooting and cuttings.
Anger? Surely.Self defense? Perhaps.
For the Semonis knifing, he was arrested, charged with cutting and wounding with intent to kill without killing, and jailed. But nothing came of it.
From his bed, Semonis petitioned the Judge to set John Fallis free. John is my good friend, he declared. It was a simple misunderstanding, as much my fault as John’s. Please let him go.
The battered and the wounded often petitioned the court to let him go.
Because of acts like the burial of the mountain child?
A stranger, a man from the mountains, had come to town to find work and feed his family. No work could be found. While the man searched, his baby son caught the river fever and died.
The man knew no one. Had no friends or family to call on. No job. No money. No way to bury his baby son, his only son. For a man like him, a man from the prideful culture he came from, the shame of it was damning, the despair of the loss of his son crippling.Then someone told him about a man who might help.
No need to belabor the story.
The stranger came to the grocery. Stood before the counter. Humble. Humiliated. Told his story. Promised somehow, someday, if only Mr. Fallis could see his way clear to lend him enough money to bury his son, he’d pay it all back, swear to God.
John Fallis listened quietly. Took the measure of the man. Didn’t lend him the money. Gave it to him. More than was needed. And stood with the man and his wife at the burial so that they didn’t have to endure it alone.
Like the spark that set off the violence, there was a spark that triggered compassion.
I doubt he was aware of either.
Whatever the case, to most of those in that section near the river where the poor lived, that section where the bad-ass bars and the honkey-tonks and the cat-houses huddled, to most of the people in that part of town where John Fallis had his grocery, and to many others all over town that were poor and powerless, he was revered. He stood up for them.
To the proper folk of the city, though, he was Lucifer unleashed. He was a lawless, thuggish, un-intimidated insult to decency and the Powers-That-Be. They wanted him gone.
John Fallis was ten when he began to carry a knife.
The older boys, the bigger boys, picked on him. He fought back. They thought it was funny. Until he got the knife.
When he became a man, no one thought it would be funny to pick on John Fallis. He brooked no insult, would not be cheated, would not be pushed around. He bent a knee to no man.
He was the King of Craw and Lucas Deane was his acolyte.
I came to know Mister Fallis through Lucas. That’s how I thought of him—as Mister Fallis.
He was strikingly handsome. He had a charm that was almost magnetic. When he chose to use it, which was not always, he won friends easily and women became willing prey. Being around him was like being swept up in a vortex of energy where something exciting, something dangerous, something unexpected could happen, would probably happen, at any second. I fell gladly into his orbit. I was only a boy then. We were in the seventh grade, Lucas Deane and I, when we met. I was transferring in from a distant school. Lucas was already there. That year was nineteen-twenty. The Great War was over. The country was opening the door to the Roaring Twenties. The Big Shoot-Out was a year in the future.
The Big Shoot-Out. The day John Fallis took on the entire city police force. You’ve heard of it. Everyone’s heard of it. Even the New York Times was appalled. But John Fallis was special to Lucas Deane long before that. Lucas and his mother would have starved but for John Fallis.
Lucas’s mother was ill and couldn’t work. They were penniless. No money for food, no money for rent. Lucas was only seven at the time. John Fallis heard of it. He found Lucas and gave him a job … things he could do, sweep up at the grocery after school, stock the shelves … and paid him enough that they could get by.
Later, Mr. Fallis kept Lucas on. He liked the boy. Lucas’s gratitude was endless, his admiration boundless. I could understand that. I came to admire John Fallis, too. But not to the point of blind devotion.
Lord, save us from our heroes.
Author Scott Fields talks about his new novel, The Killing Road, and why he decided to dramatize this true story and how hard it was to write such a book.
What made you dramatize the true life events of The Killing Road?
I was at a book signing when a young couple came up to me and the woman told me about a time when three members of her family were killed by a maniac who eventually killed twelve people in a three week period. She gave me the phone number of her grandparents. I met with them and they gave me a scrapbook that was full of everything I needed to know.
