Stunningly shocking and terrifying, and so good, FEVER DREAM is haunting and magical and I am obsessed

By Leslie Lindsay 

A blazingly stark yet lush and surreal tale that will shock and injure your world, no matter how comfortable you think it is. 

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~WeekEND Reading: Spotlight~

I’m dubbing this week, “Fantastical Fiction Week.” I mean, wow. I read two books (see Wednesday’s interview with Vikram Paralkar on NIGHT THEATER) that absolutely blew me away and are very closely related in terms of themes, writing style, and genre. And this genre is a slippery one to pin down. Some call it speculative fiction, others say it’s magical realism.  Others still might liken it to horror or gothic or even a fairy tale. All agree it’s imaginative and stark and might include elements of science fiction.  I find it thought-provoking, literary, dreamy, hallucinatory, mysterious, and at times, terrifying.


“This is a weird hallucination of a book—reading it feels like an experience, like something that happens to you, as infectious and mysterious and unstoppable and possibly magical as the disease that powers its plot.”

LitHub


A  young woman called Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital. A boy named David sits beside her. He is not her son. She is not her mother. Just what is their relationship? Together, they tell the most haunting tale of broken souls, toxins, motherhood, sunshine, looming environmental and spiritual catastrophes, anxieties, and the ties that bind parent to child–the ‘safety distance,’ the metaphorical rope a mother uses to gauge safety of her children in the world.

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Photo by Anni Roenkae on Pexels.com

Just what is FEVER DREAM (Riverhead, May 2018)? An actual dream? A novel? A horror tale? A hallucination? It is a ghost story? A prayer? A love letter? A cautionary tale? I don’t know. And I don’t care. It’s amazing. Here, Samanta Schweblin creates a dreamy aura of strange psychological menace and otherworldly light in this absorbing, taut, tension-filled, highly unsettling and ambivalent novel. I promise you, FEVER DREAM is like nothing you’ve read before, and you better read it now.

BOOK CONCIERGE:

If you want more like this, try THE NEED by Helen Phillips, NAAMAH by Sarah Blake, THE BOBCAT by Katherine Forbes Riley, IN THE HOUSE IN THE DARK OF THE WOODS by Laird Hunt, and NIGHT THEATER by Vikram Paralkar.

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Artistic photo of book designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram @leslielindsay1 for more like this and other bookish things.

For more information, to connect with Samanta Schweblin via social media, or to purchase a copy of FEVER DREAM, please visit: 

ORDER LINKS: 

2128471ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Samanta Schweblin was chosen as one of the 22 best writers in Spanish under the age of 35 by Granta. She is the author of three story collections that have won numerous awards, including the prestigious Juan Rulfo Story Prize, and been translated into 20 languages. Fever Dream is her first novel and is longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize. Originally from Buenos Aires, she lives in Berlin.

You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these websites: 

I hope you do!

image1 (5)Leslie Lindsay is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012). Her work has been published in Pithead ChapelCommon Ground ReviewCleaver Magazine (craft and CNF), The Awakenings Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Ruminate’s The WakingBrave Voices Literary MagazineManifest-Station, and others. Her cover art will be featured on Up the Staircase Quarterly in May 2020 and the 2nd edition of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA will be available this spring. Leslie has been awarded one of the top 1% reviewers on GoodReads and recognized by Jane Friedman as one of the most influential book reviewers. Since 2013, Leslie has interviewed over 700 bestselling and debut authors on her author interview series. Follow her bookstagram posts @leslielindsay1.

SECOND EDITION OF SPEAKING OF APRAXIA COMING SOON FROM WOODBINE HOUSE

LOVE IT? SHARE IT!

#fiction #literaryfiction #speculativefiction #magicalrealism #children #mothers 

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ALSO by Samanta Schweblin:

[Cover and author image retrieved from author’s website on 2.13.20. Author photo cred: Alejandra Lopez. Artistic photo of book designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram @leslielindsay1 for more like this and other bookish things]

Sharp, stunning, and surreal story of an isolated physician on the outskirts of town in which he must bring life back to the dead; morals and medicine and miracles in Vikram Paralkar’s NIGHT THEATER

By Leslie Lindsay 

A surgeon in a remote clinic must bring the dead back to life by dawn in this fantastic, wholly unique read filled with existential angst, magical realism.

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~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~

Set in rural India, NIGHT THEATER (Jan 14, 2020 Catapult) is such an exquisite read unlike anything I’ve read before. Vikram Paralkar was born and raised in Mumbai and now resides in Pennsylvania as a physician-scientist and his expertise absolutely shines.

A bitter surgeon flees from his former job as a coroner/pathologist to a small village clinic where the conditions are poor–he’s constantly cleaning and sterilizing, squashing roaches, and buying supplies out of pocket. He has a little help–a woman he calls a ‘pharmacist,’ but her credentials are questionable and she serves many roles: nurse, confidant, clinic manager, assistant.

One night, a teacher, his pregnant wife, and their 8-year old son appear at the clinic as the surgeon is finalizing some paperwork. They were killed in a violent robbery, but tell the surgeon they have been offered another chance, ‘sent back’ from the afterlife at the hands of the ‘afterlife official.’ He has til dawn, less than 24 hours, to mend their wounds, to bring blood back to their bodies, to allow breath to flow again.

He’s skeptical, asks questions. Doubts rise. Who are these people? What do they want? Are they ‘for real?’ Criminals? Demonic? Is he merely exhausted? Is this really happening? The surgeon works quickly. He knows what to do.

As a reader, we are asked to suspend beliefs, consider alternativeswhat do angels look like? What do they say? Can the dead feel pain? Emotions? Can they cry? Is the afterlife run by bureaucrats? Is the afterlife truly ‘better?’ And who is God, anyway?

THE NIGHT THEATER braids together and active story (can the surgeon mend this family within the time period), with a sort of existential questioning, ruminations on life and death. I was held captive in the glimmering but grotesque descriptions of the body, decay, the surgical procedures, and the magical essence of not fully knowing, palpating that luminal space between sleep and wakefulness, life and death. I was undone by this book. 

Please join me in welcoming the talented Vikram Paralkar to the author interview series: 

Leslie Lindsay: 

Wow. What a tale. I am so very intrigued with NIGHT THEATER and have so many questions, but first I think we as writers are always haunted into what we write. Something—or someone—is quite literally tugging us along, begging for a story to be told. Can you talk about what it was for you in this story? 

Vikram Paralkar:

I’m delighted that NIGHT THEATER resonated with you the way it did. There were several themes that I had been obsessing over before I wrote this novel, and I can broadly group them into four categories: First, the position of the doctor in society, and the contrast between the Hippocratic ideal of the wise, compassionate doctor and the reality of the flawed human who often inhabits that role. Second, the contrast between our fragile bodies and the scale of the universe, which makes our earth appear like a speck of dust in the amber of deep space and deep time. Third, narratives of God and the afterlife, and the way in which modern humanity, straddled with existential quandaries that have no easy resolution, has to grapple with the nonexistence of God. And fourth, the nature of corruption, and the way in which it corrodes human beings and societies, creating impossible choices for those who wish to pursue honest lives. These concerns had occupied me for years, and they led to the plot of NIGHT THEATER crystallizing in my mind: A cynical, disillusioned, but deeply moral surgeon, battling corruption in his work in a rural Indian clinic, would be faced one night with a task that would dwarf any challenge that had ever been placed before him in the course of his career: to return the dead to life.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay: 

Your experience as a physician and scientist absolutely shine and inform your writing, but you do aren’t a trained writer, are you? What inspires you to keep the saw sharp? How do you balance two very demanding jobs? 

Vikram Paralkar:

My education has been entirely in science and medicine, and I’ve never taken any writing courses or workshops. But what better training could there be to become a writer than to read literature and be inspired by it? I started reading Dostoevsky, Borges, Saramago, Calvino, Naipaul, Nabokov, Elliot, Woolf when I was in my late teens. The texture of their prose and the sophistication of their ideas inspired me to write. As to the act of balancing demanding jobs – Medicine, Science, and Fiction are all important to me. I take them all seriously, and I feel driven by them.


“Night Theater hypnotized me, held me on the line between life and death, perfectly grotesque in its discussion of the body, perfectly heady in its depiction of the afterlife. Paralkar has created my favorite kind of story: morbid, magical, and enthralling.”

Leslie Lindsay:

I love that NIGHT THEATER is set in a rural village in India; I think it sheds a fresh light on a very familiar setting: a medical clinic, but adds a sort of unique slant to the story. Do you think the story would be different if it were set somewhere else?

Vikram Paralkar:

It was important for the plot of NIGHT THEATER that it be staged in an isolated setting – one that would simultaneously be open to the sky and its immensity, and yet claustrophobic and cut off from the world. As it happened, there was a particular personal experience to which I could turn for inspiration on that front. As a final-year medical student, I was assigned to a two-week rural health rotation in a small village clinic, where I was supposed to work under the supervision of a senior government doctor. The day I landed there, the senior doctor left on vacation, leaving me to my own devices. It was a terrifying feeling, to be left in that place, feeling grossly unqualified for an assignment that involved human lives. I still remember how it felt, standing at night in the entrance of that clinic, looking up at the pitch-black sky and beholding stars I had never before seen through the urban haze of Mumbai, wondering what I would do if a villager showed up at my doorstep with a medical emergency. I wanted to smuggle that feeling into the mental state of the surgeon in NIGHT THEATER, and turn the clinic of the novel into his claustrophobic universe. He would only have access to the things that the clinic could provide to him, and the outside world would provide nothing – no resources, no personnel, no moral guidance. I find it difficult to imagine that I could have executed this story in any place other than a rural clinic.

