What to expect leading up to your book launch

The day a book launches is one of the most exciting of an author’s career, but the weeks leading up to it can be nerve-wracking. Knowing what to expect can help give you a sense of calm as you move into “launch month.”

I like to describe the publicity leading up to your publication date like a snowball: it starts out rather small and moves slowly, but as you get closer, momentum and size build up.

First, many readers prefer to wait until launch day or launch week to cross-post reviews (Amazon actually doesn’t allow reviews to post before then, although other sites do). This burst of reviews in a short period of time can be beneficial; it’s similar to advertising, and the sudden, frequent exposure to the book’s cover and title can lead to more orders!

Second, local media publications in your area are more likely to post a review or blurb about the book near the launch date, in order to create a more timely hook for their newscycle.

So how can you help build the momentum?

Check in with your network of family and friends around this time to ask them to help spread the word about your book. They can do this through Goodreads reviews, social media outreach, or good old-fashioned word of mouth. Many of your supporters will want to help you during this time, but they might need you to tell them how.

Post regularly on social media. Prior to launch, you may have been posting about your book on social media less frequently in order to not overwhelm your followers. However, the weeks leading up to your launch is the time to really use those platforms to display your excitement and share this part of your journey! You should also use social media to share any reviews, and to thank the people who wrote them.

Make sure your website is fully updated and running smoothly. As more people hear about your book, your website is likely to have more visits. Make sure buy links (including IndieBound) are displayed prominently to give you the best chance at getting those orders! If you have a reader newsletter, make sure that you have a system in place to capture email addresses of anyone who wants to subscribe.

Be savvy about making your book launch event a success. Encourage your contacts in the area to come, and to spread the word about the event to their networks as well. Stores appreciate when events gather a crowd, and it gives you an opportunity to spread your message beyond your circle. Ask the store what format usually works best for them, whether it’s a short reading, a Q&A, a conversation, etc.

Bring bookmarks and extra pens for signing, and a notepad to take down any email addresses for contacts you may make. Plus some water and mints–you’ll be doing a lot of talking!

In the wake of COVID-19, many stores are offering virtual events instead of in-person events, which is a great option to reach a wider audience beyond where you can travel! Even if an event is virtual, we still recommend being strategic about when, where, and with whom you set up events: you want to make sure you can draw an audience, so that it is a good investment for you and the bookstore.

If the bookstore doesn’t set up a Facebook event for your launch, you should set one up yourself! It’s a great way to let a wide audience know about your launch, and you can include a lot of information in one place.

And most of all, remember to enjoy yourself! This is a special time, and at the end of the day, nothing can diminish your hard work, creativity, and the amazing accomplishment of releasing your own book!

What can authors do to make the most of their time stuck at home?

We at Books Forward know how important this time is for our authors and readers alike. People are going back to basics and reading more than ever (let’s take that good news where we can!).  Sitting at home, readers are wondering “What can I read today?” while Authors are wondering “How can these readers get a copy of my book?” We are here to be that clotheslines between the two! Grab your pegs and pulley that fresh book into their (hopefully) clean hands with a few of these easy tips!

Audience 

Start with your reader –  Who  are they?! And find them! 

  1. Who is your audience? What do they look like? What stores do they shop at? How old are they? Are they married, single,  young, old…  You get the point! Narrow down that audience as best as you can and go after that using hashtags and similar accounts.
  2. Comparable authors – This is a trick that can help you not only find your audience, but find out what works best for that author, which in turn could work well for you! What content are they posting? Where do they get the most engagement? Follow some of their audience and engage. 

Photos

We live in a very visual society – which *err* doesn’t really help us wordsmiths –  but if a visual photo is going to give them incentive to read your caption or better yet your book then we have to think about the immediate bait. With some extra free time at home, why not try to snap a few good photos for content? If a photo is going to get your readers hooked, then let’s reel them in.

Tips for photos:

  • Lighting! Lighting! Lighting! In this day and age, most smart phones carry a quality camera. However, to get the best quality of the camera, you need to take pictures in natural lighting. Move your camera around different angles to see how the light affects your photo. Shoot outside if that helps (*Insiders Tip*  A photographer’s favorite day, is overcast – not too bright and not  too gloomy)
  • Editing Apps: You can download free editing apps such as ColorStory, Afterlight and VSCO but to avoid being overly complicated, most phones have an editing option right in the photo. 
  • Editing Tips:
    • Lightning: Don’t brighten it too much, but adding a little extra can make your photo look extra professional!
    • Crop: Don’t be shy to take a photo as is and use the crop tool to clean it up!
  • Content: Not every photo has to be a perfect photo, people want to see the real you so feel free to share a recipe here and there, your writing setup, your morning coffee routine,, your family – anything that may pull readers in to who you are and how you write. Inspire them!

Easy Photo Examples:

1- Flat Lay: Greenery, or flowers can help bring color to your photo! Place your book on a stool, a chair or table – add greenery around it and voila!

2- Add in textures and colors that you have lying around the house! Where’s your reading spot? Maybe your writing desk? A fun angle: Hold out your book  below using one hand, and snapping the photo with your other:)

3- Use different covers and mediums of how you can listen or read your book!

4- Furry Friends are welcome! People love pets – sneak in those hashtags of your dog’s breed and find new followers that love books &  pets too!

5- Bookstacks – Share with your readers, what you’re reading or what inspires you! Sharing your name and associating with other authors always gives good perception. Tag them and see if they repost it!

6- Don’t be too shy to get in the shot! Set up a timer or have a friend/family member to take a picture of you writing or reading. Get that book plug in there too  by having it somewhere in the frame;)!

Instagram LIVE

This is a great new tool for creatives. Although, it may seem terrifying to go live – It’s a great way to  connect! *just remember to turn on AND off the camera*

Here are a few ways you can use this tool:

1- Pair up with another author! They can be in the Books Forward family or a fellow author you know. Schedule a time, share it with your fans on both socials and choose to ask each  other questions about the writing process, or any chapters in your book etc. You  can have a theme or it can just be a quick happy hour chat!

2- The new donation button – This tool is a great way to get readers to buy  your book on the spot. OR, you  can use this tool to pick a charity and raise money during your Live. Team up and Tag!

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/instagram-adds-live-donations-feature-for-fundraising-via-instagram-live/576951/ 

Facebook LIVE

Again, another great tool to reach out to people on that platform! You can do a  reading hour, where you read and discuss a section of your book, throw a launch party, cook your favorite meal- anything that helps create content, tags other accounts and promotes your book at the same time is a good recipe!