What is your fascination with real life crime stories? Why do you think you are so interested in true crime? Your earlier novel, The Mansfield Killings, is also based on true events.
Normally, I prefer feel good stories. I like a story with a conflict but a happy ending. The Killing Road and The Mansfield Killings began by someone telling me about some events that happened years ago. Something clicked inside me when I heard about each one, and my regular life was put on the back burner.
What do you hope to accomplish by writing The Killing Road? By writing any book?
Most everyone has a hobby, and mine just happens to be writing. For all my life ideas would pop into my head. If they stayed there for several years, then I took them seriously and would eventually turn those ideas into a novel.
How did you go about starting The Killing Road? What was involved?
After several interviews and trips to the library for additional information out of the newspapers, I was ready to begin.
You said it was hard writing The Killing Road. What did you mean by that?
It was extremely difficult to write about some of the things that he did. It only took me four months to write The Mansfield Killings, and it took me two years to write this one. He was incredibly vicious and did some things that I described in the novel but will not discuss them today.
Do you have another book on the horizon?
I am about halfway finished with a little more upbeat kind of novel. Imagine a mafia hitman turning into a pastor and becoming obsessed with taking care of kids with cancer. I have a real problem with kids getting cancer, and I just had to write a story about it. This will be one more way of feeding my hobby.
Click here to order your copy!
“The essence of good and evil is a certain disposition of the mind.”
“To those in that section near the river where the poor lived, that section where the bad-ass bars and the honkey-tonks and the cat-houses huddled, to the people in that part of town they called the Bottom, and to many others all over town that were poor and powerless, he was revered. He stood up for them.
To the proper folk of the city, though, he was Lucifer unleashed. He was the King of Craw and they wanted him gone.”
Set in the Roaring Twenties in Kentucky’s Capital City, the story spins around John Fallis, a legendary figure in Bluegrass folklore, and two boys who fall into his orbit.
A successful businessman, a gambler, a bootlegger, movie-star handsome, charismatically compelling, and deferential to no one, he was the champion of the common man and the scourge of the Powers That Be.
He was the King of Craw.
The story begins just before the night of the Big Shoot-Out when he takes on the entire city police force and sets his fabled reputation in stone. But the way he died remains a mystery to this day. Did the powerful forces in the city have him killed or was it the gambling fight it was purported to be?
Though this is a story and not a history, most of it happened. John Fallis, Craw, Crawfish Bottom are names that still resonate and questions about his early end are still unanswered.
This is the first piece of fiction built around the man and the place, full of action and drama, most particularly for readers drawn to mystery and the on-going battle between good and evil.
Whatever you ultimately decide about JF’s place on the scale of good and bad or the particulars of his death, you won’t be bored.
I recently received a very interesting email from Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, who brought to light the US book embargo against Cuba. Cubans earn the equivalent of only about $20 USD per month, whether they’re a doctor or a janitor. They don’t have a lot of money to invest in publishing.
Imagine if we could make our free ebook publishing and distribution services available to their writers? Imagine if Cuban readers could gain greater access to the nearly 400,000 low cost ebooks at Smashwords and other ebook retailers including over 60,000 free ebooks at Smashwords?
The petition will help abolish the embargo and free up our rich literary history to the Cuban people. Outer Banks Publishing Group supports Mark and this worthy cause and I am hoping you will, too. Please help and sign the petition.
Here is Mark’s email, published in its entirety:
“I’m writing to ask for your help.
Please go to https://petitions.whitehouse. gov//petition/end-book-embargo-against-cuba and consider signing my petition to end the US book embargo against Cuba.
Last month, I joined a publishing industry delegation to Cuba to meet with Cuban writers, publishers and government representatives from their ministry of culture and book institute.
The goal of the meetings was to build bridges of understanding and explore opportunities for greater cultural and economic collaboration between the Cuban publishing community and the American publishing community.