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Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay: 

I was so taken with the descriptions of the after-life and God and angels, the ‘officials,’ re-birth, all of it. Certainly, these are topics that have been discussed and regarded for years and years; no one really knows what happens after life. Can you talk a little about the bodies of literature your characters drew their beliefs from? And have you worked with patients with near-death experiences? 

Vikram Paralkar:

There are two primary living characters in NIGHT THEATER: the surgeon and his pharmacist. The surgeon is a highly-educated atheist who does not believe in God or the afterlife, while the pharmacist is a young village woman with a partial school education, and she accepts the mainstream Hindu cosmogony of karma and rebirth that has been part of her upbringing. The dead patients, who have returned from the afterlife, prove them both wrong, and reveal an afterlife that turns out to be entirely unexpected – a bureaucracy in which the dead must endlessly petition officials for the privilege of rebirth.Kafka was of course an inspiration for me in the formulation of this aspect of the tale. The characters in this novel wouldn’t have known about Kafka, but the idea of a complex, de-humanizing bureaucracy would have been familiar to them from their encounters with government corruption. My own reason for crafting such a realm was to subvert the idea of the afterlife itself. The afterlife is supposed to be a consolation for our anxieties regarding death – a place where final justice will be meted out and all wrongs righted. But are we entitled to these consoling narratives? And do ideas of the afterlife make our decisions here on earth any easier? These were the questions I wished to confront.

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Photo by Szabó Viktor on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay: 

Ultimately, I think NIGHT THEATER is a tale about morals—doing what’s right—but it’s also about miracles. Small ones, big ones. Can you expand on that a little? Or, correct me if I am wrong—maybe that wasn’t your intended theme. 

Vikram Paralkar:

Oh no, you’re absolutely right. The word ‘miracle’ is of course a loaded one, and is often abused in quite facile ways. It always strikes me as strange when a news report refers to the discovery of a lone survivor from a catastrophic train accident as a “miracle,” leading to the rather uncomfortable corollary that some celestial overseer decreed that all the other travelers were meant to perish. To me, the word ‘miracle’ speaks not to any particular phenomenon in the world, but to the change that it is capable of evoking in the mind of the perceiver. We are not creatures that just process facts and make decisions about food and shelter and safety. We infuse every aspect of our lives with emotional weight, with meaning, with significance. It is in this sense that I understand the word “miracle.” The functioning of a cell is miraculous, the breath of a child is miraculous. Music is miraculous, as is language. Some of us, because of the states of our minds or the events of our lives, are shut off from the ability to see these miracles. The surgeon in NIGHT THEATER, in the beginning of the novel, is trapped in such a state, where his despair and his cynicism prevents him from seeing any of the miracles of life. I will leave it to the reader to decide whether he is able to see them by the end.

Leslie Lindsay: 

I can’t wait to see what you do next—no pressure! Is there another story calling to you?

Vikram Paralkar:

I’m working on another novel, about an eyemaker who can see the past and future of his clients. Medicine, morality, time.

Leslie Lindsay: 

Vikram, this has been so insightful and fascinating. Thank you, thank you for taking the time. Is there anything I should have asked, but may have forgotten? 

Vikram Paralkar:

We could have talked endlessly about philosophy and ethics, about the paradoxes in our ideas of humans as both thinking creatures and creatures of flesh and blood, about the impossibility of final knowledge and our obligation to make moral decisions based on imperfect insight. About God, about belief, about skepticism, and about how the practice of medicine touches every one of these issues. But that would have taken us all night and day!

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Artistic image of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram for more like this and other bookish things, @leslielindsay1

For more information, to connect with Vikram Paralkar via social media, or to purchase a copy of NIGHT THEATER, please visit: 

ORDER LINKS: 

Vikram Paralkar author photo credit Kimberly KundaABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Vikram Paralkar was born and raised in Mumbai. Author of a previous book, The Afflictions, he is a physician-scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, where he treats patients with leukemia and researches the disease. He lives in Philadelphia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these websites: 

I hope you do!

image1 (5)Leslie Lindsay is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012). Her work has been published in Pithead ChapelCommon Ground ReviewCleaver Magazine (craft and CNF), The Awakenings Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Ruminate’s The WakingBrave Voices Literary MagazineManifest-Station, and others. Her cover art will be featured on Up the Staircase Quarterly in May 2020 and the 2nd edition of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA will be available this spring. Leslie has been awarded one of the top 1% reviewers on GoodReads and recognized by Jane Friedman as one of the most influential book reviewers. Since 2013, Leslie has interviewed over 700 bestselling and debut authors on her author interview series. Follow her bookstagram posts @leslielindsay1.

Second edition of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA coming soon from Woodbine House

LOVE IT? SHARE IT!

#literaryfiction #medicalfiction #magicalrealism #speculativefiction #alwayswithabook #morals #ethics #medicine #afterlife #isolation #miracles #India

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[Cover and image courtesy of Catapult Books and used with permission. Artistic image of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram for more like this and other bookish things, @leslielindsay1]

Debut literary thriller about a family man grappling with his sense of self, a downward spiral, plus true-crime inspiration, character development and so much more in A GOOD MAN

By Leslie Lindsay 

Debut thriller about a man grappling with his sense of self after his life spirals out of control. 

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~WEEKEND READING|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~

Ani Katz will have readers on edge the entire time they are immersed in her riveting debut, A GOOD MAN (Penguin Books Original, January 14 2020). Katz plays with the dysfunctional family dynamic, an unstable/unreliable male narrator, and the picture-perfect family. Thomas Martin is a devoted family man with a beautiful wife, a sweet daughter at a private school, a home on Long Island, a job as an ad man. He has an eccentric family of origin he’s running from–but sheltering–at the same time. In a sense, A GOOD MAN is a fairy tale, complete with flittering glimmers of dysfunction.

Thomas Martin is a devoted family man with an enviable life: a beautiful wife and daughter, a well-appointed home on Long Island, a job at a prestigious Manhattan advertising firm. He’s also a devoted brother and son, yet this family of origin is disturbingly sheltered.

What happens when Thomas’s life—and ego—are rocked to their core? Through a series of unfortunate events, one seemingly right after another, his entire world devolves. He becomes a bit unhinged. Things unravel. He’s telling his story, but can he be trusted? Tension and discomfort abound in A GOOD MAN. There’s a palpable sense of impending doom, and I wondered just how much was real, how much a figment of his imagination, a defense mechanism, a form of coping.

That said, some events may be perceived differently by different readers. Some triggers in terms of family dynamics, incest, abuseIs Thomas a monster? A hero? Something in between? Is he simply a good man?

Please join me in welcoming the lovely and talented Ani Katz to the author interview series.

Leslie Lindsay:

Ani, wow. What a deliciously dark tale. I always think we’re sort of haunted into a story. What was the driving force for you in A GOOD MAN? Were you inspired by an event, a character? Something else?

Ani Katz:

Thank you! The very first spark for the idea for A GOOD MAN came from a similar tragedy that happened several decades ago in the extended family of a close friend of mine. Initially, I thought that I would use that story as part of a multigenerational family saga, but ultimately I couldn’t really justify that choice. I had become increasingly aware of this frustrating trend in contemporary literature, especially in true-crime inspired fiction, where something really shocking and gruesome happens, but the reader is kept at a safe distance, and isn’t forced to question their consumption of those kinds of stories. But I kept thinking about men who commit intimate violence against their loved ones, and why those stories were so compelling and disturbing to me. I decided that if I wanted to explore this kind of story I had get inside that voice, and that I would have to force my readers to come along for the ride.


“Ani Katz is a brilliant writer. I sat down to read A GOOD MAN and didn’t move until I’d finished it. This is a spellbinding work of psychologically potent art. I can’t wait to read what she does next. I loved this book.”

Caroline Kepnes, author of You


Leslie Lindsay:

You wrote A GOOD MAN solely from the male POV—Thomas’s. And you do it so well. Yet, you’re a woman. What kind of exercises—or research—did you do to understand Thomas—the male ego, his world, and other pieces of making his voice come to life?

Ani Katz:

Writing from a man’s point of view — and Thomas’s particular point of view — was not as difficult as I initially thought it would be, and it got easier as I got deeper into the writing process. I struggled most when I first started, when I felt I had to adopt a more obviously repulsive voice so that readers didn’t find Thomas too sympathetic. But as I kept going, I realized that approach didn’t make any sense. Thomas only works as a character if he’s familiar and understandable; the reader won’t stick with him otherwise.

My research was multifaceted: I read a lot of relevant books, including Emmanuel Carrère’s The Adversary (a true crime memoir about the case of Jean-Claude Romand, a man who for nearly two decades pretended to be a respected doctor before his lies came to light, leading him to murder his family in 1993), Joe McGinniss’ Fatal Vision (an account of the trials of Jeffrey MacDonald, an army physician found guilty of slaughtering his pregnant wife and two young daughters in 1970), and Errol Morris’ A Wilderness of Error, which is a critique of McGinniss’ book. I also read some great pieces of longform journalism about various cases of men who had committed acts of violence against their families, and spent a lot of time on men’s rights blogs and other websites that promote traditional masculinity in order to absorb their ways of speaking about women, marriage, and family.

In the end, embodying Thomas’s voice felt almost natural. Whenever I got stuck, I would return to the same guiding questions I always keep in mind when writing a character: Who do I know who’s like this, and what would they do or say in this situation? What fears, desires, insecurities, and anxieties do I myself share with this character? Since so many aspects of Thomas’s mindset are so pervasive in our culture, those qualities became easy to access on the page.