Example:

1 –  Authors, David & Julie Bulitt LIVE making their favorite drinks in the kitchen!

https://www.facebook.com/172783613413991/videos/235977604179931/ 

2- Author Katie Burke, jumped on a Zoom call with local bookshop The Booksmith and a few kids from her book “Urban Playground;  What Kids Say About Living in San Francisco.”

https://www.facebook.com/172783613413991/videos/235977604179931/  

REVIEWS

Don’t be shy to reach out to  Instagram, Facebook or any book reviewers and offer a copy of your book in exchange for a post! Now, on Amazon you can send an ebook as a gift, super easy and practical for social distancing! 

All in all, social media is a great tool but you have to be patient with it. The more time you spend engaging, creating content and connecting with people you will start to see your numbers grow – Remember, consistency is key! It’s a clothesline, where you need to hang each item up one by one –  give it time. Unfortunately, social media is not an automatic dryer. *welp*

Books Forward Authors Provide Virtual Learning Opportunities at Home

Dear booksellers, librarians, parents, teachers, avid readers, book club members and other eager learners,

We have been so touched (and impressed!) with how you’ve kept yourselves and your networks engaged and learning during this difficult time. Our Books Forward author family wants to help by providing a variety of free virtual learning opportunities and story times!

Our children’s and adult fiction and nonfiction authors are available for sessions via Zoom, Skype and other platforms. We can coordinate a special day of readings, discussions and inspiring lessons, covering everything from the writing craft to science experiments to nature exploration and much more. Below, you’ll find some fantastic opportunities tailored specifically for children, tweens and teens, as well as many options for adult readers.

We’ve also partnered with Book Club Babble to help your book club go virtual during social distancing, and to connect you with bestselling and award-winning authors.

Email our coordinator Erica Martin at erica@booksforward.com with your requests, and we’ll arrange a virtual visit (or few) perfect for you!

VIRTUAL READINGS, DISCUSSIONS AND LESSON OFFERINGS:

Writing and Poetry

  • An advocate for marginalized voices in both publishing and her community, YA fantasy novelist J. Elle offers a tailored writing instruction video for your class.
  • USA Today bestselling novelist and Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day founder Jenny Milchman leads a virtual writers group for kids and teens.
  • Children can write poetry with Jet Widick, whose poems center around our everyday experiences and taking delight in the present moment.
  • Literacy instructional coach Caroline DuBois teaches writing in verse and shares supplementary educational materials for her forthcoming middle grade historical novel written in verse, The Places We Sleep.
  • Middle grade author Corabel Shofner shows how characters have a mind of their own and that settings hold a story in place and time, along with other writing prompts.
  • Historical novelist Donna Baier Stein helps budding writers find inspiration for stories by challenging them to find a piece of art in their homes and write a short story based on it (an activity that inspired her own book, Scenes From the Heartland). 
  • Crime thriller author Ed Aymar teaches the importance of diversity in fiction, with narrative techniques for getting it right.
  • Christine Meade, professional editor and author of the new thriller The Way You Burn, offers a writing lesson on how to craft tension, suspense and mystery in narrative form.
  • Love romance novels? Learn how romance author L.A. Long crafts her beguiling characters, gripping plot lines and simmering scenes.

Science & Nature

  • Children’s book author Cole W. Williams invites young ones on a journey with Dr. Brainchild as they discover how creativity, some wacky inventions and science can transform the ordinary into something EXTRA tasty!
  • Dr. Sam Stea offers classrooms and kids a practical introduction to discussing climate change through a fascinating YA climate-fiction adventure story.
  • Tracy Richardson shows there is more to our world than meets the eye with her environmentally-themed, science-fiction YA series.
  • Fine gardener Monique Allen, founder and creative director of The Garden Continuum, offers unique gardening tips, advice and how-tos for cultivating outdoor spaces that reduce stress, promote creativity and sustain the environment. 
  • Naturalist David Parrish offers a fresh understanding of the natural world for nonscientists. Whether you’re curious about sustainability or the accuracy of “The Big Bang Theory” theme song, Parrish will move you to think like a scientist in his insightful, unconventional — and often humorous — approach to biology.
  • How advanced is surveillance technology in the U.S., and how far could it go? Sci-fi thriller author Michael C. Bland details the uses (and abuses) of current surveillance technology and explains why “the future of tech” has already arrived.

Personal Development, Mental & Physical Health

  • Research psychologist Rachel Kowert initiates conversations with children about diversity and inclusion. Her latest book Pragmatic Princess: 26 Superb Stories of Self-Sufficiency inspires young minds to build their own castles and change the damsel in distress narrative to one of self-reliance (with the power of science behind it)!
  • San Francisco columnist and family law attorney Katie Burke demonstrates strategies to encourage open communication with kids about their living environments and other complex (and fun!) topics.
  • Missing that after-church fellowship? Christian novelist Annette H. Valentine hosts a “brunch chat” about books, family, children’s education, Bible study and God’s love.
  • Divorce lawyer and family therapist David and Julie Bulitt offer communication techniques and activities for families during this time of extra “togetherness.”
  • Caregiving expert Donna Figurski shares self-care tips and guidance for how people can still take care of themselves and find support while caring for others.
  • Lisa Boucher shares healthy ways to cope with the temptation to drink out of boredom and how to stay sober when dealing with elevated anxiety, job loss, etc. 
  • After 20 years as VP of publicity for Estee Lauder, Phyllis Melhado took a “second chance” with her life and began a career as a writer, and now she teaches how you can embrace your “second chance” as well.
  • Fifth-degree black belt Tori Eldridge teaches simple martial arts moves and exercises that help channel energy, work out restlessness or frustration, get focused, and have fun!

History & Literature 

  • Wendy Terrien explores the mythology behind her critically-acclaimed YA fantasy series and introduces viewers to the beloved canine rescues who inspired her stories.
  • Historical thriller novelist Samuel Marquis relays some of the most dynamic, fascinating and engaging real-life stories of battles and bravery that occurred during World War II.
  • Inspired by photographer Dorthea Lange’s gender-defying antics during the Great Depression, and her own personal family’s history in the Dust Bowl, Shelley Blanton-Stroud offers a fascinating look back at women’s unconventional antics to survive (and thrive).
  • Michelle Cameron offers a guided tour through a little-known, important period in history: Napoleon’s emancipation of the Jews from Italian ghettos in the 1790s, which still has reverberations in our world today.

