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Linda Rader Overman is so proud of her former student Natalie Grill who was a winner of the Oliver W. Evans Writing Prize in Fall 2023--Well done!!

A Comparative Analysis of Spiegelman’s Maus II and Oster’s The Stable Boy of Auschwitz It has been nearly eighty years since that decis...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Birthing of a first novel

I always thought that if I were lucky enough to get a novel published I would just be able to sit back and let the publisher do the publicity for me. Well, ha ha, jokes on me, NOT!
Mainstream publishers may have budgets for such things, especially for a blockbuster of a novel, that means $$$$$$ maker, tried and tested.

For a first time novelist with a small independent publisher, well, guess what...publicity, marketing...all out of my own pocket. And it all depends how deep that pocket is. I have talked to about five different publicists, sent them copies of my novel whole or in parts. The truth is I better budget like I would to buy a second car. My budget for such a vehicle is more in line with buying a used small even-with -a-couple-of-dents-compact to get around the city, certainly not something for long hauls with Bose stereo system. So far with different estimates and such maybe if I am lucky I can get away with around $10K. Sheeit!! I don't have 10K for that. And each publicist talks in pub speak and I am not totally familiar with that rhetoric...say to me pathos, ethos, logos, okay from years of teaching composition I get those...but telling me about Organic SEO or Virtual Author Buzz Tour and I say "Huh?!"

So now I am learning that writing the work is 10% and marketing is 90%...maybe I should just go back to being a writer in the closet. Harrumph.

Crutches in my life

I just had hip arthroscopy...torn cartilage, left hip..."mileage," said my orthopedic surgeon. What he didn't tell me is that I must be on crutches for 4 weeks! No weight on my left hip whatsoever. Nevermind that in trying to coordinate my movements and those of my new pair of crutches I have already fallen several times, and nevermind that I live in a home with stairs. I must remember to not step on my left foot, lean on my left leg, rest on my left knee. What a bitch. What a humbling experience. I have never before felt such empathy with another using crutches, a wheelchair, a cane. Every inconsequential step I take is now to be pondered logistically. I take many steps in my home in a 24 hour period, but never before did I realize how much these peripatetic movements cost. If I leave one thing in another room, to crutch back to retrieve it takes time and energy that wears me out too early in the day, too early for this overachiever.
My upper body strength is being sorely tested, I have aches and pains in the sides of my body that I forgot had muscles...my forearms and wrists wear out earlier in the day than I would like...arthritis in my right thumb pains me after a day of crutching around. After three days of this I threw the crutches angrily on the floor because no matter what I do they seem to fall down constantly...then picking them or anything up off the floor takes concentration and alertness. I tend to want to steady myself on my left foot and forget that I cannot.
My patience level is being tested in a way that raising teenagers never has (fortunately I have twentysomethings now out in the world on their own).
But excuse me for whining, I thought my crutches in life would merely be a bit more servings of wine than I should, or when I was a protesting hippy, too much weed, hash, LSD or whatever...now crutch takes on a resonance that enrages me. My inability to accept the fact that I am not perfect, I am not able to get everything done when I want, as I want, where I want. Sigh. Maybe I should just shut up.

Letters Between Us - my novel out in Fall 2008

Up-and-coming writer Laura Wells goes to a memorial service for her best friend from childhood, Katharine Taylor, whose body was found in a garbage dump near Santa Barbara, California. At the time, Laura has been living apart from her husband. After she obtains some boxes of her own correspondence with Katharine and entries from Katharine's diaries, Laura moves into a cottage on the beach and begins her long 27-year journey back in memory revealing unimaginable past secrets of both herself and Katharine. As a result, Laura discovers a Katharine she thought she knew and didn't. LETTERS BETWEEN US is a requiem to friendship and an homage of remembrance, loss and liberation.

Check out lindaraderoverman.com for more about my epistolary novel coming this fall.