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Act 5, Scene 1: Irene's Twilight Zone

Act 5, Scene 1: Irene’s Twilight Zone See whole poem, "The Main Show," and index of scenes.  (Spotlight opens on the lobby of the theater.  Characters who remain in the lobby enter the theater, which remains dark.  Joan the nurse tells the tour guide to also go in, and the narrator hangs back awhile.) Joan: Go ahead in. I’ll stay with my patient.Anyway, this is a family…See More
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Travelling back in time on a Flat Rock roadby Rob Neufeld             If you walk the one mile length of North Highland Lake Road in Flat Rock, you step nearly 200 years into the past.            At the east end, the 21st century reigns.  Fronting six-lane Spartanburg Highway, a super-Ingles sits above a bog; and a CVS store faces an Octopus Garden smoke shop, a chiropractor, a cell phone provider, and a six-lane avenue to I-26 a mile away .            Neither Ingles nor CVS carries the big…See More
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Promoting Writers

We are in the glad business of promoting books and writers, and can benefit from sharing ways to do that--for the field is open to doing a lot more, so that literature gains prominence.

Members: 39
Latest Activity: Jan 12, 2015

Discussion Forum

Raising Pastured Pigs Ebook Published

Started by Samantha Ann Biggers Jun 19, 2012.

Author/Bookstore Relations 7 Replies

Started by Spellbound. Last reply by Kathryn Magendie Apr 22, 2009.

Ideas: Getting The Word Out! 2 Replies

Started by Dot Jackson. Last reply by Suzan Tanner McCoury Apr 14, 2009.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Gary Carden on April 14, 2009 at 2:01pm
I've tried HART many times. And SART. And every library in western N. C. and have been modestly successful. The trick is to write a play that can be done Anywhere!
My blog address is:
My website is:
I have a scene from "Prince of Dark Corners" and a clip from "An Evening with Gary Carden" on this site under "Video."
Comment by Kathryn Magendie on April 14, 2009 at 1:49pm
Too bad, Gary, that the screenwriters/playwrights are NOT asked to do these things. I know I couldn't write a play. But, you are a writer and as a writer you belong here. We're all just flopping on the bank with our mouths opening and closing! *smiling*

Have you tried Hart Theater?

I admit to ignorance about where plays go and how and all that.

What is your blog address? Or should I go to your page and it is listed there?
Comment by Gary Carden on April 14, 2009 at 1:21pm
I don't feel I have much to offer here, so I'm going to go back to my blog. It sounds like we have novelists talking to novelists about reviews (free or otherwise). As I said, I am a playwright and don't think any playwrights are going to show up here to discuss promoting dramatic work (or reviewing it). Dot has been very supportive of my dramatic work and I appreciate it. My problems promoting my plays do not involve book stores and signings. They involve finding a theater and acquiring an audience. I don't sell novels and short story collections (at least, not any more). I sell scripts and DVDs of performances. Writing a play is every bit as difficult (or as easy) as writing a novel, but I doubt that I will be asked to read a play at Osondu or Malaprops. I'm just beginning to realize how different my work is from poets and novelists and I'm beginning to feel like a duck at a swan convention. Carry on! I've got to go teach an adult education class in Cashiers - another one of those things that I do to buy the groceries.
Comment by Kathryn Magendie on April 14, 2009 at 12:59pm
I am reading all of this with interest -- Dot; I remember meeting you at the book fair that Osondu sponsored - a couple of years ago. I was inspired by you - but more, you sat there and you looked confident, but not that cocky confident - a quiet assurance that you'd done what you wanted to do: here it is, you seemed to say, here it is and like it or not like it or whateve ryou want: but this I have done and it's what I wanted and needed to do. I never forgot that meeting, even though it was short and simple - I had you sign my book *smiling*

As for reviews - I've had some authors for whom I've reviewed their book and they just shrug and say "oh thanks...." and it left me wondering "Um, did they like the review? did they appreciate the TIME it takes to read and write a review?" I wonder if the review has any impact - if people are reading it, if it makes them want to check out the book or whatever. I'm more choosy about what I review now, and since time is getting backed up, I will have to let a lot of it go.

And I don't read manuscripts any longer. Since I am a freelance editor, I had to tell people "I edit - that's how I make money - I can't read and edit your work for free..I just can't."....although I am letting the freelance editing go whilst I am dealing with my own novel stuff.

But you are right, Dot, people do think once we publish a book we write our ticket to stardom and money *laughing!* good gawd, if they only knew! I try to tell them - but, I don't think they "hear." But, I also know that I don't want to "whine" about things because before I was published, I hated it when writers whined about this and that -- now I understand more from experience.

I spoke with an author who is published with a Big Time publisher and even he was unhappy with all the promoting he had to do on his own. what a world what a world!

Right now as I type this, I just finished the novella and the language is so unique, the writing lovely and so different from anything I usually read: I know the author, so I feel the added pressure to Get It Right. I'm always honest in my reviews, but never cruel or unkind...if I really do not like something, I don't review it (which is why I am careful now about what I take on! I learned my lesson in the beginning *eek*)

This is an interesting thread -- look how much we have to say on all this! THere should be at book festivals and conferences a workshop just on these kinds of things *laugh* -- of course, people will hear what they want to hear and that's how it always is.