Business

  • Designer Justin Dauer (author of Creative Culture) shares fresh, insightful and, well, creative ideas for keeping employees engaged and motivated while working from home.
  • Want professional advice on how to secure your retirement during these uncertain times? Legal consultant Ida Abbott provides video consultations for those interested in retirement planning and financial security.

Humor

  • Join comedian and author Dani Alpert for a happy hour discussing unique family dynamics (and how to channel breakup-related grief to a hilarious memoir) from her own experiences as the Girlfriend Mom. 
  • Need a laugh right now? Humor writer Lori Duff shares funny oh-so-real life stories that demonstrate to us (especially women and parents) that we have no choice but to laugh at our failures, no matter how spectacular, and rejoice in our successes, no matter how itty-bitty.
  • Comedic novelist Brandy Ferner encourages children to brave the unknown (safely!), and moms can enjoy a chat with Brandy about the relentlessness of motherhood.

Don’t see a specific lesson you’re looking for? We have other opportunities available from our roster of bestselling authors and varied experts. Email Erica Martin at erica@booksforward.com and let us know what you need!

And if you need help with downloading ebooks or audiobooks to read at home, check out our #BooksForwardHelpline for guides, reading recommendations and other resources.

“Indoorsman” expert meets quarantine with inspirational humor

Pastor, expert “indoorsman” and award-winning author John Driver provides some comic relief during this time of social distancing and staying indoors.

Co-author of the bestselling book Vertical Marriage, as well as the autobiography of the inspiring Purdue superfan Tyler Trent, Driver adds his uplifting voice to the conversation surrounding COVID-19 with his comedic and faith-based survival guide for the “indoorsman.”

The Ultimate Guide For The Avid Indoorsman: Life is Better in Here teaches readers how to fully embrace the indoor lifestyle. This hilarious handbook provides tips and tricks to help you thrive in your comfy, climate-controlled world. Learn the finer art of setting up a perfect home theater, cleaning with minimal effort, developing indoor hobbies, etc. – and take the complimentary online Indooreagram Quiz.

Driver is putting something into the hands of people trying to survive the extended indoor lifestyle that will brighten their mood amid all the chaos. He knows the power of a good book – and laugh – can soothe the soul and calm the spirit. At a time when fear surrounds us, Driver hopes to remind us all we have to be grateful for within four walls.

Working from home new to you? 7 career writers show how to do it best.

Professional writers and published authors are experts at the work-from-home game; they have spent weeks, months and even years at their home computers in pursuit of their chosen profession. Their dedication results in finished manuscripts and published books, so they’re a great resource for those new to working remotely.

Maybe your boss has closed the office doors for COVID-19, and now you’re home in front of your laptop, still in your PJ’s, ready (or not) to embrace work-from-home life. Your morning commute now consists of the walk from your bed to your computer, and there’s no need for office attire (out of the video conference’s camera view, anyway). That part sounds pretty nice—right?

The truth is that working from home is like being an author: it sounds almost universally appealing in theory, but in practice it’s a lot more challenging than most people realize. Now unsupervised, those little social media breaks, furtive Netflix episodes and other distractions can really pile up. Keeping a consistent schedule may seem easy at first, but over time your discipline starts to slide and you become less organized. Perhaps most surprisingly, it can be lonely. You may not miss your coworkers, but as the days go on, that absent human interaction might make you go a little stir crazy. 

And if your kids are home as well due to school closures, well: that’s a whole different ball game. 

Here are some helpful tips from career writers on successfully working from home: 

  1. Determine your strengths and weaknesses. 

“I would suggest that people new to working from home figure out their strengths and weaknesses—strengths so that you can lean into them, and weaknesses so you can try to rein yourself in. I have to be on social media for #authorlife, but it’s hard to know when to stop. So I use an app to keep myself off social media when I need to be focused. I also use noise-cancelling headphones and a soundtrack that I put together for each book. My strength is that I can get a lot done when I’m focused, but I do have to make sure I am scheduled for it, or the day quickly falls away. Oh, and I try to block off days from meetings and calls so that I have some days dedicated to whatever nearest deadline I have.” Lori Rader Day, Edgar Award-nominated and Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author of multiple thrillers, including most recently The Lucky One

  1. Schedule out your breaks. 

“The biggest advantage for me when I work from home is the ability to get started earlier in the day. I find that I’m most creative in the morning, but typically mornings are spent getting myself ready for work and the kids ready for school, then sitting in traffic for 45 minutes. So, when I have the opportunity to work from home I love waking up early and sitting down to write. Everything I accomplish before 10 a.m. seems like gravy. Given all the distractions at home, I try to just acknowledge them rather than fight them. I’ll schedule time to look at my phone, do the laundry, clean my closet, go for a walk, or just take a snack break. Having that time set aside helps keep me from taking a million mini-breaks.” Andrew Maraniss, New York Times bestselling author of Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South

  1. Create an inspiring designated workspace, and find a comfortable position.

“A great technique for enhancing creativity at home is to bring elements of Nature into your workspace, whether by means of outdoor views, desk plants, scents, abundant daylight, colors, decorative motifs, or artwork. Best of all, these same environmental cues also reduce stress—a welcome salve for these trying times. Try writing while reclining rather than sitting. Research shows that the part of our brain responsible for raising alertness deactivates when we assume this posture, which in turn makes us more relaxed and open to taking creative risks. It certainly seems to have worked for people like Michael Chabon, Truman Capote, and Virginia Woolf! If you’re feeling a bit cooped up, try looking at pictures and objects from the past, like personal memorabilia and souvenirs from trips taken. Besides mentally releasing you from your physical confines, psychologists say it can also boost idea output by putting you in a more abstract, big-picture state of mind.” Donald M. Rattner, My Creative Space: How to Design Your Home to Stimulate Ideas and Spark Innovation 

  1. Stay in contact with others—but also set some boundaries. 

“Working from home can be isolating, so it’s important to reach out to others as part of your work day (or after your work day for fun!). As humans we need connection with other people. You can connect with others even while at home through phone, email, video chat, private messaging, texting…there are so many options. I’ve found that when I’m working long, hard hours alone that video chat, even just a five minute call, feels the most connected to me because I see the other person’s face as well as hear their voice. Skype, WhatsApp, and even Facebook Messenger are great, easy-to-use video chat options…I’ve also found that in working from home it’s important to have boundaries. Boundaries for other people, to let them know when you are working and don’t want to be disturbed. And boundaries for yourself, to make sure that you don’t work yourself too hard (I’ve been known to still be editing or writing at 10pm), or too little (social media is a huge distraction, especially when we need to be on it as authors). I think it’s also important to build in little pockets of relaxation, play, and reward.” Cheryl Rainfield, author of Scars, the No. 1 American Library Association’s “Top 10 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers”