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

What did you find most challenging as you wrote? How did you reconcile those challenges?

Ani Katz:

The entire premise of this novel was fairly risky, and I knew it would be tough to pull off. Though in some ways I found it surprisingly easy to capture Thomas’s voice, it was still hard to thread the needle of the unreliable narrator, specifically how to show the slippage between Thomas’s perceptions of reality and the perceptions of others without making it too gimmicky. Though I’d purposely avoided it for the majority of my drafting process because I knew it would sap any faith I had in my own writing abilities, I went back to Lolita, which is such a master class in how to show those moments when the mask comes off to reveal the reality of abuse without ever rupturing the narrator’s control.

I also spent several weeks struggling with the ending of A GOOD MAN; I knew the entire novel would fail if I couldn’t nail the final act. I had to figure out how to handle it unflinchingly, looking directly and plainly at what happens without resorting to gratuitous or graphic violence. I passed a lot of nights lying awake in bed trying to figure it out from a craft perspective, just thinking it through. Then, even once I’d figured it out, I still wouldn’t be able to sleep because I was so troubled by what I’d just invented.

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Photo by Wendelin Jacober on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

Thomas works in advertising and lives on the picture-perfect north shore of Long Island. How might this story have been different if it was set, in say, Boise, Idaho? Would it be different? Was the setting intentional on your part?

Ani Katz:

The setting was very intentional for a few reasons. For one, it comes back to the adage of writing what you know: I grew up in Bay Shore, on the South Shore of Long Island, so it’s a place I’ve thought about a lot. I was also interested in how suburban Long Island represents such wildly different things to different people. It’s a place of both enormous wealth and serious poverty, sometimes side by side in the same town. It’s idealized as a place that’s outside the city but also close enough to commute, but it can also be very provincial and isolating. Many families settle there because the conventional white American view is that the suburbs are “safer” than the city, but Long Island has also been the site of brutal violence, like the Gilgo Beach murders of sex workers, as well as anti-immigrant hate crimes. If you’re white and affluent, it’s a place of privilege; even though we’re in deep blue New York State, many parts of Long Island can be very culturally and fiscally conservative, and vote Republican most of the time. This setting is an important layer of Thomas’s psyche. He craves the kind of picture-perfect life that Long Island seems to promise, but as one discovers, there’s rot under the facade.

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Photo by Bradley Hook on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

Can you tell us a little about why Thomas references operas so frequently in A GOOD MAN? Does it have something to do with comedy and tragedy? The hero’s journey? Another purpose?

Ani Katz:

Thomas uses his extensive knowledge of opera to gild and sugarcoat the telling of his story. Being a connoisseur is integral to his sense of self as a cultured, upwardly mobile person, and the specific works that he references are often convenient rhetorical crutches that help him explain away his behavior. Tannhauser, especially, is all about a man who gains absolution through the destruction of a selfless, pure woman. Opera also signals a link between Thomas and his abusive father, who was the other notable connoisseur in the family. Overall, I think that opera is a really fitting medium for this story; it’s so steeped in melodrama, with such life-and-death stakes.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

Thomas is obsessed with telling his story. What’s obsessing you these days? It doesn’t have to be literary.

Ani Katz:

Like many people, I’m generally obsessed with geo-politics, especially the Democratic primary. I’m also a third grade teacher, so on any given weekday the emotional and intellectual lives of a bunch of eight and nine year olds take up most of my headspace. I’ve found it very helpful to have a day job that’s connected to reading and writing but that doesn’t require me to sit at a desk all day writing what someone else wants me to write. Working with children to help them develop their own literary lives re-energizes me, and inspires me to do my own work in my (admittedly too infrequent) free time.

Leslie Lindsay:

Ani, this has been so insightful and intriguing. Thank you for taking the time. Is there anything else I should have asked, but may have forgotten?

Ani Katz:

I think this covers it. Thank you!

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 Artistic photo of book cover designed and photographed by me, L.Lindsay. Give me a follow for more like this, and other bookish news @leslielindsay1

For more information, to connect with Ani Katz via social media, or to purchase a copy of A GOOD MAN, please see:

Order LInks:

Ani Katz credit Sarah J. WinstonABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ani Katz is a writer, photographer, and teacher. She was born and raised on the South Shore of Long Island, New York, and holds an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago and a BA from Yale. She lives in Brooklyn.

 

 

 

 

You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these websites:

I hope you do!

image1 (5)

Leslie Lindsay is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012). Her work has been published in Pithead ChapelCommon Ground ReviewCleaver Magazine (craft and CNF), The Awakenings Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Ruminate’s The WakingBrave Voices Literary MagazineManifest-Station, and others. Her cover art will be featured on Up the Staircase Quarterly in May 2020 and the 2nd edition of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA will be available this spring. Leslie has been awarded one of the top 1% reviewers on GoodReads and recognized by Jane Friedman as one of the most influential book reviewers. Since 2013, Leslie has interviewed over 700 bestselling and debut authors on her author interview series. Follow her bookstagram posts @leslielindsay1.

LOVE IT? SHARE IT!

#domesticthriller #debut #familyman #unreliablenarrator #violence #downwardspiral #truecrimeinspired #opera #alwayswithabook

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[Cover and author photo courtesy of PRH and used with permission. Artistic photo of book cover designed and photographed by me, L.Lindsay. Give me a follow for more like this, and other bookish news @leslielindsay1

National Book Award-winning and NYT bestselling author Jacqueline Woodson’s RED AT THE BONE, about family, history, ambition, and a teen pregnancy

By Leslie Lindsay 

Beneath the trouble, lies a very powerful and poignant tale about race and class, ambition, and more. RED AT THE BONE is destined to become a classic. 

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~Wednesdays with Writers: SPOTLIGHT!~

The thing with ‘classic’ literature is that it is typically polarizing; that is, not everyone is going to love it, there will be themes that make readers squirm, that make us uncomfortable. Classic literature does that. That’s exactly what we’ll find in this bestseller from Jacqueline Woodson, RED AT THE BONE (September 17 2019).

Told in a forward-and-backward momentum, Woodson tells the story of two African American families from different social classes who come together because of a teen pregnancy and the child it produces. We begin with a sixteen-year-old’s coming-of-age party in somewhat contemporary (2001) times. Melody is that baby from sixteen years ago, when her mother was an unmarried pregnant teen. Adoring relatives look on, but what we don’t know is the pain each of them has carried.


“In less than 200 sparsely filled pages, this book manages to encompass issues of class, education, ambition, racial prejudice, sexual desire and orientation, identity, mother-daughter relationships, parenthood and loss….With Red at the Bone, Jacqueline Woodson has indeed risen — even further into the ranks of great literature.”

– NPR


Unfurling through time, we ‘meet’ Melody’s parents and grandparent’s their hopes, dreams, fears, and regrets all come to life, touching on themes of ambition, education, sexual desire, class, race, status, and more. Ultimately, we get the POV of six characters: Melody, her (teen) mother Iris, (teen) father Aubrey, CathyMarie (Aubrey’s mother), and Po’Boy and Sabre (maternal grandparents). BUT–what’s bit confusing is, at first, we don’t know who any of these characters are, their stories and voices tend to run together, without any delineation as to who’s who.

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Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

Once I got beyond this, character arcs seemed to materialize and I became wholly engaged in the story. Woodson writes with a sparse but lush and poetic hand, her details are spot-on,the way her eye sees the world is so psychologically and aesthetically astute.

RED AT THE BONE is a story that will stay with me for a long time–not so much in terms of plot, but in the sense of imagery and how it made me feel.

Book Concierge:

I found some similarities between RED AT THE BONE and Jodi Piccoult’s SMALL GREAT THINGS meets Pamela Erens’ ELEVEN HOURS with a touch of Tayari Jones’s AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE.

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Artistic photo of book designed and photographed by L.Lindsay. Please follow me @leslielindsay on Instagram

For more information, to connect with Jacqueline Woodson via social media, or to purchase a copy of RED AT THE BONE, please visit: 

Order Links: 

jacquelinwoodsonABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jacqueline Woodson is the author of more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders and children; among her many accolades, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a four-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. Her books include The Other SideEach Kindness, Caldecott Honor book Coming On Home Soon; Newbery Honor winners Feathers, Show Way, and After Tupac and D Foster; and Miracle’s Boys, which received the LA Times Book Prize and the Coretta Scott King Award. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these websites:

I hope you do!

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Leslie Lindsay is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012). Her work has been published in Pithead ChapelCommon Ground ReviewCleaver Magazine (craft and CNF), The Awakenings Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Ruminate’s The WakingBrave Voices Literary MagazineManifest-Station, and others. Her cover art will be featured in Up the Staircase Quarterly in May 2020. She has been awarded one of the top 1% reviewers on GoodReads and recognized by Jane Friedman as one of the most influential book reviewers. Since 2013, Leslie has interviewed over 700 bestselling and debut authors on her author interview series. Follow her bookstagram posts @leslielindsay1. Second edition of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA coming Spring 2020 from Woodbine House.

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LOVE IT? SHARE IT!

#fiction #literary #lyrical #teenpregnancy #race #class #socialissues #teens #comingofage #gentrification #Brooklyn #pregnancy 

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[Cover and author image retrieved from author’s website. Artistic photo of book designed and photographed by L.Lindsay. Please follow me @leslielindsay on Instagram]

 

Now in paperback! Jennifer Chiaverini’s sweeping WWII historical fiction, RESISTANCE WOMEN, about a woman from Wisconsin, friendship, romance, and more

by Leslie Lindsay 

A captivating historical novel that recreates the danger, sacrifices, and romance of the WWII era, inspired by a true story. 

