Every writer wants to feel the love and yesterday I was a lucky girl. I got to participate in a lively panel discussion at Hofstra University with my favorite group of Long Island authors and then come home, kick off my shoes, and chat with a book club in Northern Kentucky via web cam. Yep. Talking to readers, answering their questions and having a lot of laughs is my kind of day!
A special thanks to Debbi Honorof, the book editor of Long Island Woman magazine, who organized a super event at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island (site of the final presidential debate last Fall). The topic was Transitions: Myths and Realities in Fiction and it was a timely talk because who isn’t in transition? Plus, the program was sponsored by the Long Island Transition Network: a group of women who are in transition due to changes in their marital status, careers, health, wealth and so on. Great idea and what a nice, responsive crowd!
I was joined on the panel by my fearless friends and authors, Ellen Meister, Brenda Janowitz (yay- she’s having a boy!!!!) and Carol Hoenig.
We are always in transition so we could relate, but from there we went on to discuss the writer’s life, the world of publishing, and, of course, life on Long Island, which is like none other.
In fact, one of Debbi’s questions (she did a marvelous job moderating as always) was how our stories will be affected by the closing of Fortunoff, a Long Island landmark, We all sighed. Talk about transitions. Our novels are set here and how could we not mention the store where we all shopped for our linens and kitchenwares before Bed, Bath and Beyond ruled the world? Of course! We could change the time period to the go-go eighties when Fortunoff was the destination stop for all things gifts. So clever!
Next, I had to share my latest Long Island story and am moving it to the top of my list. Are you ready?
I just bought a new pocketbook- a nice bright, turquoise bag with thick, comfortable handles and not too much muss and fuss on the outside. Frankly, it was time to retire my trusty black shoulder bag as it was so heavy it was starting to resemble Samsonite luggage.
Anyway, I’m at the beauty salon when a woman in the next chair admires the pocketbook and asks to see it. Then she stops chewing her gum long enough to scrunch her little face and say, “Is that the Dana Buchman bag from Kohls?” I say yes, proud that I bought a really nice bag and didn’t spend the equivalent of a mortgage payment. She says, “You know it’s not leather, right?”
Normally I am very quick with the comebacks, but she got me. Here is what I should have said (pick one):
A. Oh no! Not leather? Is that a felony or a misdemeanor?
B. Yay! I saved a cow today!
C. Yes it is leather, you little bitch!
But I digress. I said nothing. I am bigger than that. Not really. I just have an outlet for revenge… that snarky little convo wil show up in my next book. You have my word.
Okay, moving on. A few weeks ago I was delighted to get an e-mail from Pam, a reader outside of Cincinnati who wanted to know more about Dear Neighbor. After exchanging several e-mails, we discovered that we both grew up in Munster, Indiana and went to Indiana University. Small world indeed. Then Pam and I made arrangements to have a book club via Skype. So much fun!
Yes, that’s me with my mouth going on the little laptop, but hey, this is exciting! We chatted, we laughed, we talked about books, happy endings and Facebook. Seems we’re all on it and it’s our guilty pleasure. I totally enjoyed talking to this nice group of ladies and hope we can do a reunion tour when they read one of my other books.
Thank you for inviting me, Pam, and thank you Karla and Karen for assisting with all the technical things. Hope you had as much fun as me.
Now it’s back to work on my new novel, Margot Is No Longer Listed as Married. Exactly. It’s about Facebook, what else???? Stay tuned!