  1. Use the tools available to you to increase your productivity and focus.

“Whether you are quarantined because you have come in contact with someone who was exposed to the coronavirus, or you are limiting social contact voluntarily, turn the reduced level of activity into a positive for your work-in-progress. Set clear identifiable goals such as writing to plot point X or finishing chapter Y or set specific word count goals, and resist the temptation to look at the news until you have finished. Use an app such as Freedom or even write longhand to stay off the internet and keep yourself from constantly checking updates. Rely on social media to stay connected with other writers, or start a private email chain between writers you know. Share daily progress, talk over the scary current reality, and cheer each other on. Despite the scary time we are living in, you may find this an especially productive time.” Jenny Milchman, USA Today bestselling author of Cover of Snow and forthcoming The Second Mother

  1. Put together a playlist that helps you focus, and only listen when you work. 

When I write from home, I curl up in an overstuffed reading chair with my laptop. Though those writing sessions are not easy for me, I get through them by playing classical music, which I don’t listen to at any other time, but which works well for my writing because it seems to focus my brain on the writing task.” Katie Burke, author of the family-focused conversation starter Urban Playground

  1. Remember to enjoy your life regardless of circumstances.

Take advantage of this restrictive time to clear clutter out of your basement, pull weeds in the garden, or get caught up on projects you’ve neglected for a while. It helps to have water-tight boundaries so you can focus on your job. Treat your work space as if it’s miles away. If possible, only go there to work. Keep it at arm’s-length after hours. Don’t allow intrusions to cause you to lose your focus or procrastinate: doing laundry, vacuuming, or organizing your spice rack. When not working enjoy other areas of your home: gardening, watching a good movie, reading a book, or cooking a fun meal. And lead as much of a full social life as possible such as having non-symptomatic friends over for dinner. Be creative and don’t let your circumstances dwarf your tranquility, happiness, or productivity. Your greatest power is your perspective. It can victimize you or empower you when you look for the upside in a downside situation and figure out what you can control and what you can’t and accept the things you can’t. That’s survival of the fittest.” Bryan Robinson, author of #CHILL and more than 40 other nonfiction books and novels

 

JKS Communications celebrates 20 years with launch of Books Forward publicity and Books Fluent publishing

Veteran book publicity firm JKS Communications has been moving books forward for 20 years, and the company is proud to celebrate this anniversary with the launch of two new companies under its brand. Books Forward will continue the signature creative, customized book marketing and author publicity campaigns, and a new indie publishing division, Books Fluent, will provide professional editorial, design and publishing services. 

BOOKS FORWARD

JKS has promoted more than 700 authors, small presses, literary award programs and publishing houses since 2000. The Books Forward team will continue to represent both traditionally published authors and independently published books that meet high industry standards. Services include traditional publicity through mainstream and book-centric media, book tour development, author branding and digital marketing.

Books Forward has a particular passion for books that empower, inspire and move the world forward. Clients include New York Times bestselling author Andrew Maraniss, whose award-winning historical nonfiction examines race and social justice through sports; USA Today bestselling author Jenny Milchman, famous for the “world’s longest book tour”; YA author J. Elle, set to release her #ownvoices debut after garnering attention through a social media campaign; Mary Higgins Clark award winner and national president of Sisters in Crime Lori Rader-Day; indie published success story S.B. Alexander, who later helped Books Forward build its digital marketing division; “The World is Just a Book Away” anthology of stories from Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Academy Award and Golden Globe winning actresses and other world leaders; Chaithanya Sohan, who explores themes of home and belonging in the U.S. through immigrant stories; Holocaust survivor and scholar Laureen Nussbaum, who shines light on unsung heros; and #1 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick author Cheryl Rainfield, an international child abuse and feminist advocate.

“Our foundation is built on veteran journalists, giving our team a unique strength. Through national media outlets, we share books to make the world a better and brighter place,” the company’s President Marissa DeCuir said. “And it’s that love of meaningful stories that powers our team to share authors’ important messages, and inspire readers with engaging fiction and nonfiction. The world needs some positivity, and readers crave books that matter — to them and to our world.”

BOOKS FLUENT

JKS’ new indie publishing company, Books Fluent, transforms manuscripts into high-quality commercial books that equal or exceed industry standards. 

Having guided authors through the self-publishing process for years, Books Fluent’s team of industry experts expands upon these services. The company offers professional book editing, on-trend cover design and interior layout, savvy distribution plans, and management of ISBNs, copyrights, and other nitty gritty tasks.

Books Fluent’s expertise empowers authors to learn the unique language of this industry and become successful publishers, rising above the competition of more than 3 million books released every year.

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS

Books Forward and Books Fluent will celebrate their launches throughout 2020 with prizes, special announcements and exclusive opportunities for authors and readers alike — including one grand prize of a free book publicity campaign for an author working to help move the world forward. To enter, submit an application here

As part of the company’s continued mission to elevate voices, Books Forward is also launching the #booksforward campaign to celebrate all the incredible ways stories have made the world a better place. Book lovers are encouraged to join the conversation by using the hashtag and sharing about literature that has impacted their lives.

Social media:
Twitter: twitter.com/booksforwardpr
Instagram: instagram.com/booksforwardpr
Facebook: facebook.com/BooksForward

“Child of the Sixties” Rifka Kreiter Journeys Through Protests, Liberation, and Transformation in Compelling New Memoir

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The 1960’s are one of the most fascinating and turbulent periods in America’s 20th century—and now, Rifka Kreiter sweeps readers into her life on the frontlines of the era’s most significant moments and movements, capturing her personal quest for liberation and self-discovery through her beautifully-written memoir, Home Free: Adventures of a Child of the Sixties (She Writes Press, May 16, 2017).

From Greenwich Village coffeehouses to a suicide attempt at age 18; from a face-to- face encounter with President Kennedy on the campaign trail and again as he lay in state after his assassination; Home Free is the incredible and inspiring true story of one woman’s journey to claim her freedom, heal her wounds, and find her voice during one of America’s most exciting, transformative eras.