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*COMING FEB 4th IN PAPERBACK*

RESISTANCE WOMEN

by New York Times bestselling author

Jennifer Chiaverini

RESISTANCE WOMEN (William Morrow, Paperback February 4, 2020) was an Amazon Best Book of June; a June Indie Next pick; and received praise from People, OprahMag.com, and a slew of other media outlets.

American-born Mildred Fish Harnack is well known throughout modern Germany, where streets and schools have been named after her. A literary scholar and anti-Nazi resistance fighter, Mildred was the only American woman whose execution during World War II was personally ordered by Adolf Hitler.  Yet here in her native country, Mildred’s story is largely unknown.

 Coming in Paperback Feb 4th

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Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

After University of Wisconsin graduate student Mildred Fish marries brilliant German economist Arvid Harnack, she accompanies him to his German homeland, where a promising future awaits. In the thriving intellectual culture of 1930s Berlin, the newlyweds create a rich new life filled with love, friendships, and rewarding work. But the rise of a malevolent new political faction inexorably changes their fate.

For years, Mildred’s network stealthily fights to bring down the Third Reich from within. But when Nazi radio operatives detect an errant Russian signal in August 1942, the Harnack resistance cell is exposed… with fatal consequences. Forty-five members of the circle are sentenced to die—nineteen of them women, not trained spies or armed soldiers, but remarkable women from all walks of life.


“Chiaverini never loses her focus on her four extraordinarily courageous, resourceful, yet relatable narrators. Chiaverini’s many fans and every historical fiction reader who enjoys strong female characters, will find much to love in this revealing WWII novel.”

—BOOKLIST


RESISTANCE WOMEN is the haunting, unforgettable story of ordinary people determined to resist the rise of evil, sacrificing their own lives and liberty to fight injustice and defend the oppressed.

*An Indie Next List Great Reads “Now in Paperback”

Selection for February 2020

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Artistic photo of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram for more like this @leslielindsay1

For more information, to connect with Jennifer Chiaverini via social media, or to purchase a copy of RESISTANCE WOMEN, please see: 

ORDER LINKS: 

*An Indie Next List Great Reads “Now in Paperback”

Selection for February 2020

FUN FACT:

“Resistance” is one of the most recurring words in American discourse right now, and this inspiring novel shows what we all need to see—a triumph of love over despair, of courage over fear, and of dignity and compassion over evil.

Jennifer Chiaverini Author Photo (1)ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Chiaverini is theNew York Timesbestsellingauthor of several acclaimed historical novels and the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin.

You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these websites:

 I hope you do!

SECOND EDITION OF SPEAKING OF APRAXIA COMING SPRING 2020 FROM WOODBINE HOUSE! 
image1 (5)

Leslie Lindsay is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012). Her work has been published in Pithead ChapelCommon Ground ReviewCleaver Magazine (craft and CNF), The Awakenings Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Ruminate’s The WakingBrave Voices Literary MagazineManifest-Station, and others. She has been awarded as one of the top 1% reviewers on GoodReads and recognized by Jane Friedman as one of the most influential book reviewers. Since 2013, Leslie has interviewed over 700 bestselling and debut authors on her author interview series. Follow her bookstagram posts @leslielindsay1.

#fiction #historicalfiction #WWII #romance #Germany #women #ResistanceWomen #alwayswithabook 

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[Cover and author image courtesy of WilliamMorrow and used with permission. Artistic photo of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram for more like this @leslielindsay1]

 

The best, most darling children’s picture book I’ve seen in a long time–LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL is a class-act, plus it’s about founding mothers, finding one’s passion, and so much more–Q&A with author and illustrator

By Leslie Lindsay 

Darling picture book for young readers–and their caregivers–about the feisty and enterprising first lady, Abigail Adams.

bk_leave-it-to-abigail_500~Books on Monday~

I loved LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL: The Revolutionary Life of Abigail Adams (Feb 4, 2020 Little, Brown)! In this inspiring tribute, award-winning author Barb Rosenstock and NYT bestselling illustrator, Elizabeth Baddeley bring to life the amazing and colorful Abigail Adams, one of America’s greatest founding mothers.

Everyone knew Abigail was different–in fact, they didn’t expect she’d live after childbirth–but she did. She blurted out questions and she ignored her mother’s chores, she bossed her siblings around, and fell into her father’s books (and taught herself to read)…she eventually tamed herself and became proficient at the many tasks it takes to run a farm, plus baking and sewing, carding, and more. When she was 14 she was ‘promised’ to marry a minister from town, but fell in love with John Adams. He thought she was too headstrong and obnoxious at the time, but five years later, when she was 19 and he 24, they married.

I was completely in awe with LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL–and learned so much! The illustrations are an absolute delight –and I marveled at the actual cross stitch used throughout the book. This is a perfect read for anyone who loves American history, but especially in teaching our young daughters that they can be and do just about anything they set their minds to. It’s about taking chances, speaking one’s mind, rolling up one’s sleeves, and getting the job done. I found it very inspiring.

The end of the book provides notes from both the author and illustrator about their processes, as well as a wonderful homage to influential women throughout history.

LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL is a title no children’s library should be without. Truly a class-act.

Please join me in welcoming the lovely and talented Barb Rosenstock and Elizabeth Baddeley to the author interview series.

Leslie Lindsay:

Barb and Elizabeth, welcome! I LOVED this book. It’s impeccably researched and the illustrations are so, so engaging. But first, I just have to say—I’m from Missouri and now live in Illinois—small world! Growing up, I loved to read, write, and illustrate my own books. But I didn’t know any authors; it felt unattainable. Like Abigail, it didn’t stop me. And I think that’s what the theme of LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL is all about—doing what you want because it’s a passion. Can you talk about that, please?

Barb Rosenstock:

The way Abigail Adams life played out proves almost nothing is unattainable. But, she did not just do what she “wanted.” The thing I found most fascinating and relatable about Abigail is how she, like many modern women, juggled the passions and obligations in her life. Motherhood, gardening, her money-making work, husband’s business obligations, writing, and relationships. As someone who came to writing later in life, it was comforting to hear Abigail in the 1770s communicate similar thoughts to every female creative person (or every adult female) I know—How is this all going to get done? Am I being selfish? I’m so worried about my children. I love my husband but he’s driving me nuts. What do people think of me? She was smart, funny, driven, a bit of a know-it-all, much loved,  and a leader in her family, her community, and finally her country. She didn’t know her life was on that trajectory. She kept true to her passions and herself, and she is a hero.

Elizabeth Baddeley:

I think that passion is something you have no other choice but to do. I can think of a lot of jobs that would be easier than illustrating books—but here we are! Our passions aren’t always practical but require nurturing alongside the day-to-day of regular life. I think this describes Abigail’s life to a tee. She wrote those letters and voiced her opinions to her husband all the while running a family farm, raising children and supporting her family financially. Certainly it would have been easier to simply focus on family life, but that’s not who she was. She had a passion to learn and to be heard.

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Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

Barb, I’m curious if you could give us a little insight into your research into the narrative of LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL. So many have this misconception that writing for children is ‘easier,’ but it’s not! What can you tell us?

Barb Rosenstock:

I don’t know if it’s “easier” or “harder,” it’s just what I love to do! I read a few books about Abigail (and speaking of adult books, I don’t think the definitive, lively adult bio of AA has been written yet) but LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL was rooted in the primary source of Abigail’s own letters. Yet still, the book didn’t come together until I actually visited the Adams Historical Park in Massachusetts and was guided through the homes by Caroline Keinath, who was then Superintendent of the site. Allowed to take my time to see Abigail’s life artifacts, the space she lived this extraordinary life, provided me with the sensory experiences I needed as opposed to more reading.  It was in the attic space, hearing how she boarded Revolutionary soldiers, and knowing that John Adams had left her alone to run their entire lives while he ran a revolution, that I first thought “gee, leave it to Abigail, to do all this and then take in soldiers!” After the attic, I started saying “Yep, leave it to Abigail!” every time Caroline told me something else amazing about this woman. The next thing I knew, I had a text structure and the book’s title.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

In terms of illustrations, I am sure you had to delve into history to make sure your representation of Abigail’s life was accurate. What was your process like, Elizabeth? Did you receive the narrative after the fact and then put images to the text? Did you and Barb collaborate along the way?

Elizabeth Baddeley:

With this book, and all the other books I’ve illustrated, I received the manuscript before creating any illustrations. However, it is always the job of the illustrator to elaborate on that manuscript and bring your own elements to the story. A lot of times, those elements are things that cannot be written. The expression on Abigail’s face when she meets Ben Franklin, the textiles that make up her wardrobe, or the tools surrounding the household hearth are all examples. These details would muddy up the story Barb was trying to shape, but are great elements to include within the illustrations.

I go about finding research in many ways. The library is always my first stop. The internet is great, but unreliable. If it’s written or pictured in a book, I can be sure it’s accurate information. Each book I work on requires its own method of research. For this book, I found that photos of people doing historical reenactments were very useful. I think I probably looked at 500 pictures from Colonial Williamsburg! I have to piece many photos, drawings and ideas together to form the world I am illustrating, but those were a great start.


“Abigail Adams is depicted as a colonial powerhouse in this admiring, fact-filled picture book biography. Highly recommended.”
 Starred Review, School Library Journal

Leslie Lindsay:

What messages would you give girls who aspire to be authors—and illustrators—or both?!

Barb Rosenstock:

If you like to think and talk and tell stories, then write. And writing is like anything else worthwhile, (sports, dance, music, experimenting, building) it take a lot of practice. In fact, it is 99% practice and 1% “I’m done.” When you fall in love with the practice, you fall in love with the way your brain works and that very powerful. Try it! Do it! Write!