I was struck by what I learned.
Cuban writers and publishers are excited about the warming political relations between Cuba and the United States.
Cuba has an adult literacy rate of nearly 100%, about 20 points higher than the US.
Cuba boasts a rich literary culture.
I visited the Havana Book Fair, which was attended by hundreds of thousands of Cubans. I’d estimate 90% of attendees were millennials. These young readers are smart, educated and optimistic. They want greater access to books. They’re the future of Cuba.
The US embargo against Cuba has been enormously harmful to the Cuban people, and it’s been especially harmful to their book market. Cuban publishers have difficulty acquiring even the basic raw materials of bookmaking like paper and ink.
Because so much of the infrastructure of global book publishing passes through the United States, the embargo makes it difficult for Cuban authors and publishers to reach a broader audience.
Cubans earn the equivalent of only about $20 USD per month, whether they’re a doctor or a janitor. They don’t have a lot of money to invest in publishing.
Imagine if we could make our free ebook publishing and distribution services available to their writers? Imagine if Cuban readers could gain greater access to the nearly 400,000 low cost ebooks at Smashwords, including over 60,000 free ebooks? I want to help them today but I can’t because of the embargo.
I founded Smashwords to break down barriers like this. To give every writer the freedom to publish, and every reader the freedom to read what they choose.
According to a Pew poll in 2015, fully 72% of the American public wants the embargo lifted.
The US stands virtually alone in this embargo which has now persisted over 50 years.
I realize the politics around this are heated. I realize many Americans — especially Cuban-Americans who emigrated in the ’60s — have strong feelings about the current political regime in Cuba. I respect these feelings. I want to take the politics out of this and focus on the Cuban people.
Would it be so bad to let the books flow freely in both directions? Might books help heal the wounds on both sides?
President Obama has taken steps over the last year to normalize relations with Cuba and set the stage for the end of the embargo.
But change can’t come soon enough. Given the current political dysfunction in the US, it’s unlikely the US congress will vote to end the embargo even though 59% of Republicans want it ended, according to that same Pew poll above.
The embargo is composed of a spaghetti mess of presidential edicts, Treasury department statutes and Congressional actions.
Despite the political gridlock, President Obama has some latitude to make modifications around the edges. He’s already relaxed travel restrictions and allowed American telecommunications companies to invest in Cuba so they can make Internet access more ubiquitous in Cuba.
President Obama says he wants to do more to expose Cubans to American culture and more global information. Books are the solution!
As we say in the petition, books promote greater cross-cultural understanding, economic development and free expression.
On the eve of President Obama’s March 21-22 trip to Cuba, I’d like to ask your support. Let’s encourage President Obama to lift the embargo against books and educational materials. It would be a good first step.
End the Cuba book embargo https://petitions.whitehouse. gov//petition/end-book- embargo-against-cuba @WhiteHouse @BarackObama
Books help cross-cultural understanding and economic development. You can retweet it at https://twitter.com/markcoker or feel free to copy and paste it into your own tweet, or compose an original tweet.
Here are some of the links:
Wall Street Journal
Huffington Post (I wrote this)
The timing today is critical. Next Thursday, March 17, 2016, the Obama administration will announce modifications to the embargo that will likely loosen some restrictions on the embargo. Let’s encourage him to add books to his list!
Thank you for your consideration and support. At the bottom of this email I’ve pasted in the full text of the petition.
END THE BOOK EMBARGO AGAINST CUBA
On the eve of his historic visit to Cuba March 21-22, we call on President Obama to utilize executive powers to immediately lift the economic embargo against Cuba as it pertains to books and educational materials.
As a basic human right, readers everywhere deserve greater access to books and literature.
Books promote cross-cultural understanding, economic development, free expression and positive social change.
The book embargo runs counter to American ideals of free expression.
Cuba’s adult literacy rate – at nearly 100% – is among the highest in the world.
Cuba boasts a rich literary heritage.