 

About the Book

HOME FREE: After surviving a fraught childhood in New York and L.A., Rifka Kreiter revels in studying acting at the High School of Arts and dancing the Twist at the Peppermint Lounge. Her road leads through broken love affairs and virtually all the great
movements of the sixties, including civil rights marches in Mississippi, antiwar demonstrations in San Diego, and est seminars in Manhattan. On a deeper level, this is a profound quest to heal her psychic wounds and find spiritual meaning that she intuits lies beneath all the tumult of those times.

Here is an exploration of life’s deepest questions, as Rifka strives to bust free, be it with drugs, therapy or meditation. A triumphant story about a search for liberation on every level, Home Free ends with a
jaw-dropping discovery—one as unexpected as it is transformational.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
An astrologer once told RIFKA KREITER that a certain planetary conjunction in her chart signifies “an unusual life, full of unexpected happenings,” and this has certainly proved true. She studied acting at New York’s High School of Performing Arts, philosophy at City College of New York, and clinical psychology at Adelphi University. She worked as a waitress, hat-check
girl, and hearing researcher. She was Continuity Director at a New York radio station and Assistant Convention

Manager at the Concord Resort Hotel. More recently, she tutored SAT Prep courses and was Assistant Director of Admissions at a rural community college. Since 1976, she has been following an ancient yogic path; she lived in a meditation ashram for ten years, and traveled to India three times. Rifka currently teaches meditation.

At age fifty-five she met her life partner, an Upper West Side psychotherapist. They live happily together in suburban New Jersey. Learn more at RifkaKreiter.com.


Praise for Home Free

“This book is as bold, fearless, and brave as the young Riqui and as thoughtful and soulful as the adult, fully self-actualized Rifka. Raw at times, touching at others, and told with spirit, humor, and heart, Home Free holds nothing back as Kreiter takes the reader through a life that is as adventurous as it is remarkable.”— Leigh Gallagher, Assistant Managing Editor at Fortune, Co-chair of the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, and author of The Airbnb Story

“Utterly fearless in its openness, honesty, and risk-taking. Not merely a joyride down the rabbit hole of the counterculture, this is a story about survival and transcendence, told in a voice that is entirely authentic and that skirts the twin dangers of sensationalism and sentimentality. A truly absorbing and moving read.”– Céline Keating, author of Layla and Play for Me

“Kreiter’s journey through the Boomer zeitgeist on her quest for self-knowledge and self-fulfillment is the real thing. It is reminiscent without being melancholy, which makes it even more fun to read. You’ll remember the good old days but won’t necessarily wish to relive them, and will be moved by how Kreiter does.”– Marc Eliot, New York Times best-selling author of To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles and Death of a Rebel: The Life of Phil Ochs

An Interview With Rifka Kreiter

Home Free is a very personal story – why did you decide to share it?
For younger readers, I wanted to convey what it really felt like to live through those extraordinary times; for my peers, I wanted to share the fun of revisiting the adventures of our youth, when drugs, sex and rock ‘n’ roll ruled and everything seemed possible. On a deeper level, I hope readers find encouragement and hope from seeing how one person, who thought she was lost in immutable darkness, found her way to a path of boundless light.

Did you always aspire to be an author?
My first love was acting, but when I was in sixth grade, at Palms Elementary School in L.A., I used to spend spare time each day, when I’d finished a classroom assignment, writing a story about an Inca prince. (We were studying South American history.) During recess I’d read the story to classmates and was delighted when they’d pester me to read the next day’s installment. But, contrarian as I often was, my journals in adolescence and young adulthood are full of statements like “I’m not really a writer…” Turns out, this was a case of “The lady doth protest too much.

Out of all your experiences, which was the most fun to write about? Which was the most challenging?
Writing about July 1969, the summer of Woodstock, was the most fun. It was great to recall the mind-blowing cross-Canada trip when it felt like our whole generation was out on the road. As I wrote, memories surfaced. I had forgotten about that crash pad my boyfriend and I found in Winnipeg, when our VW bus broke down on a holiday weekend. There, incense burned all day and sequined Indian print cottons were spread to cover chairs, windows, and beds. At night, we sat around in a circle with maybe eight other people, some travelers, some who lived there or nearby, passing joints, talking, listening to music. Most challenging was trying to communicate the profound impact and sheer wonder of (what I was so fortunate to have) spiritual experiences that transformed my life.

Out of all your experiences, which do you feel was the most formative, or transformative, for you as a person?
Home Free recounts many powerful experiences, formative and transformative. One of these was an LSD trip, the second and last time I dropped acid, at age thirty. At one point that night, the entire landscape of my life appeared before me in high relief, like a topographical map. I saw that every minute detail had its place—there was a perfect order: each wild occurrence, every miserable “mistake” I’d made, fit precisely into a coherent whole. From this vantage point, not one of my choices could or should have been different. Witnessing the unique perfection of everything that happened, it was obvious that all the worrying I had done was utterly superfluous to this higher order. Since that moment, I’ve never been able to take my worrying quite so seriously.

How do you feel that being a “child of the sixties” shaped who you are today?
For one thing, I still feel part of a huge generation, a family of compadres who share humanistic values and boundary-busting tendencies, though of course many have gone their separate ways in life. I’m still a rebel, still resist living a life of bourgeois conventionality. Here is my subjective image of “my generation:” Cool, laid back, dope-smoking, but active and creative. Freedom loving – above all, freedom-loving. “Talkin’ Bout my Generation…” I love it: I love the music, I love the values, I love the spirit. Long live the spirit of the sixties!

What advice would you give to others who may be experiencing a personal, spiritual journey?
First and foremost: MEDITATE! Regular meditation (even for a few minutes, regularly practiced) opens pathways to your inner wisdom. Learn to recognize that inner voice and let it steer you toward the books, teachers, paths that are right for you. Sooner or later, your sincere efforts will bear fruit.

What is the number one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
That a mysterious and boundless consciousness, whose nature is absolute joy, is real and accessible to all who truly seek it.

 


For more information:

Anglle Barbazon, publicist

angelle@JKSCommunications.com

(615) 928-2462

 

The Wild West Meets Kurt Vonnegut in new YA novel “Skunks Dance” by St John Karp

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO – A classic treasure hunt story for the modern teen, St John Karp’s quirky YA novel “Skunks Dance” is a combination of the Wild West and Kurt Vonnegut-esque humor. Two present-day 17-year-olds go on a search for long-lost treasure, but an exploded car and an attack with a candy cake-topper lead them to make a gruesome discovery. Part murder mystery, part humor, “Skunks Dance” will keep you laughing to the finish with its unexpected twists and fast-paced wit.

