Wednesday, June 24, 2009

cousins on the book tour

We've just been on a book tour in Minnesota. What a grand time! Not only did I have a stint on KARE 11 (where I met Bethany Frankl in the green room...a NY Times bestselling author of the Healthy Skinny diet and in the cast of The Real Housewives of New York and I didn't know who she was!) and was interviewed by Euan Kerr of Minnesota Public Broadcasting which aired during Morning Edition (regionally)hour. We had terrific coverage by the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Mary Ann Grossmann wrote the article), but I also got to see relatives. On the left in this photo is my aunt Corinne Kronen, the only child left of my grandmother about whom I've written in A Flickering Light. She and her husband drove us around and even hit a deer in the process! They're all right, thank goodness.
That's me in pink and next to me are the daughter's of my aunt Fern, Corinne's oldest sister. Fern was the writer and an artist...though Corinne is an artist as well. Next to me is Katy Anderson from Stillwater, MN and her sister Lynne Thomas from Minneapolis. I hadn't seen either of them for over 30 years. They joined me at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Roseville, MN. That evening, we also connected with a relative of Winnie's (from the book) who saw the Press article, and realized the book was about her grandmother, too. Everyone had lost touch with Fran so we were pleased to meet her, her daughter and to make sure we didn't lose her again by getting her address!
From Minneapolis we headed to Winona, MN where we filled the Historical society and I told stories and showed pictures and talked about the passion of the book (passion for profession) and desire (the desire to do the right thing) and love (a word that the German poet rilke describes when two solitudes come together to border, protect and salute). We spent time with descendants of Mrs. Bauer (from the book) and with my brother and his wife and got to see my nephews, too and a few other cousins. Roots run deep in the Midwest and I am grateful for a supportive family as I tell this story.
Now I'm home, meeting some new deadlines, heading for book events and working on revisions for An Absence so Great, the sequel. Two books will mark this Portrait of a Heart series. I hope you'll look for it next April.
I also hope you'll visit Bo's blog where you can get a front row seat to what the dog thinks about this writing life.
Oh, and one more thing: consider calling in to OPB's think out loud program on July 2, 9-10 Pacific when I'm the guest author being interviewed. The number to call is 888-665-5865. You can also leave an email before during and after the show that encourages people to, well, think out loud. And in July, I'll be in Wisconsin. Please check my website schedule for details!
Happy writing or reading. Warmly, Jane

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bo's Blog, Texas Travel and Minnesota, here we come!

This is summer on the homestead. what you can't see are the roses blooming profusely along the deer fence. But you can see the garden troughs, recycled from the cows we no longer have. They're the metal tanks to the left of the house. I'm looking forward to spending more time on the deck this year, just listening to the river and the birds.
I'm back from a book tour in Texas. Great fun and met many new fans and some faithful ones as well. One even drove 150 miles to attend a signing and two others drove nearly the same distance to share a lunch. The new independent store in Plano, TX called Legacy Books hosted my first signing there with wonderful participants who heard me talk about A Flickering Light.
Texans have big hearts and staying with writer friend Irene Sandell (River of the Arms of God and In a Fevered Land) made the time go quickly. I spoke at the Writer's Garret in Dallas and at the Heritage Village in Old City Park where the Aurora presentation was well-received. Seems there was a utopian community called La Reunion in the Dallas area about the same time as Aurora's origin. Small and connecting world.
By the way, Cindy (her nickname) Sandell has a signing this Saturday at Barnes and Noble in Plano, TX from 2a;oo-5:00. Stop by and say hi.
I'm back now, working on what I call my Oprah book. The working title is "Oprah Doesn't Know My Name" and it's about a writer seeking fame in all the wrong places. It's a departure from my historical novels but never fear, the sequel to A Flickering LIght will be out next April and it's been named: An Absence so Great.
Finally, Bo has begun a blog! It's at I hope you'll visit now and again to get his side of the homestead story.
Happy writing for you out there and for those in Minnesota, we're coming soon! Please check my schedule at the website Thanks! Jane