End the embargo to make the works of American and Cuban writers more accessible to readers in each country.
72% of Americans support an end to the trade embargo against Cuba (Pew, 2015).”
Mark also orchestrated another petition which will appear next week on the cover of Publishers Weekly. Unlike the petition above which is for the general public, the other petition was signed by nearly 50 CEOs of publishing companies and writers associations (RWA, Authors Guild and more). You can read about both petitions in the news stories above.
Outer Banks Publishing Group author Owain Glyn was recently interviewed by author May Freighter on her blog and revealed some of his secrets to falling in love. Here are few choice insights from the poet of love.
May: A lot of writers seem to be better at a particular genre or a style which they hone over the years. This leads me to our next question: why did you choose poetry?
Owain: I guess I was drawn to writing through my love of language, and poetry allows me to use language in a variety of ways that prose does not. I love the lyricism of poetry.
May: I think every writer out there should try a bit of poetry now and again. There is a lot we can learn from it. It summarises and portrays so much in short sentences. Usage of powerful words can always be noted in good examples.Writing lets our souls explore the worlds beyond our imagination, so what is your routine of getting there?
Owain: I am lucky, I can find inspiration everywhere. I am an avid people watcher and I have a very broad set of interests. A walk into town, a walk in the country, ten minutes listening to the news, will always give me food for thought.
May: I tend to try and block out the world while moving. My mind likes to use that time to create things instead of focusing on the people around me. But, when I am stationary and have nothing to do then I become a creepy people watcher. I do hope I don’t freak too many people out by staring. Have to master those ninja skills sometime.
Click here to read the whole interview.
Owain Glyn’s Windswept – Poems of Love, containing 107 love and heart-felt poems, were inspired by the author’s surroundings – the wild coast of Cornwall, UK, a land of legend from King Arthur, and Merlin, to mermaids, pirates, and smugglers. The poems have been read more than 2 million times by more than 12,000 fans of Owain Glyn on the popular writer’s community, Wattpad.
List Price: $10.99
Nine of the 20 books on Amazon’s current bestseller list contain few words and belong to a genre that didn’t exist two years ago. Welcome to the biggest publishing craze of the year: coloring books for adults, writes Susannah Cahalan in the New York Post.
More than 2,000 have hit stands since 2013 and the genre’s two biggest bestsellers, “Secret Garden” and “Enchanted Forest,” have sold a combined 13.5 million copies in 50 countries, she wrote.
“Adult coloring books are key factors in three of the top four adult nonfiction categories,” according to Kristen McLean, director of new business development for Nielsen Book.
“They make up 14 out of the top 20 for games/hobby/activity, including the top three slots. They are 40 out of the top 50 in art/design. There are even three in the top 20 in self-help,” she was quoted an article in the ABA Winter Institute’s look at 2016 bookselling trends from Publishers Weekly.
So what is the attraction to coloring books? People consider it therapeutic, stress-relieving and calming. Adrienne Raphel in her piece in The New Yorker called the trend, the “Peter Pan Market” as adults turn to coloring to relive the joys of their childhood.
Starre Vartan wrote in Mother Nature Network (MNN) that MNN’s own Robin Shreeves is a fan, “I enjoy them because when I’m doing them, I don’t think about anything but colors. They take me away from life’s problems without a lot of effort. So do many other creative endeavors, but with the coloring book, I can do it for 10 minutes instead of the time it would take me to do some other things. I don’t do it often, but I pick it up from time to time and get lost for a bit,” Shreeves wrote.
“Coloring fulfills a creative urge and is also soothing and calming,” wrote Jan Hornbeck Chapman, an Ohio-based youth librarian in her 60s, according to Vartan.
Vartan also quoted Sophie Hessekiel, a college student at Vassar in Poughkeepsie, New York, echoes Chapman, even though she’s at a completely different stage of life. “Coloring lets you think about nothing for a little while, and the feel of a marker on paper is very soothing,” she wrote.
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