Karp’s writing is quick, detailed and hilarious. His 2013 release “Radium Baby” was critically well-received, achieving a starred review from Kirkus.

“Throughout this adventure novel, Karp’s madcap imagination keeps readers hungering for the final outcome, and his prose sparkles with his flair for the absurd … A devilishly rich, satisfying scientific confection.”—Kirkus Reviews for “Radium Baby”

SKUNKS DANCE—Spivey Spillane’s grandmammy always said there were only two good reasons to kill a man — for cheating on a woman, and for serving drinks to a Yankee. She may have had a hand in winning the Revolutionary War, but even she never met the likes of Alabama Sam. Sam robs a bank under Spillane’s name, casts him in an obscene one-man play wearing only a pink tutu, and starts a betting pool on how many wieners he has. Despite the indignities Spillane suffers, he chases Sam across Gold-Rush-era California because Sam is the only one who knows the location of a hidden fortune buried somewhere in the hills.

Meanwhile in the present, 17-year-olds Amanda and Jet have rekindled an old childhood rivalry. Amanda is obsessed with finding the treasure of her infamous ancestor Spivey Spillane. Jet and Amanda’s feud comes to a head over an extended incident involving a broken window, an exploded car, and a charge of sexual assault with a candy Batman. Jet vows that he is going to find to Spillane’s gold before Amanda does, but it doesn’t take them long to realize that someone may have come this way already — someone who wants the past to stay buried.

San Francisco writer ST JOHN KARP is an ornamental hermit who likes to live near exciting things so he cannot go to them. He has an undying love for the unusual, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and toast. His debut novel, RADIUM BABY, released in 2013. SKUNKS DANCE, Karp’s second novel, releases Jan. 24, 2017. For more information, visit: https://www.fuzzjunket.com/.

 

cSkunksDanceoverAbout the Book

SKUNKS DANCE
St John Karp • January 24, 2017
ISBN: 978-0989263061 (Hardback) • $21.95
YA Adventure

PRAISE FOR SKUNKS DANCE

“A colorful, exuberant romp with an appealing fortune-hunting duo.”—Kirkus Indie

“Karp has a skillful touch with vibrant phrasing, bigger-than-life characters and colorful description, such as: “Dreadnought Hospital loomed against the sky like the last rotting tooth in a mouth full of gums.”—Blueink Review

“Skunks Dance is solid, sarcastic, and bombastic young adult fare, certain to satisfy the appetites of all youngsters who have a taste for adventure.”—Foreword Clarion Reviews

“In St. John Karp’s novel SKUNKS DANCE, we follow two wild quests for hidden gold in two eras. Both timelines are populated with the cheerfully bizarre eccentrics of Skunks Dance, whether in the Gold Rush era and or in the present day.”—IndieReader Review

“Skunks Dance is an unusual beast, crossing classic Western stories with all sorts of other ideas. And best of all, it works beautifully. It’s difficult not to admire, really hooking you in from the get-go. The book develops a unique flavor that is really hard to put down. It’s an artfully quirky piece that riffs on a popular genre with infectious adoration and creative ingenuity to make a truly inspiring read.”—Self-Publishing Review


An Interview With St John Karp

What authors have influenced your writing the most and why?
People say I have a bit of Vonnegut in me, which is very flattering but only true in a figurative sense — I haven’t stolen his false teeth or anything. Of course I was addicted to Vonnegut growing up, but then I also love John Kennedy Toole, who wrote A Confederacy of Dunces. It’s one of the funniest novels of all time, and helpless indignation still cracks me up to this day. I’d also have to mention James Kennedy, whose novel The Order of Odd-Fish showed me that you can still write dazzling, hilarious, clever novels for teenagers. Somehow I’d got the idea that had gone out with hydrogen dirigibles and asbestos underpants.

Why did you choose to start writing YA novels? What about your voice really caters to that audience? 
I got into YA novels when I realized you can get away with pretty much anything except being boring. If you write for adults you instantly get shelved as one genre or another, but YA is kind of its own genre. No one bats an eyelid when you write about radium-obsessed teenagers in antique flying machines, or Old West vamps with guns that shoot round corners, or accidentally assaulting people with candy cake-toppers. The only thing you’re not allowed to do is be boring, which suits me fine. When a book spends ten pages telling me how the protagonist cooks dinner and how everyone’s hair smells, I’m halfway ready to drop-kick the thing into the street.

SKUNKS DANCE has very unique and endearing characters. Do those characters come to you first or do they just flow out of your writing?
I like to let them flow. Some people have fantastic brains and can see everything in advance, but I prefer to put a bunch of nascent characters in a room together and see how they interact. I’ll happily change the whole book to suit the characters. The entire Old West half of SKUNKS DANCE was never meant to happen — I just liked the characters so much I wanted to find out what happened to them next.

Writing effective humor is often difficult. What do you find to be the most effective way you create humor in your writing?
You’ll never make everyone laugh, and if you do then it won’t be interesting writing. There are never any hard rules for writing jokes, but I love wit and I think it’s important to take the reader by surprise. If the reader can guess the punch-line before it’s delivered, the joke is probably going to fall flat. Look at something like Rick and Morty — it refers heavily to popular science fiction, but even in plots we’ve seen before, we never know what the hell’s going to happen next. Or what Rick’s going to say. Or even the correct use of the dinglebop end of a plumbus.

1960s Westerns really inspired SKUNKS DANCE. What movies in particular most influenced your writing?
Well, 1960s British-made Westerns — the bad ones. I know nothing about the real Old West and I’m not especially interested in it. I don’t even like most Westerns. But comedy Westerns? Those things are brilliant, especially if it’s full of British actors who sound like they’ve never even heard an American accent. I can watch Carry On Cowboy (1965) or the Doctor Who serial The Gunfighters (1966) all day long. And have you seen the Hulu series Quick Draw (2013)? Amazing stuff. Let’s leave accuracy to the historians. Tell me a good joke and I’m anyone’s.