Elizabeth Baddeley:

Stories are everywhere! You don’t have to live an unusual or adventurous life to tell great stories. A trip to the grocery store or an afternoon spent outdoors can stir up all sorts of interesting ideas. You only have to open your eyes. This means putting down your phone, tablet, computer or whatever else is distracting you. Write down or draw what you see without worrying about where it will lead. This is not solely advice for young girls, by the way. We could all benefit from opening our eyes to the world around us.

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Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

What did you learn about yourself as you wrote and illustrated LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL? What challenges did you overcome?

Barb Rosenstock:

Not to pat myself on the back too much, for it did take a lot of time, but I learned I am becoming very, very good at knowing what will work in an historical picture book and what doesn’t belong. I’m still learning to trust the process. The challenge in writing about Abigail Adams is that she led a rich, complex, long life ranging over many different subjects, yet, she was essentially a housewife, not typically considered the “primary actor.”  I like to say that every picture book has to answer the question, So What? I never know one of my books is going to work until that “So What?” question is answered.  The “So What” in LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL is her essential dependability, and how people depend on each other and how not much gets done (even in a revolution) without the heroes behind the scenes.

Elizabeth Baddeley:

LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL came at a very interesting time in my life. I was pregnant with my son during the process of illustrating this book (the images of Abigail with her children are very special to me). I made the illustrations as my pregnancy progressed, I looked at proofs with infant in a sling wrapped around me and I opened the box of finished LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL books while a energetic toddler ran around the house. I really felt the spirit of Abigail in me as my life changed drastically to accommodate my new baby. Balancing work and family life was (and is) certainly a challenge during this time. I’m still not sure that I’ve overcome it, though!

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Photo by Drigo Diniz on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

I think the biggest message in LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL is the concept of strong, driven, and influential women. Who or what inspired you? And do you have plans to write/illustrate more books along this theme?

Barb Rosenstock:

Starting with my mother, I have so many strong women in my life. Women who were told what to do or what not to do, and still figured out what they wanted and went against all the rules to get it when necessary. And yet, until some female elementary students pointed out, “almost all your books are about boys” I hadn’t realized how skewed my own thinking was toward white, male history. LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL hopefully begins to address that and I have another book coming out (same month, same year!) called FIGHT OF THE CENTURY which is about another important woman leader, Alice Paul, who battled President Woodrow Wilson and the male establishment to win the right to vote. 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, so hey ladies, let’s vote!

Elizabeth Baddeley:

Yes! I am currently working on two books about fantastically inspiring and driving women. One about dare-devil stunt-woman, Kitty O’Neil, who overcame many odds and the other is about the female telephone operators in WWI. I could illustrate books along this theme until the day I day. But I hope to, someday soon, write and illustrate books about women I have known in my life. Perhaps less famous, but just as strong and driven.

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Photo by Giallo on Pexels.com

“An engaging and illuminating depiction of a woman whose story deserves to be known widely.”
—Kirkus Reviews

Leslie Lindsay:

I could probably ask questions all day, alas we all have other things to get to. Is there anything I should have asked, but may have forgotten?

Barb Rosenstock:

Instead how about I ask you (and the teachers, librarians, etc. who may be reading)… Which other strong women do YOU wish we knew more about?

Leslie Lindsay:

Oooh! An important question. I think I’d be interested in learning more about women doing things that weren’t typical of women at the time–and for selfish reasons, I’d suggest women in medicine like Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive a medical degree in the U.S. And what about women in architecture? Sophia Hayden Bennett was born in Chile, but received her architectural degree from MIT in 1890 and her work was featured at the Chicago World’s Fair. Even writing was once a very male-only profession not so long ago and so featuring women writers throughout history would really appeal to me.

Elizabeth Baddeley:

I had a lot of fun creating the cross stitch elements in the book. These were very much inspired by my mom, and avid cross-stitcher, quilter and general creative person. Cross stitch was not only a very popular craft in Abigail’s time, but I loved the juxtaposition of this very delicate, ornamental needlework with the grueling life a colonial woman must have led. Their lives were so much about doing what needed to be done to survive, but somehow were also infused with beauty. Something I strive for every day!

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Artistic cover of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow @leslielindsay1 on Instagram for more like this

FOr more information, to connect with Barb Rosenstock (author) or Elizabeth Baddeley (illustrator), please see:

ORDER LINKS:

Rosenstock Author PhotoABOUT THE AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR: Barb Rosenstock likes true stories about real people. She is the author of nonfiction and historical fiction children’s books that combine deep research and playful language to bring history to life. Her book, The Noisy Paint Box, illustrated by Mary Grandpré, received a Caldecott Honor in 2015. Other awards include an Orbis Pictus Honor, a Sydney Taylor Honor and the California Library Association Beatty Award as well as numerous national and state recognitions. Barb loves sharing stories and inspiring students in schools and libraries across the country. She lives with her family near Chicago.

Elizabeth Baddeley is the New York Times Best selling illustrator of I DISSENT: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes her Mark (Simon & Schuster). She Elizabeth Baddeley (no credit needed)has illustrated many other biographies and non-fiction books for children including: The Cat Who Lived with Anne Frank (Philomel), An Inconvenient Alphabet (Simon & Schuster), The Good Fight (Knopf), A Woman in the House (and Senate) (Abrams) and more! Elizabeth has also self-published the leading /only Kansas City themed coloring book for adults and children: Color Me Kansas City as well as the very personal Swimmer Girls which earned her a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators in 2011.

Prior to receiving her MFA from the School of Visual Arts (illustration as visual essay), Elizabeth had worked for Hallmark Cards and Barkley advertising in Kansas City. Her other interests include knitting ill-fitting garments for her son, wrangling cats and Boston Terriers, swimming and cooking. She resides in a historic neighborhood in Kansas City with her husband and young son.

You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these websites:

I hope you do!

SECOND EDITION OF SPEAKING OF APRAXIA COMING SPRING 2020 FROM WOODBINE HOUSE!
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Leslie Lindsay is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012). Her work has been published in Pithead ChapelCommon Ground ReviewCleaver Magazine (craft and CNF), The Awakenings Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Ruminate’s The WakingBrave Voices Literary MagazineManifest-Station, and others. She has been awarded as one of the top 1% reviewers on GoodReads and recognized by Jane Friedman as one of the most influential book reviewers. Since 2013, Leslie has interviewed over 700 bestselling and debut authors on her author interview series. Follow her bookstagram posts @leslielindsay1.

LOVE IT? SHARE IT!

#childrenslit #historicalfigures #foundingmothers #AbigailAdams #strongwomen #womeninhistory 

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[Cover and author images courtesy of Little, Brown and Company Young Readers and used with permission. Author photo cred Rosenstock: Mary Clare Glabowitz. Artistic cover of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow @leslielindsay1 on Instagram for more like this]

Queen of romantic thrillers, Erica Spindler is here chatting about her new book, THE LOOK-ALIKE, set in small-town Wisconsin with a flair of mental illness

By Leslie Lindsay 

A young woman returning to her hometown in Wisconsin learns a brutal murder case she witnessed is being re-opened in this romantic thriller.

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~WeekEND Reading~

A most anticipated book of 2020 according to:

CrimeReads

BookRiot

The Nerd Daily

Erica Spindler weaves a fast-paced tale of an unsolved murder in THE LOOK-ALIKE (St. Martin’s Press, Jan 28 2020).

Trudging back to her door room late one night at Frederick College ten years ago, Sienna Scott stumbles upon a murdered classmate, her white coat and snow-covered ground stained crimson. The case is never fully solved, but closed. Sienna is shipped off to London to live with her grandmother. For ten years, she attends school there, becomes a chef. She’s back now, because her mother, who suffers from a paranoid delusional disorder is requiring more assistance. Others have always said Sienna looks just like her mother and Sienna’s biggest fear is that she will inherit her mother’s mental illness. What’s more, Sienna realizes there were some similarities between she and the girl who was murdered: they both had the same white coat. Could it be that Sienna was the intended victim?

The longer Sienna stays in her hometown, in the home with her slightly reclusive mother, she wants to get to the bottom of the mystery of the girl’s murder. Mysterious calls and an unmarked white van appear. Could there be something to it, or is she losing her mind, like her mother?

There are plenty of side-plots, too. Sienna’s relationship with her older half-brother factor in, as does the attractive new neighbor, plus Sienna also hopes to purchase a local restaurant and refurbish it for her own new home/restaurant. All of which builds the suspense of whodunit; everyone seems to have a motive and there’s a fine cast of characters to choose from, generating plenty of theories. A perfect read to curl up by the fire this winter.

Please join me in welcoming the lovely Erica Spindler to the author interview series.

Leslie Lindsay:

Erica, welcome! I always feel we are sort of haunted into writing a certain story—whether a character, a situation, or a past event we’re looking to explore. What was it for you in THE LOOK-ALIKE?

Erica Spindler:

Hi, Leslie! Thanks for hosting me here on your blog. Yes, you hit the nail on the head, it is like being haunted. Or stalked. LOL. For me it was an image of blood in the snow. Literally. As I stewed over the image, it expanded to include a young woman trudging across campus in a snowstorm and literally tripping over the body of a murdered classmate. Eventually, a question attached itself to the image: What if the young woman becomes convinced, seemingly without reason, that it was she who had been the killer’s intended target?

snow covered trees
Photo by Татьяна Чернышова on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

I am the daughter of a severely mentally ill mother who suffered from paranoid delusions (and a bevy of other things). Like Sienna, one of my biggest fears was (is) that I would inherit my mother’s mental illness. In fact, there’s a quote from THE LOOK-ALIKE that sums this up perfectly:

“Sienna had wondered how long before someone would comment on how she was the mirror image of her beautiful, auburn-haired mother. It used to bother her, the speculative looks, the feeling that they were just waiting for her to go off the rails. As if by inheriting her mother’s features and coloring, she had inherited her mental illness as well.”

