Autumn News & Holiday Book Sale
THE MAN WITH EIGHT PAIRS OF LEGS WAS SELECTED BY THE WOMEN’S NATIONAL BOOK ASSOCIATION (WBNA) AS A GREAT GROUP READ!
The annual list features 20 books chosen by a committee of 46 readers out of hundreds of submissions. According to the WBNA announcement, “books were chosen for their literary merit and for their ability to promote meaningful discussions.” WNBA was founded in 1917 by six prominent women booksellers whose gender prohibited them from membership in the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and the Booksellers’ League, that is, before women were allowed to vote in the United States! Since 2009, Great Group reads has served as a resource that promotes shared reading. I am honored to have my book selected by this historical group!! For more on their history, click here.
ATTENTION TO ANY OF YOU IN A BOOK GROUP!!
ARMED WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION FROM A HIGHLY-RESPECTED NATIONAL BOOK ORGANIZATION, WHAT BETTER TIME THAN NOW TO SUGGEST THE MAN WITH EIGHT PAIRS OF LEGS TO YOUR BOOK GROUP? Invite me!! I have absolutely loved joining groups of serious readers for lively discussions of my short story collection!
TOGETHER WITH THREE SARABANDE POETS, I READ MY STORY “CITY OF ANGELS” AS PART OF SAN FRANCISCO’S ANNUAL LITQUAKE.
We read at Aracana, a cool wine bar (that doubles as a greenhouse!) in the Mission District.
Watch a quick funky video recording of the first minute of my reading:
For a brief ‘review’ of my reading by the community newspaper, Mission Local, read below. I was humbled and moved by their unexpected rave!
|Thirty enchanted audience members watched Leslie Kirk Campbell, but as she read, they saw the City of Angels. As Campbell shared her “short, short story” at Arcana, a few women seated in the front would close their eyes, mentally savoring the images Kirk conjured: The best friends, the lust for a son of a butcher, the beach towels, the floral sheets. Sheltered under the plant store’s canopy of leaves and illuminated by low-lit candles in glass vases, it was hard not to imagine that you were elsewhere, somewhere warm and magical and mysterious — the perfect setting to be transported into Campbell’s universe. The audience laughed at Campbell’s jokes and innuendos, which the author emphasized in her lilting voice. The listeners drank from Pinot Grigio and red wine and Prosecco in long-stemmed flutes, refusing to pick at their appetizer plates for a second, completely enraptured in the words. The audience wouldn’t look up when new patrons entered, though the patrons, probably seeking the bar’s usual wine and jazz, were briefly confused at discovering Litquake. But they too, filed in line and ordered wine to hear the tale. When Campbell finished reading her short, short story, she was met with wows and applause.” Mission Local 10/22/22|
PLACERVILLE WAS A BLAST!
I did two readings, one at a bar/music venue called The Green Room and one at Myrtle Tree Arts along with Eldorado County Poet Laureate Lara Gularte. In addition, I led a writing workshop, “Writing Without Fear” at Myrtle Tree Arts with 12 local women and dunked into the freezing American River. Plus they have the best bookstore ever, The Bookery, on Main Street.
THERE IS NOTHING MORE SATISFYING THAN A WRITING RETREAT:
I had ten days living in a beautiful wood cabin on the shores of Summer Lake (which has no water) as part of the PLAYA self-directed artist-in-residency program in remote Southern Oregon. I worked on two new stories, “Dark to Themselves” and “Toltec on Haight” for up to 12 hours a day – no interruptions, everything on my own schedule. Eat when you want. Sleep when you want. (I often went to sleep at 3 or 4 am.) The gift? Immersing myself in my characters, my ideas, my art. And enjoying the Hunter’s Full Moon. What a delight!
ENJOY MY RECENT IN-DEPTH VIDEO INTERVIEW ON YOUTUBE!!
I was honored that Matthew Schmidt, founder of the literary pedagogical series, 1-Week Critique out of Iowa, invited me for an interview after he discovered my collection and loved it! I spent three full days pouring over the various drafts of my titular story, “The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs,” which I had worked on for seven years before I finally submitted it to literary magazines in 2019. To my amazement, Ploughshares Solos, a top-rated lit mag out of Boston, raved and published it!! The interview with Matthew is a one hour and twenty-minute lively discussion so get cozy and indulge yourself. You will see both the teacher and the writer in me in evidence, and, if you listen to the entire interview, you’ll learn a ton about beginnings, middles, and endings of short stories. We laugh a lot too!! Here is the link from my author website.
MY BIG HOLIDAY BOOK SALE CAMPAIGN
If you loved The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs, what better gift to give to the ones you love for the holidays than this short story collection!?
Here are some fun publishing facts for context:
*500,000 – 1 million books are published every year in the US (excluding self-published books)
* In 2004, out of 1.2 million books published, 950,000 sold 100 copies or less; 200,000 sold 2000 or less; 25,000 sold 5000 or less; 15,000 sold 100,000 or less, and 10 sold more than a million!!
* 2020: According to Goodreads, readers read 40% more books and print sales went up 30%
* 2020: 98% of books sold less than 5000 copies
MY GOAL: To sell 5001 copies of The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs in order to be part of the 2%!
If everyone who has already bought a copy of my book, bought one for a friend (or two) for the winter holidays, we could easily arrive at our goal. You can purchase the book here.
Upcoming events and writing news:
I will be giving a public reading as an invited guest-author at Western Connecticut State University’s MFA winter low-residency program in Danbury, CT at 8pm Saturday, January 7 and a craft lecture from 9:15 – 11:15am the following day called: Keep ‘Er Lit: The Power of Dynamic Language & Narrative. I will be on two fiction panels at the 2023 Associated Writers Programs (AWP) in Seattle March 8-11, one of which, Ambition of the Short Story, I will be leading. The Central Oregon Writer’s Guild has invited me to give a presentation to their members in 2023 (Date TBA). And, perhaps most importantly, I am immersed in working on my next collection, Free Radicals.
HOW ELSE CAN YOU HELP ME NOW?
WRITE A BOOK REVIEW. Here is a link to instructions for posting a book review on Amazon. And a link to post a Goodreads review.
To inspire you, you can read the reviews that have come in so far on Amazon and Goodreads.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!