Hello everyone, I hope the summer has been treating you well! I have two announcements:
By Light of Hidden Candles Discussion Guide & ‘For Book Clubs & Educators’ Page
I mentioned recently that my publisher and I were developing a discussion guide for book clubs reading By Light of Hidden Candles. I’m pleased to announce that it is now available! You can view or download the printable PDF here. It contains no spoilers and was developed so even people who haven’t read the book can participate in the discussion. It includes excerpts, discussion questions, and an author interview (and no spoilers!), and can certainly be used by educators as well as book clubs.
In honor of the occasion, I created a new page on my website for book clubs and educators, which includes a brief description of how each of my books can be used in an educational setting as well as a link to the guide, additional resources, and an invitation to contact me about the possibility of speaking (in person or via video chat) to your class, community, or book club.
I hope to add more resources in the future.
Cockatoo Tears Discussion in Ficticities
Ficticities is a sort of project by writer John Doyle, which includes reading randomly selected short stories and engaging with them, then inviting the author to join the conversation. That’s my rather clumsy explanation, anyway; you can read more on the website. So what happened was that his random number generator led him to the short story I recently had published in Qu Literary Magazine, Cockatoo Tears.
His initial reaction to it was, to be honest, not positive; it wasn’t the sort of thing he’d normally choose to read. But something about it captivated him, and he found himself thinking about it a lot–and then dreaming about it. He wrote his piece about it cautiously, concerned that I wouldn’t appreciate his reaction to it and that if I did engage at all, we wouldn’t see eye to eye. (He wrote all this in a preliminary post which I only read after our discussion, and this line particularly amused me: “She’s had books published, been nominated for prestigious awards: why bother with me?” Oh, John. I may need to introduce you to my self-doubt demons.)
Anyway, I guess I pleasantly surprised him. I was delighted that he’d read and engaged with my story on such a deep level. He sat down in the kitchen with Alison and gave her a talking-to! What more could a writer ask? I was deeply grateful to him for allowing me to see how he had read and processed the story, and we had a fascinating discussion in the comments. You can read his piece and our discussion here–and feel free to join the conversation!
Is it too early to wish you all a Shana Tova?! Well, I don’t care: may we all have a happy, sweet new year!