Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Six-Word Memoirs - Lucky Week 7

Welcome back to Week 7 of "You Have the Right to Six Words!" Today I'll be recapping only one author from a previous interview. I'm trying to spread them out since you all demanded more than 10 weeks. I will deliver. We won't have enough recaps, but I'm sure you won't mind if I fill in the slots with new memoirs when we run out of recaps. We have a loaded list of authors today, so let's get started!

The author I will be recapping today is Michael Lister. If you didn't see his interview, you should really take a minute to go back and check it out. What an amazing human being, and to be a gift writer as well simply astounds me. Michael is the author of a series of books with John Jordan, a prison chaplain. He also authors short stories, plays, and "Florida noir." Michael is a man of many talents that accent his writing. He directs plays, writes reviews for books and movies, edits a newspaper, and teaches religion and writing classes at the Gulf Coast Community College.

This September Michael will release a book he is extremely proud of, DOUBLE EXPOSURE. DOUBLE EXPOSURE is the story of a photographer who accidentally captures a crime on film. He soons finds himself hunted like an animal. Michael is hoping to bring attention to the conservation of the Apalachicola River basin. He will be donating all the proceeds of DOUBLE EXPOSURE to environmental protection and conservation. DOUBLE EXPOSURE will also be one of the very first books published by new publishing company Tyrus.

Michael Lister is truly an artist who is constantly giving back to the world around him. So his memoir couldn't possibly be anything less than

Passionate, compassionate, seeker, open to life.

Wow! It's kind of hard to go on from there, isn't it? But let's try. We have three new authors this week, and they are all extremely talented writers. Of course they are, after all, this is "Memoirs of Crime Fictions Greatest Writers"!

First up this week, I would like to introduce a lovely Canadian author whose career started out in journalism and radio, then moved on to writing award-winning, best-selling books that take place primarily in and around the village of Three Pines in Quebec. Of course you know I'm talking about Louise Penny! I probably don't have enough space to include all the awards Louise's Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels have been nominated for so let's settle for highlighting the fact that THE CRUELEST MONTH won the Agatha Award for best novel and has been nominated for the Anthony Award, the Macavity Award, AND the Barry Award for best novel. Whew! In October, Gamache, Beauvoir, and the gang will return in THE BRUTAL TELLING.

Louise, of course, has my undying devotion because of her devotion to her golden retrievers. But Louise also shares her life with a very special person. And she does an incredible job of articulating that on her website. I couldn't do their relationship justice here so, I encourage you to check it out. But I can tell you that special person, Michael, inspired Louise's memoir and in six words, she's shared a million:

Michael kissed me when we met...

As a little side note, Louise shared with me that her memoir is a paraphrase of the first line of James Leigh Hunt's poem Rondeau.

Next up, I'm excited to say Brett Battles is joining in on the fun. Brett is the author of the Jonathan Quinn series about a man who makes things "pretty" when events don't go as planned. He's THE CLEANER. The third book in this series, THE SHADOW OF BETRAYAL, was released yesterday. And a connection to one of last week's memoirists, Brett also has a short story in KILLER YEAR.

Brett calls Southern California home but does quite a bit of traveling to such places as Ho Chi Minh City, Berlin, Singapore, London, Paris, and Bangkok. Yeah, I think that qualifies as world traveler, don't you? And in all of these places he's seeking inspiration for his novels. He says he finds it "anywhere and everywhere." So, his memoir should come as no surprise:

Explorer, both through and around life.

And finally our fourth author for this week is Hank Phillipi Ryan. It's a challenging to capture this woman in a short bio. She's done so much, accomplished so many things. She's amazing! Not only did she win the Best First Novel Agatha Award for PRIME TIME, her first Charlotte McNally mystery about a top-notch TV reporter, but she's also won 26 Emmys (among gads of other awards) for her work in television news reporting. Leading up to these two careers, Hank has worked as a radio reporter, a legislative aide in the United States Senate, and in a two-year stint in Rolling Stone Magazine's Washington Bureau; she worked on the political column "Capitol Chatter" and organized presidential campaign coverage for Hunter S. Thompson.

And like Michael, this is an author who gives back. She is vice-president of the Lyric Stage of Boston where she founded the "First Curtain" program. This program provides theater experiences for underpriviledged students.

I do have to say that the accomplishment I'm most impressed with is her ability to make a soft-serve ice cream cone with a swirl on top. That skill she learned while working at Dairy Queen!

Hank's PRIME TIME was re-released at the end of June by MIRA and her third and newest Charlotte McNally novel, AIR TIME, will make its debut on August 25th.

Before I tell you Hank's memoir, I have to say that many of you have sent me emails or left comments here that have made this project so much fun. But you aren't the only ones who have been excited about it. So many of the authors contributing have been excited, too. And wow! All that excitement really fuels me. Well, Hank is one of those folks who really got excited. When I contacted her about this project, this is what she told me:

"Ever since I first heard about this 6 word thing, I've been fascinated. (And a little obsessed.) My favorite so far, (which I do wish I had thought of, and lust after because it's so perfect for me,) is 'English major. You do the math.' But since we must be original, mine might be: Working, hoping, trusting. And, wonderfully, happy. Or wait--how about: Are the black ones size nine? Or: Wishing for latte, will accept coffee. Or: Trying my best. And very grateful. Yeah, I especially like that one." So, that's what we'll go with:

Trying my best. And very grateful.

Hank, I am very grateful! To you and to Michael and Louise and Brett and all the other authors who have been excited and who took time to come up with 6-word memoirs. This project has truly been an absolute joy for me because of all of you - readers and writers, alike. THANK YOU! And come back next week! We aren't done, yet!



Kaye Barley July 8, 2009 at 7:40 AM  

Jen, I just love these 6 word memoirs. And here's yet another super group of writers!! wow.

le0pard13 July 8, 2009 at 9:27 AM  

Oh, keep these coming. I look forward to these every week now. Thanks, Jen.

Corey Wilde July 8, 2009 at 1:06 PM  

I do enjoy these. I especially like Louise Penny's memoir this week. But I was always a fan of Leigh Hunt's poem, too.

Serena July 8, 2009 at 1:15 PM  

keep these coming...they are fantastic

Lesa July 8, 2009 at 1:17 PM  

I'm with Corey. I used to use that poem for Reader's Theater. And, that's so perfect that Louise wrote about Michael.

Jen July 9, 2009 at 12:00 PM  

Thanks everyone. The enthusiasm is so motivating for me! I'm also looking forward to meeting a lot of the folks who gave their memoirs...many will be at Bouchercon in October. Lots of fun!

Hank Phillippi Ryan July 9, 2009 at 11:14 PM  

This is so lovely...thank you so much for inviting me...

See you at Bouchercon!


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