Color me Verklempt - if you can imagine that, and if I even spelled it right.
My second book - Gray Is The New Black - was recently published by Otis Books (thank you, thank you!!). On June 30, I hosted an event to share it with family, friends and the Sacramento literary community (which is really just another way of saying 'family and friends').
The book launch had a theme, or rather two themes - black/white/gray and the 1960s. Meaning black and white finger foods (I couldn't come up with any appetizing looking gray foods!), guests in 'mostly' those colors, literary cocktails (featuring Gray Goose Vodka and white wine), a sixties soundtrack and a pictorial history of the sixties running on a continuous loop.
When my first book (The Reluctant Artist, Shanti Arts, 2015) was published, this world of books and authors was new to me. I'd just retired from a 35-year career in environmental protection where I literally knew zero writers. In the years since, I've enmeshed myself in my home town Sacramento's literary community. I'm proud to be a member of several critique groups and free-writing circles. I've participated in dozens of workshops and classes, convened submissions parties and attended readings and events to support other authors. As one result, the launch for my second book was a celebration of community, as much as of my particular new book.
Jan Haag, a dear friend and talented author who trained me in the Amherst Writers & Artists Method and welcomed me into her amazing AWA-style writing group when I was a newby to this world, introduced me. Friends, critique partners and fellow authors (Gini Grossenbacher, Linda Jackson-Collins, Shelley Blanton-Straud and Frank Araujo) joined me in 'acting out' scenes from the book. Joey Garcia, another critique partner, talented author and constant cheerleader lead an informal Q&A at the end.
The event was held at the 916 Ink Imaginarium, the creative writing space of the literary nonprofit where I now work, facilitating writing workshops for area youth (how's that for a dream job!). River Rock Books, an independent, Sacramento-based press sold their books at a table beside my books and 916 Ink staff were on hand to recruit volunteers and spread the word about the importance of creative writing in our kids' lives.
Four years ago, I didn't know any of these generous and talented folks enough to involve them in celebrating not only Gray Is The New Black, but all of our writing, publishing and community building. I am beyond grateful for the support.
Gray Is the New Black is available from:
- Small Press Distribution
- Indie Bound
- Your favorite bookseller - just ask them to order it!
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Dorothy, author of GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK, blogs about the challenges and opportunities of being a woman and a writer of a certain age in a youth-centric universe.