Catch a Bunch of Authors (or just one, that’s fine, too!)

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After a long, lazy summer traipsing after my kiddo, I am back in action hawking my wares! I have two author events coming up next week and I’d love for you to join me:

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Catch a Bunch of Authors Fair, Saturday, September 12, 2-4 PM: I’ll be at the brand spanking new Santori Public Library in downtown Aurora, 101 S. River St. Click here to check out a list of authors who’ll join me there!

Creme de la Creme Book Club, Tuesday, September 15, 7 PM: The fabulous gifts and accessories shop has chosen MILKED for their book club selection, and I’ll be leading the discussion and available for a Q&A on the book and signings as well. Visit Creme de la Creme at 4710-4 Main St, Lisle, to pick up your copy of MILKED and come back on Tuesday for the book club, too!


Pop Quiz, Hotshot

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I’m gonna channel my inner Dennis Hopper here and pose this question:

How is Lisa Doyle like Snoop Dogg?

A. They both appreciate fine literature

B. They both represent the LBC

C. Somehow, some way, they keep coming up with funky a** s**t like every single day

D. All of the above

Okay, get your thinking caps on…

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Wait for it…

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Correct answer is D! Yes, I will be in the gorgeous LBC–that would be Long Beach, California–on Sunday, June 14 for the Celebrating Women’s Fiction event at the Bay Shore Library. I’ll be on a panel including 8 other fab women’s fiction authors with recent titles, and I can’t wait to meet you! For more details on the event, click here. See you there!

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Whose Life is Amanda’s Based On, Really?

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When writing, especially in the first person, there’s always a question in the back of my mind: How much of this character is actually me? It’s a bit of a struggle to make sure that I don’t take the easy way out and just write the characters to behave as I do, or to draw on past experiences.

In my novel, MILKED, my protagonist is admittedly a little like me. Amanda Keane is also a smartass brunette mom from the Chicagoland area, with fabulous girlfriends and a love of Chipotle.  But, I have never been and never will be a wet nurse (sorry to disappoint—it’s not an autobiography!), and my relationship history is a lot less turbulent. I’m also a proud suburbanite and can’t imagine living downtown Chicago again.

And one thing about Amanda that’s very different: she is much, much braver than I am.

In the novel, Amanda is downsized out of a job and raising her daughter on her own. She handles both of these situations the best she can, with courage and grace.  In part, I was inspired to create the life of Amanda thanks to many of the folks who surround me. But, they’re probably not who you expect.

I’ve worked at nonprofits for the past seven years—two amazing organizations that are dedicated to giving a hand up to the working poor and the homeless in my community. A lot of the client families that came in were facing difficult situations through no fault of their own: corporate layoffs; an unexpected medical emergency; abandonment by a husband or domestic partner. These circumstances can lead to incredibly hard times for many people—especially at the height of the recession—and more people have needed to seek help than ever before.

And, it can be a very humbling experience to use a food pantry, or to file for government assistance. No one wants to do this. No one enjoys relying on others. Whether an individual or family came to us after a lifetime of poverty or only having recently fallen on tough times, it wouldn’t matter. The important thing has always been to help people in any possible way, to be sensitive, and to treat them with the utmost dignity and respect.

One of the most gratifying parts of working for a nonprofit is seeing the success stories unravel before my eyes. The mom who had been out of work for years, and after some job coaching and resume help, is back on a payroll and supporting her family. The family that had been couch-surfing for months after getting evicted, and now has a place to call home. The child that now reads at her own grade level, thanks to free tutoring. The list goes on and on. They’re all heroes to me.

I wanted to write Amanda as someone who’s a little bit like some of these heroes I’ve met. She has a crappy hand dealt to her, but through a little know-how, a little resourcefulness, and a little help from others, she overcomes her challenges and becomes a victor of her circumstances. I hope you find Amanda to be a little heroic, too.


The Book Release/Whirlwind Week: A Photo Essay

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So now that it has been a few days and I can finally collect my thoughts, here is all that went down in one of the most amazing weeks of my life:

First, I had a radio interview with Gary Zidek of WDCB (click here to listen to it!)

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Then, that night, my author copies came in the mail! Super happy about that.

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Worked all week, then it was finally time for the first event: the signing at City Lit Books on Saturday, November 22.
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It was just about 5 PM and not too many people were here yet. My mom, dad and husband were, and I got to chat with the wonderful owner of City Lit, Teresa Kirschbraun.

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Next, my two college best friends Ali and Danielle, and godchild Rachel walked in the door, having surprised me from Ohio and Colorado! (Cue tears)

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Then, 28 women from my moms’ group filed in, wearing hot pink “Lisa Doyle Fan Club” t-shirts, after coming in from all over the country to surprise me! (Cue shock and awe)

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So I finally pulled myself together and gave a reading and signing for a standing-room-only, sold out crowd! Click here for a video.

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Then we had an amazing after-party at The Owl, a fun bar in Logan Square. (Pictures are not fit for public consumption, sorry!)

The next day I got to Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville and saw this awesome sign:

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Then, we set up for the signing. Again, the treats were probably just as much of a draw as the book. (Thanks, Aunt Mary Ann!)

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Then, colleagues, friends, family and book lovers started to arrive.

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The reading began:

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And people seemed to like it 🙂

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Signed a bunch of books for happy people:

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And then there were no more books to be had! (Don’t worry, you can still get them at Barnes & Noble’s website)

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Oh yes, and I also got to sign the post of authors at Anderson’s. I purposely chose to sign right by Liane Moriarty because I adore her books.

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So that was the weekend in a nutshell! I will certainly post about future events. I hope you join me one day soon!

 

 

 


It’s Book Release Day!

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MILKED_Cover_borderThe day we’ve been all waiting for is finally here: book release day!!! In some ways, it’s a typical Friday because I work a 9-to-5 job, and I am pretty sure my kid will still expect me to act like his indentured servant as usual tonight. All the same, I am absolutely thrilled that today is finally here! And in truth, I am most excited about finally being able to share MILKED with the world. I love this book so much–the characters, the twists and turns, and above all, the ending–and I am thrilled that readers around the world can now share in the Amanda Keane story. I hope that through this novel, I can bring a smile to faces, a tear to eyes and a story that will stay with people long after the final pages are read.

Have you ordered your copy yet? You can buy it on Amazon or through your local independent bookstore (find it at www.indiebound.org!)

If you’d like to follow the book on blog tour over the next few weeks, here’s a list of where to find it!

November 21 – Corazones Literarios
November 21 – Bookaholic Confessions
November 21 – A Lover of Books
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ovember 21 – Living Life with Joy

November 21 – Librarian Lavender
November 21 – Crooks on Books
November 21 – Shaz’s Book Blog
November 21 – Comet Babe’s Books
November 21 – Writer’s Blog
November 24 – The Phantom Paragrapher
November 25 – Authors and Readers Book Corner
November 26 – Doorflower
November 26 – Chick Lit Club Connect
December 1 – The Outside Lane
December 2 – Book Suburbia
December 3 – Reecas Pieces
December 4 – Novel Escapes
December 4 – eBook Addict
December 5 – Chick Lit Plus

THANK YOU for all your support!