Who is your favorite character in SKUNKS DANCE? Who was the most fun to write?
My favorite character (and the most fun to write) is Spivey Spillane, our protagonist in the Old West. He wrote himself — I’d never intended to involve him in a complex plot, so for a long time I just let him fall into more and more elaborate and humiliating traps. He’s like us — not stupid or incompetent, but somehow surrounded by people who are either crazier or smarter than him so he can never win. Plus, he’s a cross-dressing cowboy, and if you saw him in that pink tutu I think you’d understand.

Both RADIUM BABY and SKUNKS DANCE involve an adventurous search. What is it that you love about the classic adventure search with a twist?
You have to be able to bring together characters who don’t like each other — that’s where you get your drama. There are lots of ways of doing that, but I like a search because it lets you take your characters to the moon and back, as long as you bring it round to the MacGuffin in the end. It also gives the novel a clear goal, even if you never get there or if the goal was illusory all along. Having done two of them now I’ll probably do something different for the next novel. A torrid love story between an ostrich and a potato. Or something.

 


For more information:

Anglle Barbazon, publicist

angelle@JKSCommunications.com

(615) 928-2462

 

Business leadership strategist Mark Lefko outlines path to global sustainability in new book releasing in January 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LOS ANGELES – Mark Lefko is a renowned business leadership strategist who coaches the world’s top corporate CEOs, presidents and executives on working with their teams and creating long-term value. In his new book, Global Sustainability: 21 CEOs Show How to Do Well by Doing Good (Jan. 24, 2017) Lefko seeks to inspire business executives to leverage sustainability leadership practices, teaching them how to do well while doing good.

“Global sustainability means ensuring that everyone on Earth has what he or she needs to survive and thrive,” Lefko says. “But in order for this to be feasible – and sustainable – businesses also need to be able to turn a profit.”

Smart businesses care about global sustainability, says Lefko, not because it’s good PR, but because it’s good business. That is why a growing number of leading CEOs are embracing it. Lefko’s book features insights from many top global executives gleaned from his one-on-one interviews with a range of leaders. Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, Whole Foods Market co-CEO Walter Robb as well as other notable CEOs of global multinationals, Fortune 500 giants and visionary entrepreneurs share how they have embraced best practices related to leadership and sustainability designed to achieve the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. “Global sustainability is about more than just doing good,” says Lefko, “it’s about doing well by doing good.”

“After reading this book you’ll understand how your company’s well-being is inextricably linked to that of your customers, your suppliers, your employees and the communities they live in. You’ll also gain an appreciation of how these matters are interconnected and how you can benefit from working at those intersections.” —Andrew Liveris, chairman & CEO of the Dow Chemical Company

MARK LEFKO has coached and mentored more than 100 CEOs and company presidents, bringing with him 35 years of real-world C-level business experience. A thought leader in the fields of leadership and sustainability, Lefko serves on several advisory boards and is known for his high-energy, insightful speaking engagements. As the Founder and CEO of Lefko Group, one of the nation’s leading facilitation firms, he has led countless strategic planning retreats, corporate think tanks, roundtables and peer groups. “Global Sustainability,” Mark’s second book, aims to inspire executives to rally around the concept of doing well while doing good.  He lives in Los Angeles, California. Learn more at www.marklefko.com.

 

GlobalcoverGlobal Sustainability: 21 Leading CEOs Show How to Do Well By Doing Good

Mark Lefko • January 24, 2017
ISBN: 978-1683501763 (paperback) • $17.25 (paperback)
Business


An Interview with Mark Lefko

 What is global sustainability?
Lefko: For me, global sustainability means that everyone on our planet not only has the resources they need to survive but also to thrive over the long run. And if we want to do that, we need to tackle a range of issues that include extreme poverty, inequality and injustice. That’s why global sustainability is more than just an environmental issue: it includes other critical aspects such as financial and social sustainability as well.

Why is it important for businesses to incorporate global sustainability practices?
Lefko: Businesses have access to abilities and resources to make things happen – fast – in ways that governments and nonprofits sometimes cannot. Entrepreneurs and business people are skilled in using innovation and creativity to solve complex and costly problems, which is what we need on a global scale. And many businesses, especially those that believe in the power of a triple bottom line, are already making a positive difference in the world.

Who are some of the people you interviewed for your book, and why did you choose them?
Lefko: I am humbled by the all-star roster of people who were willing to invest their valuable time in talking to me about the critical importance of global sustainability. Inside my book, you will find insight from executives from a range of leading global companies including: Sir Richard Branson of Virgin; Ann Sherry, Carnival Australia; Paul Polman, Unilever; Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical; Blake Mycoskie, Toms Shoes; Francois-Henri Pinault, Kering; Mark Benioff, Salesforce; Dave MacLennan, Cargill; Walter Robb, Whole Foods; and Cyrus Mistry, Tata Group. I chose these leaders because of their passion for global sustainability, as many of them are involved in the World Economic Forum and B Team.

If global sustainability is such an important and positive aspect for business, why do you think people are reluctant to make steps to change?
Lefko: I think that part of the answer is that there has historically been a lot of pressure on CEOs, especially those who run public companies, to satisfy Wall Street’s craving for short-term profits. It takes a courageous CEO, like many of those I interviewed, who is willing to aim higher than the short-term to achieve long-term sustainability and success. Unilever, for example, has stopped reporting its short-term earning as a way to widen its focus on sustainable business practices that will help it compete over the long term. There is also a movement emerging that is helping bring sustainable thinking into the mainstream, which will help drive more change in time.

Can you share another example of someone who is using sustainable business practices to improve their company?
Lefko: Every company I feature in the book has seen a positive impact on their business by embracing sustainable practices of all kinds. Salesforce.com, for example, began paying women equal to men last year – even though it cost them some $3 million. The result? They are now attracting more top talent among both men and women. Then there’s the Aspen Ski Company, which converts methane gas from a local coal mine into electricity they use to power their resort. Another example would be how Toms Shoes, which famously helps combat poverty through its buy-one, give-one program, has moved its production facilities to its destinations as a way to reduce both shipping costs and its carbon footprint at the same time.

What do you think is the biggest mistake companies make when trying to be sustainable?
Lefko: A few common mistakes I have seen are that many companies fail to include all of their stakeholders into the process of implementing sustainable practices. They also tend to get overwhelmed with the scope of making that change; they overthink the opportunities in front of them, which causes them to think they have to sacrifice profits to become sustainable. That’s why I encourage companies to start with smaller-scale projects first, such as pursuing financial sustainability by using, say, sustainable packaging, recycled materials and cutting back on waste.

