Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Listen Up!

Cville LLLers have been busy on the radio. Jenny Gardiner read an essay on WVTF on July 27; Janis Jaquith on July 20. You can listen to them both by clicking here and following the respective links.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Susan Tyler Hitchcock presents: FRANKENSTEIN!

[That's "fronk-un-steen.".]

Kirkus review of FRANKENSTEIN: A CULTURAL HISTORY -- the first review to hit the stands:

Hitchcock, Susan Tyler
FRANKENSTEIN: A Cultural History

A thoroughly entertaining look at the iconic monster.

How did the unwed, 18-year-old mother of a toddler come to invent this nightmare creature with neck bolts, flattop head and that power unibrow? Hitchcock (Mad Mary Lamb: Lunacy and Murder in Literary London, 2005, etc.) suggests that Mary Shelley, soul mate of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, daughter of radical philosopher William Godwin and pioneering feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, had heard about ghoulish experiments with electricity on corpses of criminals, which momentarily seemed to twitch back to life. She may also have drawn inspiration from her own life-altering trauma in 1815—the year before she thought of Frankenstein’s monster—when her first baby died after less than a month. Hitchcock fondly details how a novel prompted by a summer of reading ghost stories in Geneva has imbedded itself in popular culture. Frankenstein inspired hundreds of stage productions before the classic 1931 film and the not-so-classic ’60s TV series The Munsters, Young Frankenstein and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The author smoothly charts the monster’s transformation from cosmic and creepy to comic and campy, alongside Shelley’s slow evolution from overlooked to appreciated novelist. One memorable section details how Boris Karloff’s daughter Sara successfully sued Universal Studios for licensing products with his likeness on them; Hitchcock slyly notes that the monster once again broke free from its creator. In addition to selling 50,000 copies a year in America alone, Frankenstein lives on as a reference point in public discussions of genetic engineering and cloning. But the author doesn’t neglect one of the monster’s most enduring non-academic legacies: its ubiquity at Halloween.

Cogent vivisection of a literary legend animated by the universal human fascination with the dark side. (Agent: Jane Dystel/Dystel & Goderich Literary Management)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sneak Peek (and early-order option) for Sharon Leiter's Latest Book

Dear Friends,

As some of you already know, my poetry manuscript, The Dream of Leaving, was selected by Main Street Rag in their national poetry competition and will be published in November. After many years of revising and sending out the manuscript, this is a great fulfillment for me, and I look forward to sharing the book with you.

It has been listed on the publisher’s web site, where you can see the cover with its striking image by accomplished Minnesota artist, Paula Leiter Pergament. The book is being offered at a discount price of $8.00 until November 1, so if you’d like to order your copy online in advance, go to one of the following two links:

This is a link to the publisher's Coming Soon page.

This link takes you to the Online Bookstore main page.
You have to order online for advance sale. Please don't send checks.

I hope you’ll enjoy the poems.

Yours, with wishes for a pleasurable summer,


[Janis here: Check out Sharon's Website.She was a government analyst in Russian affairs and a consultant for a Washington think-tank. Who knew?]

Monday, July 16, 2007

Freelance Writing: How Much Should You Charge?

Leslie Middleton has a request:

"I wanted to ask fellow LLLers about freelance grant-writing -- anyone have experience? how to set fees? willing to talk to me about it?"

If you have wisdom to share, you can post it in a comment, and/or email Leslie: LMiddleton at embarqmail dot com.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Report from Denver

LLL Denver. Seated (L-R): Sara Megibow, Kristin Nelson, Kelly Notaras, Debra Fine.
Standing: Janet Singleton, Tamara Greenleaf, Carleen Brice, Elizabeth Wrenn, Bella Stander.

Today was the third Denver LLL. We've had exponential growth: just two Ladies in June, five in July and nine today. Denver being just a wee bit (make that almost 15x) bigger than Charlottesville, we had to make some concessions to geography. Which means we had to forego Royal India at the SE end of town in order to accommodate the Ladies who live in the Boulder area.

So today we met in an Irish pub in NW Denver, Mead St. Station in Highlands Square. Upside: Good location, good prices, good food, great iced tea. Downside: Catch-as-catch-can parking, no reservations, noisy. Next month we'll probably meet at a larger, quieter (hooray for sound-deadening carpet!) Chinese restaurant with its own parking lot.

Hot tip from agent Kristin Nelson: If you're an author, freshen up your website periodically by posting "deleted scenes" from your novel. Your readers will love it, and you won't have to worry about giving away protected material.