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Top Ten Ways To Survive a Book Launch

Full size coverOn the eve of NAMING THE STAR’s book birthday –  appropriately on Labor Day – here are the top 10 ways I plan to survive NAMING THE STARS launch tomorrow.

10) Exhale: the long process of publishing a book — everything that happened after signing the publishing contract, and the months of getting it all ready– is over.

9) Pat myself on the back, not just for sitting my butt down in the chair and writing hundreds of pages, but for all the years and years of starting and stopping projects, listening to others’ feedback, the disappointments, the self-loathing for not getting anything done. Also a pat on the back for members of the family who put up with all of the drama that comes with living with a writer.

8) Begone any remaining inner critical thoughts. It’s out there now, in the hands of readers. That is a very different place from where it was when it lived in my mind, then on my computer screen.

7) Take a hike any worries about how the world is going to react to the work. I have no control over readers’ minds and hearts. I plan on reading their reactions without reacting (as best as I can). “That’s interesting,” is as much as I plan on saying, even if a reviewer says – “THIS BOOK SUCKS”.

6) Take the next step. I did my darnedest to put my creative vision into words. But like any creative work, it’s just another step on my artistic journey. I want to take what I learned from this exercise, and then decide what my next experiment is.

5) Make no comparisons to what’s happening with any other writer’s book sales, rankings, and reviews. That’s their journey, not mine. Best of luck to everyone.

4) Say thanks to my editor and publisher and everyone at Curiosity Quills Press. Thank you for finding my book a home and living with me and my questions.

3) Say thanks wonderful world of the Twin Cities writing community – the multitude of venues for witnessing creativity and learning from it. There are so many of you who invited me to attend or read or publish me here. Hamline University’s MFA program. The Loft. The Saint Paul Almanac. Writers Reading at the University Club. You continue to nurture me.

2) Say thanks especially to the Loft-McKnight Fellowship Program. I have never stopped feeling like I’m on cloud 9, writing wise. You gave me such a boost and though the fellowship, I was encourage to experiment, take risks, and write the book that will be born tomorrow.

1) Celebrate! I’ve earned at least one five-star review, so I gave myself one on Goodreads. “That’s interesting,” wouldn’t you say?

 

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Cover Reveal and Goodreads Giveaway

The day has finally arrived! Check out the fabulous cover to NAMING THE STARS, and be sure to add it to your “to-be-read” shelf. Oh, and a giveaway is coming Sept 1!  And, that’s not all. Preorders are available on Amazon,  Barnes and Noble, your favorite independent bookstore, or — come to see me at my eventscover reveal

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Naming the Stars by Susan Koefod

Naming the Stars

by Susan Koefod

Giveaway ends September 30, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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Celebrate Artistic Creation: Upcoming Events

Book lovers take note of these forthcoming events (pasted below) where you can share your love with a hard-working author and enjoy the fruits of her creative labors. And have great coffee and snacks at a local West St. Paul coffee shop!

In other exciting news, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine has expressed interest in another of my mystery shorts! More news ahead on this, but I gotta tell you I’m thrilled that they will publish another of my short stories. In total, I’ll have placed THREE stories with the magazine Stephen King calls the “world’s best mystery magazine”. The magazine and its stories have won many, many prizes. Two other stories, “Boys will be Boys” from the February 2013 issue and “Open Ended”  from December 2015, made the cut. It’s such an honor and such validation to appear in Ellery Queen’s pages.

As always, keep on eye on my Events tab for additional events.

2016 Events

>Albert Park - In His Own Words
Albert Park – at Dodd and Smith

July 23, 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

WEST ST PAUL, MINNESOTA

Art on the Avenue 2016

At Smith and Dodd Avenue

Smith Avenue comes alive again this summer with art, live music, food, crafts, children and adult entertainment and more! Come see me and other artists and vendors on July 23th from 4 to 8PM. Fun will happen at Albert Park, Doddway Shopping Center, Dodd Park and Smith Avenue. More details of my exact location coming, but the area is very walkable. Park and come find me! All three Arvo Thorson mysteries - Burnt Out, Broken Down, and Washed Up - will be available for purchase.

September 17, 2 – 5 PM

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA

Amore Coffee
Smith Avenue at Annapolis
St Paul, MN 55118

Come celebrate the launch of NAMING THE STARS, a young adult novel by Susan Koefod. Hosted by Subtext Books of St. Paul.

NAMING THE STARS is the story of a teen girl who comes home from swimming lessons one day to find she is absent from family photographs, her bedroom has turned into a linen closet, and all of her possessions have disappeared. More troubling, her family goes on as if she never existed. The only person in town who can actually see her is a teen boy with a troubled past and secrets he’s determined to keep.