What experiences lead to your passion for global sustainability in business?
Lefko: A big influence on me was that I want to see a future for my two kids, Nathan, 26, and Allegra, 23, in which they and their families can thrive and find happiness. But there are challenges we have to overcome to help make that happen. We know, for example, that we are pushing our planet’s resources to the brink, and population growth is only going to add to that pressure. I am a passionate supporter of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals Project. The people side of sustainability also inspires me: to help end poverty, inequality, and injustice around the world. And I think we can if we can get businesses around the world, those powerful agents of change, to become conscious leaders in driving toward global sustainability.

Why did you write your new book – Global Sustainability – 21 Leading CEOs Show How to Do Well By Doing Good?
Lefko: I was inspired to write my book as a way to raise greater awareness about the topic of global sustainability – particularly in the business world. I hope this book helps get CEOs from companies around the world to get involved and to do more in the communities they serve.

How are you hoping to change business people’s minds?
Lefko: My goal is to use my book to help inspire executives to rally around the theme of doing well by doing good. That’s a message I will also help spread through my keynote speaking, peer groups, coaching, facilitating and retreats. It’s a mission I am excited to get out of bed every morning to pursue.

 


For more information:

Anglle Barbazon, publicist

angelle@JKSCommunications.com

(615) 928-2462

 

‘Kept in the Dark’ by J. Ronald M. York dives into a secret crime his father held with him until his death

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nashville, Tenn. – What if your family had been hiding a dark secret that changed their lives and, unknowingly, yours? That’s exactly the kind of secret J. Ronald M. York discovered when he found a box of letters and news clippings in a shed after his father’s death. Piecing together the bits of information he found in the box and from the living family members who knew about the crime, York uncovered his father’s sexual abuse toward children, a secret he carried to the grave and for which York’s father spent the rest of his life trying to make amends.

Releasing Jan. 24, 2017, “Kept in the Dark” is the story of a shocking crime that occurred before York could remember, but more importantly, it is a tale of unwavering love between York’s parents and the ability to forgive, a tale shared to create dialogue about the pain of child molestation and the victims who silently endure it. Though it is a story about the past, “Kept in the Dark” is a story that resonates today and shares both love and pain that is often kept hidden.

KEPT IN THE DARK: The jail was located on the top nine floors of the Dade County Courthouse in downtown Miami. The young father could look down from the 21st floor, to the street below. His wife and child would come each night, stand on the sidewalk and wave to him. They would flash the car lights to signal they were there and he, in return, would strike a match from his window to let them know he was watching. Although separated by just a few miles, they were only able to see each other each Sunday, for two hours, through glass and wire. Writing letters became their way of communicating and 100 letters were exchanged during an eight-week period. This was a secret my parents, family and a few close friends took to their graves. No one ever told me and I was too young to remember. And yet, a box containing the letters, yellowed newspaper clippings, faded photographs and cards of encouragement from friends was left for me after everyone was gone. Although the crime took place more than 60 years ago, it is still as current as today’s headlines. After much thought and reflection, I am ready to share this story. Controversial and uncomfortable, it is still deeply rooted in unwavering love. A horrific mistake was made leaving a family to heal, rebuild their lives and hopefully, forgive.

J. RONALD M. YORK graduated from Belmont University and spent the next two decades in the field of interior design before opening his first art gallery. When not at the gallery, York can be found in his studio painting, at his piano composing or assisting numerous nonprofit agencies with fundraising. He lives in Nashville.

 

KITDcover

About the Book “Kept in the Dark”

“Kept in the Dark”
J.Ronald M. York • January 24, 2017
Nonfiction • Memoir

 

An Interview with J. Ronald M. York

How did you find the box of letters your father kept hidden?
I knew I would not be keeping the family home after he passed away. We had lived there for 40 years and from attic to basement were things that I needed to go through and decide what to keep and what to put in the estate sale. It had been suggested to sell the items in the detached tool shed as a whole but still, I felt I needed to take a closer look. There was a trunk stored there and inside of the trunk, I found the box of letters.

Why do you think your parents kept the letters and newspaper clippings?
I honestly believe they were meant for me to find one day. That box had moved with us from Miami, to Chattanooga and three homes in Nashville. You don’t keep something like that and think no one will ever find it. Plus, I had always questioned why we had no contact with one set of relatives and the contents of the box offers the explanation.

How long did it take you to piece together your father’s story?
The letters and newspaper articles told the story, but I wanted to be able to fill in a few blanks with more detail. With the event happening 60 years earlier, everyone directly involved and mentioned in the letters had passed away. Plus there were a few things in the letters that were done in code to figure out. I lived with the story for two months before I could distance myself from it enough to begin research. It took several more months to bring it to this point. I would often find little nuggets that didn’t offer much insight and then later on find another that would tie them together.

Family secrets and child abuse are not easy issues to come to terms with, so it must have taken a lot of courage to tell this story. What made you decide to write a book?
The letters exchanged between my parents, as my dad was in jail awaiting trial, are such a time capsule of the 1950s that I felt they were a story on their own. But because of the subject of child abuse and the fact that I was sexually abused as a child, I felt it was important to come forward and share in hopes of helping others.

When sharing this story with people, what sort of response have you gotten?
I had kept this story close, sharing with only a handful of friends until the book was completed. But in that small circle, nearly half had their own stories to tell of it happening within their families.

Growing up, did you ever have any idea anything was out of the ordinary?
Honestly, I would have never guessed this. The only thing that never quite made sense was the separation between my mother and her older sister.

Your book discusses your mother’s undying love for your father. How do you think this crime affected her life and their marriage?
My mother stood by my father and as I read her letters and learned just a small bit of what she endured at the time, I realize she was much stronger than I would have imagined. As far as their marriage, I never saw conflict, but I have to believe she always lived with the fear of the possibility of it happening again.

If you could say something to your father today, what would you tell him?
At my age, there would be no hysterics. I had a wonderful childhood and an amazing relationship with my father in my adult life. So I can’t blame him for something I knew nothing about. But I would want him to know about my own childhood abuse, something I never shared with my parents as well as ask him if he had been abused as a child.

What do you hope readers will take away from “Kept in the Dark”?
I hope the reader will not focus solely on the crime to the point that they can’t see the strength in my parents’ marriage and how my father made amends. I also hope they can see by my example that abuse does not have to define you. And maybe be open to dialogue if it is something that they have endured and kept within.

 


For more information:

Anglle Barbazon, publicist

angelle@JKSCommunications.com

(615) 928-2462