KALW’s New Arrivals Podcast

Filed under: RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM — Administrator at 2:40 pm on Friday, July 9, 2021

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I read an excerpt of my novel, RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM, today on KALW’s New Arrivals Podcast. Listen here!

Interview On C. P. Lesley’s Blog

Filed under: RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM — Administrator at 2:25 pm on Friday, July 9, 2021

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I was interviewed about RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM on C. P. Lesley’s Blog. She asked a lot of in-depth questions about the plot, so you can get my inside take on the characters. Read it here.

Right Back Where We Started From Book Trailer

Filed under: RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM — Administrator at 7:01 am on Tuesday, June 15, 2021

My book has a book trailer! MARCIA made it for me! She is the best!

Interview By The Petaluma Argus-Courier

Filed under: RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM — Administrator at 2:19 pm on Thursday, June 10, 2021

The Petaluma Argus-Courier interviewed me about Right Back Where We Started From! Check out: Longtime Petaluma journalist debuts first novel

Opening My Book!

Filed under: Personal,RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM — Administrator at 1:34 pm on Tuesday, June 8, 2021

I’m writing this on June 8th. Right Back Where We Started From came out on May 4th. It has been over a month now, and I can finally breathe a little after this whirlwind. Promoting and publishing a debut novel is intense.

One of the best experiences so far was the moment writers always dream about, when you open the box from your publisher and pull out the book. It was quite surreal. Here are a couple of pictures of me holding my book for the first time:

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Note the painting I’m sitting under. It’s by the artist M. Maxwell. Kyle and I bought the painting years ago because it reminded us of Vira, the grandmother in Right Back Where We Started From. It seemed appropriate to be sitting under her severe gaze while pulling out the book for the first time.

The Storyboards Of My Novel

Filed under: RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM — Administrator at 12:38 pm on Tuesday, June 8, 2021

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These storyboards have been kicking around my office for 9 years now. I used them to structure my novel, Right Back Where We Started From. I’ve often considered throwing the boards out, but never did. For a long time it seemed like my book wasn’t going to be published, so the storyboards became the only physical evidence that the novel exists. (If you want to read why my book, which I finished in 2012, is coming out now in 2021, check out my essay in LitHub.)

Right Back Where We Started From is a multi-generational saga that weaves through time, starting in the California Gold Rush with stops in World War II San Francisco, 1906 Healdsburg, and 1930s Hollywood, among others. I used the storyboards to figure out the order of the chapters.

For each draft, I’d print a list of scenes, cut them out, lay them on the floor, and move them around until I had an order I thought might work. Then I’d tape them to the boards as a guide to edit the book. As I finished each scene, I gave myself a sticker, much the way a third-grade teacher would reward a student who did well on a test. Earning the sticker meant I could move on to the next scene. I did this over and over until it was no longer necessary to move the scenes around, and the structure was set.

Now that my book is out in the world, a physical object that I can look at, I don’t need the storyboards anymore. But I wanted to write a blog post about them anyway. They’re like old friends that offered support when I needed it the most.

Alta: Interviews and Excerpt of Right Back Where We Started From

Filed under: Joy's Work,RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM — Administrator at 12:11 pm on Tuesday, June 8, 2021

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Alta Magazine has been so supportive of Right Back Where We Started From! They featured me on Alta Live and ran an excerpt of the novel, which you can read here.

They also did an interview with me about ambition, creativity, and the California dream. Check it out here.

Thank you so much, Alta!

LitHub Essay: All in the Timing

Filed under: Joy's Work,RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM — Administrator at 11:29 am on Tuesday, June 8, 2021

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For Literary Hub, I wrote an essay called All in the Timing: On Publishing a Novel Nine Years After Giving Up on It. It’s the publishing story of my novel, Right Back Where We Started From, which I finished way back in 2012.

Excerpt:

This May, my first novel, Right Back Where We Started From, will be published nine years after I gave up and put it in a drawer. It’s not that I didn’t believe in the book, which I’d labored on for much of the aughts. While writing, I poured my fear of failure into the novel, as well as questions about success: Why does American ambition, which turns so many people into workaholics, seem both poisonous and attractive to me? Where does my constant urge to work come from? Every day I struggled with discouragement, yet I put off life events, like having a child, to write a book. I put off spending time with friends. I set aside other creative projects and spent years looking at the same story from every angle. By the time I finished the book in 2012, the emotional investment was deep.

Read the rest here.

North Bay Business Journal Interview!

Filed under: Joy's Work,RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM — Administrator at 8:20 am on Saturday, April 17, 2021

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So happy to have Right Back Where We Started From included in a spring literature round-up in The North Bay Business Journal!

Check out Turn the Page with New Books by Local Writers.

Watch My Keynote!

Filed under: Joy's Work,RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM — Administrator at 7:39 am on Saturday, April 17, 2021

Here is my keynote for the Southern California Writers’ Conference! I tell the publishing story of my novel, Right Back Where We Started From, and lessons I learned along the way.

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