Can you expand on this a little more?

Erica Spindler:

First off, thank you for sharing your personal history with me. It means a lot that my words rang true to your experiences. As a writer it’s my job, I think, to create truth within fiction. So again, thank you. As for your question: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree—or so the saying goes. We have this expectation, or assumption, that a child will be just like the parent. Maybe it’s built into our human DNA. And it puts tremendous pressure on a child, whether their parent is mentally ill, as Sienna’s is, or the perfect homemaker or an incredible beauty, a brain surgeon, or whatever. It’s just out there. I was able to exploit that expectation, not just to create tension within the story, but to make Sienna’s doubts and fears both believable and sympathetic.

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Photo by Michiel Alleman on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

Also, can you go into more details about what persecutory delusional disorder encompasses?

Erica Spindler:

The person who suffers with PDD believes they are being threatened, mistreated, or will be harmed in the future. Basically, they believe that someone is out to get them. The psychologist explained to me that no ‘fact’ you present with will dissuade the PDD afflicted, they will bend reality to fit their delusions. It was fascinating to explore through my character!

Leslie Lindsay:

I’m also quite taken with the setting of THE LOOK-ALIKE. It takes place in Wisconsin, near the Illinois boarder—but I understand you reside in the New Orleans area. Can you talk about how you determined to set the book where you did? Do you have any experience or connection to Illinois or Wisconsin? Small towns?

Erica Spindler:

I grew up in Rockford Illinois so I have first hand knowledge of snowstorms and bitter cold. Rockford is located near the border to Wisconsin and the college town of Beloit. When I was in high school everybody headed to Beloit on the weekend because the drinking age was 18 compared to our 21. Fond memories. LOL THE LOOK-ALIKE’S Tranquility Bluffs is based on the town of Beloit—I even managed to include the bar we always went to (Hanson’s Tavern, it’s still there!) in THE LOOK-ALIKE.

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Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

You’re a bestselling author of more than thirty books! Does it ever get easier? Does each book present it own challenges? What advice might you give your younger author self?

Erica Spindler:

I wish I could say it gets easier, but it doesn’t because each book does present its own, unique challenges. And I strive to make each book better than the one before. Every reader, my editor, the reviewers all sit on my shoulders, editing as I write. But the act of writing hasn’t lost its magic, and I remain as passionately committed to storytelling as when I began. What advice would I give my younger self? Take the time to enjoy every moment and to celebrate each success. You earned it and joy is worth it.

Leslie Lindsay:

Erica, this has been lovely and so insightful. Thank you! Is there anything I should have asked, but may have forgotten?

Erica Spindler:

I’m finishing my next stand alone novel, tentatively titled THE GOOD DAUGHTER. The story revolves around a twenty-five year old cold case—the murder and kidnapping of the wife and infant daughter of one of New Orleans most powerful men. As with THE LOOK-ALIKE, the narrative moves between past and present, this time via the two investigations into the crime and the two detectives—a father and daughter—who become obsessed with solving the case.

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Artistic image of book cover designed and photographed by me, L.Lindsay. Follow on Instagram for more like this.

For more information, to connect with Erica Spindler via social media, or to purchase a copy of THE LOOK-ALIKE, please visit:

ORDER LINKS:

Spindler - Author Image_© Hoffman Miller Advertising (1)ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ERICA SPINDLER is a New York Times bestselling author who has written 30 novels, including The Other Girl, Justice for Sara, and The First Wife. Published in 25 countries, her stories have been lauded as “thrill-packed, page turners, white-knuckle rides and edge-of-your-seat whodunits.” Erica lives just outside New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband and two sons. Visit her at www.ericaspindler.com.

You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these websites.

I hope you do!

SECOND EDITION OF SPEAKING OF APRAXIA COMING SPRING 2020 FROM WOODBINE HOUSE!
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Leslie Lindsay is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012). Her work has been published in Pithead ChapelCommon Ground ReviewCleaver Magazine (craft and CNF), The Awakenings Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Ruminate’s The WakingBrave Voices Literary MagazineManifest-Station, and others. She has been awarded as one of the top 1% reviewers on GoodReads and recognized by Jane Friedman as one of the most influential book reviewers. Since 2013, Leslie has interviewed over 700 bestselling and debut authors on her author interview series. Follow her bookstagram posts @leslielindsay1.

LOVE IT? SHARE IT!

#romanticthriller #domesticsuspense #murder #coldcase #winterreads #Wisconsin #Illinois #smalltowns #mentalillness 

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[Cover and author image courtesy of St. Martin’s Press and used with permission. Artistic image of book cover designed and photographed by me, L.Lindsay. Follow on Instagram for more like this] 

Stunning debut from Raymond Fleishmann, HOW QUICKLY SHE DISAPPEARS set in the Alaskan wilderness, plus lonliness, grief, isolation, obsession, writing from a parent’s perspective

By Leslie Lindsay 

Impressive literary debut from Raymond Fleischmann centered on a lonely mother in the Alaskan wilderness.

9781984805171

~WEDNESDAY’S With Writers|Always with a Book~

I was immediately intrigued in the premise of HOW QUICKLY SHE DISAPPEARS (Jan 14, Berkley) by Raymond Fleischmann. It’s been twenty years since Elisabeth watched her twin sister, Jacqueline disappear without a trace. Now, in 1941 and Elisabeth Pfautz is living temporarily in Alaska with her husband John, and their twelve-year old daughter, Margaret. The marriage is stale, the environment dark and gray, along with it being so remote, we truly feel the isolation. Elisabeth clings to the idea that her sister is still alive—but where? And will they ever be reunited?

A German bush pilot—Alfred—lands unexpectedly on Tanacross’s tiny gravel airstrip. After befriending Elisabeth, he commits an inexplicable act of violence, followed by a startling revelation: he knows what happened to Elisabeth’s sister. But he will tell her only if she fulfills three requests.

I found the prose gorgeous and intriguing, but HOW QUICKLY SHE DISAPPEARS is a a slow burn. Still, I was dying to know the mystery of where the missing girl was—and if there would ever be a reunion. I fell into the rhythm of the Alaskan wilderness and Fleischmann’s graceful prose.

HOW QUICKLY SHE DISAPPEARS is a literary thriller at its heart, more about atmosphere and character than plot.  

HOW QUICKLY SHE DISAPPEARS will speak to a variety of readers—those with an interest in aviation, wilderness, missing girls, mother-daughter relationships, obsession, twins, small towns, murder, prison, and more. It’s about intelligent characters doing reckless, neurotic things, with an emphasis on isolation, loneliness, displacement/uprooted-ness, paranoia, and grief.

Please join me in welcoming Raymond Fleischman to the author interview series:

Leslie Lindsay:

Wow—the book! The writing! I am always interested in what propels a writer to put pen to paper. What was it for you in HOW QUICKLY SHE DISAPPEARS? Was there a theme, a character, or situation you wanted to explore? Something else?

Raymond Fleischman:

Well, first off, thanks so much for having me, and thank you for all the kind words about HOW QUICKLY SHE DISAPPEARS. I’m glad that you enjoyed it, and I think that’s a lovely, flattering summary. As far as your question goes, I think that the setting’s isolation was the first thing that drew me to the story. This is my first novel, and writing a first novel can feel pretty daunting, so I was drawn the setting’s physical environment largely because I knew it would propel so much of the story. The Alaskan bush is a kind of character in itself, and I knew that there were aspects about that physical setting that would give the story a natural sense of urgency and conflict.

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

I was so impressed and intrigued with your depiction of Alaska in the 1940s. I have never been, but the setting was so palpable. I understand your grandparents lived there during the time this novel was set—you were raised on stories of the wilderness. Can you talk a little about that and also any additional research?

Raymond Fleischman:

You’re right, yeah. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, my paternal grandparents lived in Alaska, having moved there from southeastern Pennsylvania. Beyond those broad biographical details, my characters are entirely fictional; both of my grandparents were wonderful people, and they were happily married for more than sixty years, so that alone sets them quite far apart from John and Elisabeth. But many of my earliest memories are of my grandfather’s stories about Alaska: the isolation, the cold, the long nights, the long days. I still did tons of research, of course — I wanted to present this time period and these characters as respectfully and accurately as possible — but my first awareness of this setting certainly came from my grandparents. 

Leslie Lindsay:

I read with a careful eye to being a parent and wondered what would I do if I were in a situation like Elisabeth—a disturbed—incarcerated—man wants my daughter to visit in exchange for information.  And then I scrambled to the back of the book where you have written your acknowledgements, and saw that you have three daughters yourself. Oh gosh! How did being a parent shape the narrative? Or did it?

Raymond Fleischman:

Being a parent definitely played a huge part in shaping this narrative. I didn’t set out to necessarily write a book about parent-child relationships, but in being a father, that dynamic is always on my mind and one that inevitably creeps into, well, pretty much all of my writing. There’s a nightmarish quality to many of the novel’s circumstances, and I don’t think that would have been present if I didn’t have children of my own.


“A novel paced like a thriller but written with the aching grace of literary fiction. A gorgeously dark, harrowing debut.”

–Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of Lock Every Door


Leslie Lindsay:

For a while, I was getting a strong mental illness vibe—not just from Alfred—but Jacqueline, too. What might you be able to tell us about her character?

