pre-sale begins: a trailer, a soundtrack, a new site

PROGRESS REPORT: “And I Shall Have Some Peace There”—the book I call my dropout memoir, about daring to walk away and start again—is actually now in what’s called pre-sale (hence the “Buy the Book” doohickey top left), and Version 2.0 of its little website is right before your eyes. Tada. The little tour that follows shows off some of the new stuff, such as the book’s video, its soundtrack (crazy, huh?), and even a couple of its main characters:

VIDEO: Yes, my book has a video—maybe you saw it up top on the homepage. My amazing publisher, Grand Central, who supported me in making it, calls it a “trailer.” My friends at Catman and Mary who shot it call it a “sizzle.” I hope you will call it “Like” or “Tweet.” (This is no time for me to be shy and not ask, right? I’m assuming I’m among friends. If it resonates, push the blue buttons after you watch, please.)

TUNES: My book has a soundtrack—the proof’s in the bottom of the left-hand column. There’s no actress signed to play me—and not even a screenplay, truth be told—but yes, I have a soundtrack. I made it myself. Here’s why:

One of the characters in “And I Shall Have Some Peace There” is the wi-fi radio I bought for myself when I moved from New York City to Nowheresville, NY, so I could keep listening to “my station” (WFUV from Fordham University) even though I’d no longer be in range. It was my constant companion, a familiar voice in an unfamiliar new life.

As I was trying to sort myself out it (the radio) kept saying really important things—or so it seemed, in the neither-here-nor-there state I was in when I left my long career. It must be a sign!, I thought, over and again, as helpful one-liners kept spilling out of its speaker as if just for me.

I wrote them down, week after week, and some became mantras, guides—and made it into the book. I paid a boatload of money to their authors and record companies for the rights to quote them, but it was worth every penny, as I hope you will agree when you “hear” them too, in the pages of “Peace.” Meantime, the tunes they come from are all here courtesy of my handy Grooveshark player. Enjoy. At least listen to Tom Waits sing “Young at Heart,” and you’ll get the idea: Yes, you can. Don’t be afraid.

IMAGES: I have time in my “new life” to take pictures. And so I do. When I was young I thought I would study to be a photographer (and a novelist, and a Peace Corps volunteer), but that’s just one of the million things I did not have time for in my old life. Now the camera (Nikon D700) and I are inseparable, and though I am no pro, it pleases me. Enjoy the little slideshow, top right, and I promise to add more peaceful moments that I see through my lens.

INSPIRATIONS: I love books. Even ones I didn’t write. :) I buy a lot of them; call me old-fashioned. That’s why I posted some favorites on my new GoodReads sidebar widget (right column). Click on the little headline “Margaret’s Bookshelf: Read” and you’ll see some more that I adore, books that have made my life richer, more fun, more connected. (Or hey—open a GoodReads account yourself and put “And I Shall Have Some Peace There” in it.)

AND YES, ONE BAD-ASS CAT: I am not a cat person (as you will learn when you read the book). But I am a Jack person (as in Jack the Demon Cat—another important character in “Peace”) and he and I are happy together here, in an “Odd Couple” remix kind of way. He was sent to me on the morning of September 11, 2001, when I arrived at 70 miles an hour from downtown Manhattan, and has never left since—except each night, when he disappears to hunt from dusk until dawn. I don’t ask for details; it works better that way with a guy like Jack.

MORE, MORE, MORE: There will be more enhancements and enticements: More excerpts, for instance, besides the one in big blue letters in the right column. And starting next month we’ll have giveaways of advance copies of “Peace” and other fun things, but for now, a trailer, some tunes, and some images.

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September 10, 2010

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