Please be sure to purchase fine coffee, beverage, and food from Amore Coffee in support of this event. Books will be available for purchase by Subtext Books.

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Book Launch Set, Poem Accepted, & Other Writer Stuff

I’m excited to announce that my book launch for Naming the Stars is set for Saturday, September 17 – from 2:00 to 5:00 pm, at Amore Coffee in West St. Paul. The event will be hosted by the fantastic Subtext Books. More events to be scheduled. As always, you can check my Events page for info.

A new poem is forthcoming in the 2017 Saint Paul Almanac. I have a few other pieces awaiting final word from the Almanac.

Importantly, I actually WROTE today, finishing a short story about a weather predication fail, father-son conflict, and a very strange fishing opener.

But it is time to put away digital screens and enjoy the summer day now. Waiting for raspberries and other summer bounty, dreaming of baking goodness ahead, like this yummy batch of raspberry ebelskivers from last summer.

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Is there life after graduating with an English Degree?

Novelist Susan Koefod '81 speaking to students and faculty in Derham Hall. Photo by Michelle Mullowney.
Novelist Susan Koefod ’81 speaking to students and faculty in Derham Hall. Photo by Michelle Mullowney.

Yes. You can have a career, English grads.  That was the message at a recent event at St. Catherine University. It was an honor to be invited back and be among other accomplished professional women who found career homes in many places.

My thanks to Jill Jepson for the invite and to St. Catherine University for hosting!

 

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Creative Hibernation

I guess you could call it that. For more than several months, possibly a year or more, I’ve been in a state of writer-lethargy, a low-energy subsistence of work-eat-television/internet/screen viewing-sleep.Rainbow

This is not the same as a writer’s block. Novel and stories noodled in my brain, but stayed there, slumbering through a very long, bone-chilling winter where I did nothing more than bundle my writer’s brain up and send it to bed. The ideas needed to stay warm and safe, and keeping them warm and safe meant they needed to be tucked away somewhere for a sunnier day.

Oh there has been plenty of publishing activity, and that is very very good, and I know it is good to be where I am on that front. (By the way, that front includes interest from Hollywood, fingers crossed.)

But you are not a writer unless you actually write, right? (Note to unpublished WRITERS – you are writers, one and all).

So now I have shouted my sleeping writer’s brain awake. WAKE UP, YOU LOSER! And I am writing again.

Further, I have banned the following excuses (i.e., conditions that I required for writing):

  • Writing must be done in certain places  (favorite happy places – like Nina’s Cafe – which now serves WINE). Well, I can pour myself my own glass of G-D wine, which I have at hand at the moment. Of course, Nina’s will continue to be visited.
  • Writing can only be done on weekend mornings when I am awake. HELLO, I can write during other parts of the day, other parts of the week. Don’t be a pathetic lazy bones.
  • Writing needs to be “inspired” – i.e., seat of the pants. Um – I could try an OUTLINE for once? Or, even easier, use an app, such as Scrivener – where I can write here and there, and easily reorganize as I need to. A little organization might allow one to have more than three or four characters in a book. Multiple plot lines. A little more depth. A lot more depth.

Note the pretty rainbow. I painted it myself, yes indeed, sometime in the last few years. It’s not perfect, in fact, it looks childish. I don’t care. Another rule from the list of banished excuses:

  • Stop worrying about perfection. About the word count. About pumping pages out in a minimum amount of time. How about just enjoying the process for once, imperfect as it can be? Have fun with it?

So I’m feeling more joyfully-rainbowish about the whole thing. And that is the point.

 

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A Short Story of Love, Loss, and Murder(?)

IMG_3219She walked up the steps of her apartment one last time, and felt in her pocket for her key. She thought of kissing the key goodbye—a silly gesture to be sure—and felt self-conscious even though the cabbie wasn’t paying the least bit of attention and no one else was around. So she kissed it, and the moment her lips touched the key, she felt her wedding ring brush against her cheek.

Her husband’s prognosis had been terminal from the start, yet he’d lingered almost two years after the accident, and during those two years, Lydia gave everything away, sold the house, and rented an apartment near the hospital, furnishing it sparely. She told herself she was in limbo during Terrance’s long and slow decline, and this was why she hadn’t bothered decorating the place. But after he died and was buried, she’d immediately bought herself the open train ticket, planning to depart within the week.

She dropped the key into her landlord’s mailbox, and on impulse, she removed her wedding ring, dropping it in her own mailbox with little thought, no regret. The post office was holding her mail, so the ring would lie entombed until she returned. When that would be, she didn’t know.

Excerpt from “Open Ended”, now appearing in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Find it in bookstores everywhere.
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