Raymond Fleischman:

That’s interesting. I hadn’t thought about Jacqueline from that perspective, but I see what you mean. To me, at the time of her disappearance, Jacqueline is a lonely, somewhat stunted child having difficulty navigating the transition from adolescent to adult, as so many of us do. Elisabeth is like that, too, though she’s certainly more cautious and skeptical than her sister. In any case, after Jacqueline disappears, Elisabeth is left with a tremendous void in her life, one that deeply traumatizes her and shapes who she is to her core. As an adult, whether she’s conscious of it or not, Elisabeth feels profoundly alone without her sister, and, yes, seems to suffer in many dysfunctional ways. Don’t we all?

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Photo by Hakan Hu on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

Did you have a character you especially enjoyed ‘being in the head of?’ Was there a character you struggled with? How about a section of the story you enjoyed writing more?

Raymond Fleischman:

Well, I suppose I enjoyed being in the head of Elisabeth, which was good, because the whole novel is told essentially from her perspective. But for whatever reason, I think that I most enjoyed writing the chapters set during Elisabeth’s childhood. These chapters form a kind of miniature narrative that fits within the rest of the novel, and they’re narrated in the second-person perspective as if Elisabeth is talking to herself or recalling these events from many years later. I really enjoy writing in the second-person, and somehow it feels very natural to me, so those chapters still stand out in my mind.

Leslie Lindsay:

This is your debut—and the prose is just gorgeous. What do you think you did ‘right’ and what do you wish you could have done better? Also, can you give us a brief timeline of your journey to publication?

Raymond Fleischman:

Thank you! I really appreciate the kind words, and again I’m flattered that you enjoyed the book. Even now, years after finishing the narrative, it’s a bit difficult for me to have the kind of perspective to tell what I did “right” or “wrong,” though I’m certain I’ll have a better sense of that with more distance. All in all, it took me about six years to write this novel, and it went through at least five major drafts. So, the whole process still seems pretty recent to me, all things considered.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

What’s next for you?

Raymond Fleischman:

I’m working on my second novel, which Penguin Random House bought along with my first. It’s a book that explores many of the same themes as HOW QUICKLY SHE DISAPPEARS: trauma, isolation, grief, loneliness, a character’s attempt to come to terms with a devastating loss from years earlier. The novel is set on a fictional island off the coast of Seattle, and it’s about a young woman who moves back home to renovate and eventually sell the home where her father was killed ten years before the dramatic present. Unbeknownst to her, however, she befriends her father’s murderer, and the story goes from there. Think House of Sand and Fog meets The Stranger Beside Me.

Leslie Lindsay:

Raymond, this has been so interesting. Thank you for taking the time. What should I have asked, but may have forgotten?

Raymond Fleischman:

I thought that your questions were great! And, again, thank you so much for the kind words and the beautiful reflections on my novel!

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For more information, to connect with Raymond Fleischmann via social media, or to purchase a copy of HOW QUICKLY SHE DISAPPEARS, please see:

ORder links:

2194963_fleischmann_raymondABOUT THE AUTHOR: Raymond Fleischmann received his MFA from Ohio State University, and he’s earned scholarships and fellowships from Richard Hugo House, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and others. He lives in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. How Quickly She Disappears is his first novel.

 

 

 

You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these websites:

I hope you do!

SECOND EDITION OF SPEAKING OF APRAXIA COMING SPRING 2020 FROM WOODBINE HOUSE!
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Leslie Lindsay is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012). Her work has been published in Pithead ChapelCommon Ground ReviewCleaver Magazine (craft and CNF), The Awakenings Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Ruminate’s The WakingBrave Voices Literary MagazineManifest-Station, and others. She has been awarded as one of the top 1% reviewers on GoodReads and recognized by Jane Friedman as one of the most influential book reviewers. Since 2013, Leslie has interviewed over 700 bestselling and debut authors on her author interview series. Follow her bookstagram posts @leslielindsay1.

Love it? SHare it!

#historical #literarythriller #historicalthriller #Alaska #literaryfiction #missingpersons #winter #wilderness #debut

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[Cover and author image courtesy of Berkley and used with permission. Author photo cred:  Madeline R. Fleischmann. Artistic photo of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Gimme a follow on Instagram @leslielindsay for more like this]

Mom, pediatric SLP, and author of THE MONKEY BALLOON Becca Eisenberg talks about using mealtime as a way to enhance speech and language skills, plus how pets are therapeutic, asking ‘what if’ questions and a GIVEAWAY!

By Leslie Lindsay 

What happens when a child lets go of a balloon? This bright and engaging story uses the imagination of a little girl and her father, exploring ‘what-if’ questions.

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**GIVEAWAY!!**

I’m passing along a complimentary gently-used copy of THE MONKEY BALLOON. Must reside in the continental U.S. to be eligible. Details below! (keep scrolling)

292372640031211~APRAXIA/BOOKS on MONDAY~

Written by a parent, pediatric speech-language pathologist, and instructor Becca Eisenberg, M.S., CCC-SLP brings to life a very real–and all-too-common childhood experience of losing a balloon. Little Mimi and her father are at a local fair when she selects a balloon–a monkey balloon–from a vendor, but soon the balloon slips out her hand and into the sky.

THE MONKEY BALLOON is gone, but Papa and Mimi make the most of it. They get ice cream–maybe the monkey balloon is there? They go to the park–could it be going down the slide? They see children riding the school bus, they discover colorful fish at the ocean…they look at the zoo…but no balloon. Mimi does not despair. In fact, she feels content in believing that her balloon has found a new home.

This simple, engaging tale utilizes bright, warm illustrations in conjunction with ‘what-if’ questions focusing on critical thinking, problem-solving, and imagination. It allows parents and caregivers to engage in dialogic reading, that is, asking your child about context clues, describing the images in the book, the feelings of the characters, and so much more. It allows for open-ended questions between caregiver and child.

I especially liked the end of the book, which offers learning and language tips for parents, educators, and other caregiverswhich can enhance and build on the basics in the text. A fabulous resource for preschools, pediatric SLPs, and children’s programs.

Please join me in welcoming the lovely and talented Rebecca Eisenberg, M.S.-CCC-SLP to the author interview series.

Leslie Lindsay:

Becca! So glad I stumbled upon your work. I love how much love and treasure children’s literature, and I think this is what inspired you to write THE MONKEY BALLOON, but I could be wrong. What can you tell us about why this book, why now?

Becca Eisenberg:

Thanks Leslie. I feel the same way about you, and I am so happy we connected! There is a wonderful story behind how the idea for The Monkey Balloon began. It actually started in college when I first met my friend and co-author, Mindy Winebrenner. When we first met, we talked about how much we loved children’s books and had a soft spot for Curious George. Years later, the drive to publish a children’s book returned. I wanted to write a book, but I didn’t know where to begin. One day at a fair, my daughter lost her balloon. After she lost her balloon, I asked her all sorts of questions. Where do you think the balloon went? Do you think it’s at the playground? How about the zoo? At that moment, I thought…” What a great idea for a book!”

The next night, I connected again with Mindy about the idea and we both agreed that we wanted monkeys in the book, so we decided to make the balloon a Monkey Balloon. We then connected with our talented illustrator and partner, Yuki Osada to bring this story to life. Yuki, Mindy and I worked for years to create our first book, THE MONKEY BALLOON. We then decided after our successful release of this book to write a sequel, A TALE OF THE MONKEY BALLOON which follows the balloon through various fairy tales.

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Photo by Hasan Albari on Pexels.com

**GIVEAWAY!!**

I’m passing along a complimentary gently-used copy of THE MONKEY BALLOON. Must reside in the continental U.S. to be eligible. Details below! (keep scrolling)

 MUST RESIDE IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S. TO BE ELIGIBLE.

Leslie Lindsay:

Like you, I adore using children’s literature to facilitate language and critical thinking. Plus, I think we can impart valuable lessons this way. Can you expand a bit on that? What tips would you give parents to making reading time with their child as meaningful as possible?

Becca Eisenberg:

I love this question! I think the first advice for parents I would give is to “think outside the box”. When I first read a book (either picture book or middle grade), I think about the characters, lessons a child can learn, and various language concepts. I also think vocabulary expansion! However, the most important thing for a parent is to make reading time not a test. It’s all about having fun, bonding together and implementing strategies naturally.

Scaffolding is also key to helping a child who has difficulty answering questions. I also believe reading aloud is an important time. For many parents whose children read themselves, they stop reading aloud. I believe that all ages benefit from read alouds.

With regards to strategies, I look to the research for specific strategies. I receive several subscriptions from literary magazines and journals. As I read through these articles, I learn different strategies that can children develop literacy skills as well as support those with language-based learning disabilities. Learning never stops!

For more tips, check out this guest post article I have available on my website about critical thinking. I also find the concept of “thinking aloud” to be wonderful during read alouds. Learn more about “thinking aloud” here.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

You also are all about using mealtime as a way to enhance speech and language. Your website, Language During Mealtime gives some good examples. How are these concepts different than, ‘playing with your food?’

Becca Eisenberg:

The concept of Language During Mealtime is taking the time that a parent sits with their children and optimizing it with language and literacy. Many years ago, when my children were young it was difficult to get them to attend to their food and conversation at the table. I started to read during mealtime, and it became a tradition. I read picture books, chapter books and sometimes magazine articles to my children during mealtime. It gives us something to discuss and also gives me the opportunity to implement language and literacy tips. This in turn helps my children attend to their meals and also contributes to our quality time together. In our busy worlds, sometimes it’s hard to find time to sit and read with our children. I find mealtime to be ideal!