Dot - I love encouraging and supporting writers -- young and 'old' -- but I can also see where once people become published and things happen for them, they become more stand-offish -- because of those who want to take advantage. What a World, as I said *smiling*
Comment by Gary Carden on April 14, 2009 at 12:41pm
Well, the review of Serena was/is in Smoky Mountain Living magazine. Two days ago, I moved it to my blog where it resides now, without a photo of the cover (I have trouble doing that). I've reviewed all of Ron's novels for the Smoky Mountain News, and I've been thinking about posting them on my blog. Several months ago, I reviewed what is supposed to be the most "siginficant novel in the last century" 2666 and placed the review on my blog where it got zero comments. Now, I know that folks say the majority of people who surf the internet are "lurkers." I guess I lurk a good bit myself, but have strong feelings about the need to post or comment on other people's reviews/poets/essays/etc.
Comment by Dot Jackson on April 14, 2009 at 12:33pm
Oh yes we DID need your reviews, Gary! Lord only knows how we needed them! People I didn't know wrote me about that review. I was dazzled -- thought, If the book were half as fine as this review, what might it do? Writers desperately need REAL insight from REAL readers!
Where can I read your review of Serena?
Comment by Gary Carden on April 14, 2009 at 12:24pm
Well, I don't write reviews just to promote my friend's books and maybe that is a mistake. I write reviews of books that I really like. I just reviewed a book of Mother Jones that is four or five years old. Fantastic book, but I don't know the author and he will probably not read my review. The same is true of the novel, The Missing by the Mississippi author that I reviewed two weeks ago.
However, Maurice Stanley is a friend of mine, so I reviewed his new book on Frankie Silvers (Midwinter) and I took genuine pleasure in reviewing Dot Jackson's Refuge and Ron Rash's Serena, although neither of these two authors needed me. I keep hoping that people will read my reviews because they love books. Perhaps I should stop reviewing anything outside Appalachia, but damn, I love Stephen King and Elmore Leonard, too.
Comment by Dot Jackson on April 14, 2009 at 12:14pm
Oh, law yes, Kathryn! There is this Here-we-are-in-the-lifeboat syndrome of the Published, with the wave-washed cries of the still-trying going on all around.. My sympathies are so with them -- because it is, a lot of times, just a matter of luck, or a divine gift, that the presses are running for us, instead of for others aspiring.
Once we've "crossed over," the requests for reading others' manuscripts are overwhelming, even when we know, and say, there is little we can do to help. What we can do (when something stands out as good!) is encourage. Of all the attributes a writer must have, persistence and courage are pretty much up front. But by no means can we read all that comes in, and that's painful.
I am old, and writing has fed me and kept me sheltered nearly all my working life, so "aspiration" is almost totally behind me. Whatever I was supposed to do, I'd better have done it at this stage of the game. What is thrilling now is when some young person pops up with a distinctive gift -- much of the pleasure in old age is in being able to see this and cheer it along. But goodness knows it is a HARD world for younger generations. No more sitting at one's desk upstairs, penning rose-garlanded lines of true love, as whispering servants trot with trays up and down and keep the bill-collectors away. Heh-heh -- that'll be the day! (Yet -- I get a feeling this IS what the naive think "the writer's life" is all about!)
Comment by Kathryn Magendie on April 14, 2009 at 12:05pm
Charleen - the book festival sounds great - - I will check into it for next year -by then, I probably will have two books (don't want to count my chickens!)

Gary -- I blog for "socializing" too -- I spend a lot of time alone (I'm married, so by "alone" I mean I don't go out much with friends or aquaintances - writing can be quite solitary) fact, I try not to make my blog about "Promotion" or "Marketing" but about "the writing life" -- people know when you are there just to sell them something, and I'd not want to do that. But, lawd yeah, it can suck up the time if you let it!

I'll have to check out your scenes....I always try to support other writers; though, as I said, my time is going to become scarce and I"m going to have to make some hard decisions.

As for book reviews - I hope to always thank anyone who takes the time to do a review. I know I left a comment on a blog where someone reviewed my book, and I hoped they didn't mind - I was appreciative and wanted to show's the "show appreciation thing" without being stalky *laughing!* .....could it be they didn't know you reviewed? I have "Google Alerts" that point me to where people are talking about my book or name, but I suppose that is fallible....

Right now the anxiety level is a bit high --I just reviewed Angela Dove's book and felt as if I didn't do a good job -being distracted and all --- and I'm reviewing a novella now where the writing is so smart, but I fear my distraction will get in the way again. I have my own first book signing this Friday at Osondu and I'm nervous about that.....there is the pressure to sell sell sell and that's all mixed in with the happy feelings of being published.

As for the self-conscious feeling - OH! gawd, I know what you mean - it feels "Braggy" at times and I squirm about that....but, it's expected that we do it...ugh.
Comment by Gary Carden on April 14, 2009 at 11:48am
Well, I'm afraid that blogging has been my ruination. It may be that in the beginning, I had some vague plan to promote myself and my writing, but when I got involved in blogging, I forgot it. Suddenly, I had interesting people to talk to and I spent a tremendous amount of time on the internet reading other people's blogs and attempting to make my blog interesting. I completely forgot about my writing (which is near non-existent) as I read other people's writing. So, this exchange between you folks about the value of blogs as a promotion tool has given me a rude awakening. Maybe I ought to go back and re-evaluate my objectives. Suddenly, I realize that spend a tremendous amount of time writing book reviews (which no one reads...or if they do, they never comment) and promoting other people. I will be at the book festival in Hendersonville, but I'm not quite sure why. I am a playwright and I do have six fairly successful plays but I learned a long time ago that playwriting is the most neglected art form in this state. Thanks to Rob Neufeld, I have a scene from "Prince of Dark Corners" running on his blog as well as a scene from my storytelling DVD, "An Evening With Gary Carden." I do occasionally mention my plays, but I'm self-conscious about it....finally, I am more interested in blogging as a way of touching base with other artists.

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