[Note: In SPEAKING OF APRAXIA, I share several suggestions and tips of things we did at during  mealtimes to enhance speech-language work…”Table Talk ‘n Toss,” was one, auditory bombardment activities, as well as family meal discussion cards.]

**SECOND EDITION OF SPEAKING OF APRAXIA COMING SPRING 2020 FROM WOODBINE HOUSE! **

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Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

What ‘home’ speech-language tips might you give a parent or caregiver who cares for a child with CAS (childhood apraxia of speech)?

Becca Eisenberg:

Great question! For children with apraxia, visuals are key! For children with apraxia, they may verbalize a specific word one day, but the next day, they can’t articulate it. This can be challenging and frustrating for a child and parent. When I read books to children with apraxia, I incorporate visuals either in the book or as a supplement. For The Monkey Balloon, I created free visuals that can be printed out. See the link here. For parents who want to work on sequencing, print out sequencing cards here.

With regard to scaffolding, I think many parents (and sometimes therapists) ask too many questions. Providing different ways for children to participate is key! For example, instead of asking a question, use a fill in the blank prompt such as “The children are playing in the ________”. You can also give closed choices. For example, “Are children playing at the playground or at the ice cream shop?” With the use of the visuals, children can participate more and don’t have be dependent on verbalizations they may not be able to articulate at that moment. Visuals can also help prompt verbalizations and help augment communication!

For more tips on reading strategies, check out my e-book here.

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Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

Oh gosh—I have to ask about your basset hound! My Betsy Mae is such character. Can dogs be therapeutic with speech?

Becca Eisenberg:

I love basset hounds! My sweet Maple passed away years ago, but I miss her every day! Basset hounds are super special dogs 😊

I love your question because I think dogs and other animals can be wonderful companions for speech, language and literacy. To learn more about canine assisted reading, check out my article here.

With regards to speech and language, dogs are non-judgmental and love companionship. For children struggling with speech and language delays and disabilities, anxiety can be prevalent. Dogs and other animals have been known to reduce anxiety and this can be key to help children who have any speech and language delays and/or disabilities.

**GIVEAWAY!!**

I’m passing along a complimentary gently-used copy of THE MONKEY BALLOON. Must reside in the continental U.S. to be eligible. Details below! (keep scrolling)

black dog beside little girl
Photo by bin Ziegler on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

Becca, this has been so delightful. Thank you for taking the time. Is there anything I should have asked, but may have forgotten?

Becca Eisenberg:

Thank you for the opportunity Leslie! The only thing I would like to mention is my other children’s books that I have written. My children’s book, MY SECOND YEAR OF KINDERGARTEN is going into its second reprint with Mascot Books. This book is about a young boy who repeats kindergarten and struggles his first year. In his second year, he makes progress and learns to have a growth mindset. Check out my website for MY SECOND YEAR OF KINDERGARTEN

I also co-authored a children’s book titled BLUEBEE PALS TECHIE RANGER. This picture book is about the product Bluebee Pals (an assistive technology plush toy) and children with complex communication needs.

I am also working on new puzzle project that will be available soon on my website.

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Artistic photo of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram for more like this @leslielindsay1.

For more information, to connect with Becca Eisenberg via social media, or to purchase a copy of THE MONKEY BALLOON (or her other books), please visit: 

292372640031211

**GIVEAWAY!!**

I’m passing along a complimentary gently-used copy of THE MONKEY BALLOON. Must reside in the continental U.S. to be eligible. Details below! (keep scrolling)

Here’s how it works: Share this link wherever you hang out online (FB, Twitter, Insta, email). Then send me a note (leslie_lindsay@hotmail.com) and say you’d like to be entered to win. Make your subject line: Monkey Balloon. A random name will be selected Wednesday 1/29/20 at 2pm CST. I’ll respond to your email if you’re the winner. Check your junk/spam. You’ll need to provide your U.S. mailing address and I’ll ship you your books. Yay and good luck!

MUST RESIDE IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S. TO BE ELIGIBLE.

ORDER LINKS: 

becca profile 2019ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Rebecca Eisenberg, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist, certified autism specialist, author, instructor, and parent of two children. Rebecca has taught graduate classes at Teachers College Columbia University, NYU, and Mercy College. She also teaches courses throughout the year at local colleges in the field of speech language pathology in Westchester, NY.

She began her website, Language During Mealtime and podcast to create a resource for parents to help make mealtime an enriched learning experience. She is the author of several published games for children with special needs, a story time workbook and three children’s books. Her first two children’s book are titled The Monkey Balloon and A Tale of The Monkey Balloon. Her third children’s book is titled My Second Year of Kindergarten, which is currently going into its second print. She is also the author of an e-book titled Improve Your Child’s Language and Learning in 20 minutes.

She has worked since 2001 with both children and adults with varying speech and language delays and disabilities.  She works in variety of contexts including public and private schools, outpatient clinics and day habilitation programs improving communication with both children and adults who have complex communication needs. She also provides parent and staff training to improve implementation and skills in augmentative and alternative communication in both the classroom and home setting.

You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these websites.

I hope you do!

**SECOND EDITION OF SPEAKING OF APRAXIA COMING SPRING 2020 FROM WOODBINE HOUSE! **
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Leslie Lindsay is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012). Her work has been published in Pithead ChapelCommon Ground ReviewCleaver Magazine (craft and CNF), The Awakenings Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Ruminate’s The WakingBrave Voices Literary MagazineManifest-Station, and others. She has been awarded as one of the top 1% reviewers on GoodReads and recognized by Jane Friedman as one of the most influential book reviewers. Since 2013, Leslie has interviewed over 700 bestselling and debut authors on her author interview series. Follow her bookstagram posts @leslielindsay1.

LOVE IT! SHARE IT!

#earlyliteracy #childrensbooks #dialogicreading #readingwithkids #TheMonkeyBalloon #speech #CAS #apraxia 

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[Cover and author image courtesy of author and used with permission. Artistic photo of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram for more like this @leslielindsay1]

Lush and graceful reflections on life, love, family, and nature–it’s about the South and the interstitial space between humans and the natural world

By Leslie Lindsay 

From NYT opinion writer Margaret Renkel comes the most luscious and unique portrait of a family, how it’s touched by love and loss, and also nature. 

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~WeekEND Reading~

The Today Show’s “Read With Jenna” 

book-club pick for December

A finalist for the Southern Book Prize

Highlighted in year-end lists by The A.V. Club, the New Statesman, the New York Public Library, the Chicago Public LibraryBookPagethe Washington Independent Review of Books, and Iowa Public Radio

Growing up in Alabama, Margaret was a devoted reader, an explorer of riverbeds and red-dirt roads, and a fiercely loved daughter. Here, in brief essays, she traces a tender and honest portrait of her complicated parents—her exuberant, creative mother; her steady, supportive father—and of the bittersweet moments that accompany a child’s transition to caregiver.

Braided into the overall narrative, she offers observations on the world surrounding her suburban Nashville home. There’s love and heartache, detailed and gorgeous descriptions of nests, wings, red-tailed hawks, fluffy bunny fur, even snakes and orb spiders, bees, ladybugs, more. These two threads–the human connection and the animal world–haunt and harmonize with each other. The implication: an air astonishment in common things.

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Photo by veeterzy on Pexels.com

“Beautifully written, masterfully structured, and brimming with insight into the natural world, Late Migrations can claim its place alongside Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and A Death in the Family. It has the makings of an American classic.”

―Ann Patchett, author of Commonwealth and The Dutch House


I was in awe with this book–which is not your typical, start-to-finish read–but rather a meandering stroll through the woods, through the lens of life and loss, love, and pain. You might be tempted to read LATE MIGRATIONS (Milkweed Editions, July 2019) in one sitting–but don’t. The passages are short but densely layered with meaning, with imagery, and is best digested in small sections. LATE MIGRATIONS is the kind of read that encourages me to look at my own family history, to find the deeper meaning in vignettes of oral history, and also, it inspired me to write.

Gorgeously illustrated by the author’s brother, Billy Renkl, LATE MIGRATIONS is an assured and memorable debut.

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For more information, to connect with Margaret Renkel via social media, or to purchase a copy of LATE MIGRATIONS, please visit: 

ORDER LINKS: 

author-e1559080600468ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Margaret Renkl is the author of Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss. She is also a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, where her essays appear each Monday. Her work has also appeared in GuernicaLiterary HubOxford AmericanRiver Teeth, and The Sewanee Review, among others. A graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Carolina, she lives in Nashville.

You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these websites:

I hope you do!

SECOND EDITION OF SPEAKING OF APRAXIA COMING SPRING 2020 FROM WOODBINE HOUSE! 
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Leslie Lindsay is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012). Her work has been published in Pithead ChapelCommon Ground ReviewCleaver Magazine (craft and CNF), The Awakenings Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Ruminate’s The WakingBrave Voices Literary MagazineManifest-Station, and others. She has been awarded as one of the top 1% reviewers on GoodReads and recognized by Jane Friedman as one of the most influential book reviewers. Since 2013, Leslie has interviewed over 700 bestselling and debut authors on her author interview series. Follow her bookstagram posts @leslielindsay1.

LOVE IT? SHARE IT!

#memoir #familyhistory #Alabama #Tennessee #nature #naturewriting #alwayswithabook #weekendreading #prosepoetry #personalessays

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[Cover and author image retrieved from author’s website 1.24.20. Author photo cred: Heidi Ross. Special thanks to Milkweed Editions for this review copy. Artistic photo of book cover designed and photographed by L.Lindsay. Follow me on Instagram @leslielindsay1 for more like this]