Sunday, September 13, 2009

Why I Love Readers

bookmagicThanks to everyone who commented on my blog this past week for all your kind words and good cheer. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that there’s so much good energy around the upcoming release

You all had such lovely things to say about Simple Wishes too! I couldn’t be more grateful. If you’re a writer, then you know what the lifestyle is like–it can be very quiet. Sometimes it feels like time stands still, like I’m writing inside of airless glass jar, like the books I write go out into the world and are then gone. When you share your comments with a writer, it feels like poking a hole in the lid of that jar–at least that’s how it feels for me. I love to hear your thoughts and always welcome them!

Another reason I love to connect readers is because readers are such interesting people! I love readers because you have big, bold imaginations. Because you have the amazing capacity to care for, hate, cheer for and cry for characters–for people–who don’t even exist!

I love readers because your experiences go far beyond the experiences of reality, because you are interesting people to talk to, because you tend to know a lot of weird things. If we’re chatting and I learn that you’re a reader, I’m instantly interested in what you’re reading and what you have to say.

To me, readers always seem likely to be generous and kind–an earnest bunch. I like to meet people who are not afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves, to be unapologetically dorky.

I love readers because you know the value of quiet, of not being plugged in, of concentration, of learning. Even while everyone seems to be saying that the book biz is on its way down, you readers are still out there, buying books, keeping the novel alive and well. For readers, loving books is a lifelong adventure, and as long as there are stories to be told, I know you’ll be reading.

And maybe the biggest reason I love readers is because I’m a reader too. :)

ARC Giveaway
On to new business. Let’s pick a winner!! I’m so excited to give away an ARC of It Happened One Night.

The winner, chosen blindly and completely at random not by me, is commenter #72:  Shelli Fiorenza.

Congrats Shelli! E-mail me your contact info so I can send you the ARC: lisa @

LOVE TO READERS: Obviously I’ve made some broad generalizations in this blog post. Care you throw your own into the ring? What do you like most about readers?


Monday, September 7, 2009

Fun News and ARC Giveaway

Hi all!

A friend of mine (who also happens to be the CFO of the awesome publisher Loose ID) tuned me in to happy event this past week. Apparently, my first book, Simple Wishes, hit the number two spot on Sony’s e-reader bestseller list! Luckily my friend snapped a screen shot of it so I can share with you. 

I’m pleased as punch and am so glad for my publisher’s efforts in getting the book out there! I’m thinking of getting a shirt made that says “I’m Number Two!” (Okay, not really.) The last time I went to look at the list I’d been bumped off of it by James Patterson. Still, I feel pretty good about that. :-)

Here’s the pic:sonyscreeenshot










To celebrate, I’ve decided it’s time to give away an advance copy of my upcoming release, IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT. As I told you earlier, the buzz around this book is really starting to build, and I’m so so very excited for it to be out and on the shelves. I’m probably going to say this about every new book I write, but I think it’s my best project yet.

To win a copy, just leave a comment on this post. Then be sure to stop back again at the end of the week when I announce the winner. I do a lot of LOVE TO READERS giveaways every month, as you know, and the only rule is that if you win, it’s your job to email me your information so I can send the good stuff along!

Here’s the synopsis and book cover, if you haven’t already seen it! Let me know what you think.

It Happened One Night by Lisa Dale

Lana Biel longs to leave her family’s Vermont wildflower farm so she can travel and see the world. And her sister Karin wants nothing more than to put down roots and conceive the child she and her husband just can’t seem to have. When a lighthearted fling with a mountain biker leaves Lana expecting, she finds herself tumbling headlong into motherhood while her sister Karin can only look on.

For help, Lana turns to Eli Ward, a professional meteorite hunter and her best friend for the last ten years. But Eli’s keeping secrets that could turn their friendship on its head. As the Vermont seasons change and the flowers in the wildflower meadows begin to fade, Lana must make some meaningful decisions about her family, her friendships, her love life, and her dreams.

Leave a comment to win an advance copy of IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT!  


Monday, August 31, 2009

Love To Readers; August Winner


First off, I want to thank you all so so much for helping me with my mini-accident. I don’t know how I can even tell you how helpful it was to read every single comment. The broad range of opinions and suggestions really gave me enough knowledge to make what I think is a good decision.

After much fretting, I suggested we go through the insurance and the other party agreed. I feel better knowing that she’ll get the repair she wants and I’ll get a clear conscience knowing that it’s all above board. LOVE LOVE LOVE to all of you who generously took time out of your day to help me. People like YOU are the reason my faith in humanity remains strong.

So, now, I’m pleased to say that life can go on and I think I’ve shaken off whatever bad energy was following me around. I’ve had a great week – and now I get to do one of my favorite things, which is announce the winner of my monthly LOVE TO READERS prize.

Let’s turn to my trusty assistant (okay, my fiancĂ©) to pick the random winner:

And it looks like…

Bruce Greene

You won for the month! Please take a look at my LOVE TO READERS page and let me know what you’d like.

More soon!

Lisa Dale


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why They Call It A (car) Accident

caraccidentaug09smallThere’s something I neglected to tell you in my last post because, frankly, I believe that dwelling on minor inconveniences in life is as helpful as pouring lemon juice on a paper cut. But I’m very distracted tonight and I thought blogging may help.

The past weekend, in a rainstorm, I was driving down a small hill when the car in front of me stopped short at a yield sign. I hit the brake—and on any other day there would have been no problem—but the combination of the hill and the rain made my car slide in to the SUV in front of me. There was a 2.5 inch scratch on the bumper. It was such a gentle little accident that the officer who showed up just shrugged his shoulders. I heard him radio back to the police department that “yeh, this was extremely minor—nothing to be done here.”

Of course, I was panicked a bit—more worried about the insurance company than anything else. I told the young woman that I would be glad to pay for the scratch to her bumper, rather than go through the insurance. At first, she refused. But the officer advised her to essentially cool it and just let me pay on my own since it was so, so minor. I’ll include a picture of the bumper here.

What really got me fired up was that the girl (she must have been in her early twenties, and driving a brand new car that—forgive me—was more than likely purchased by Mom and Dad) was extremely skeptical that I would pay her. “But how do I know you won’t just take off?” I felt really bummed out to be the object of such bald cynicism. Really makes you feel about as big as a flea. I gave her all my information with the cop looking on.

Anyway, today, the woman emailed me a copy of the autobody’s bill to say that the bumper would cost $1,000. Rather than having the scratch buffed out, she has opted to have the whole bumper replaced. She wants to come pick up the check—made out to her—tomorrow. I was fumbling for an answer, so I said, okay. But I realize now that I should probably take some pains to make sure I’m not being taken advantage of. 

Tomorrow, I have a little bit of investigating to do—to see if the estimate is sound. And to figure out whether or not it makes more sense to go through the insurance company. Also, I’ll need to figure out how to pay the autoshop directly, rather than just write her a blank check for a thousand dollars that I don’t have.

Prior to this weekend, three separate people have rear-ended my little, fuel-efficient economy car. Three people—and I let every single one of them go with a smile and a wave (literally). Yes, my car got dinged. But at the end of the day, it’s a car. An object. I saw an opportunity to do some good for another human being on a potentially bad day, and I did it. Not saying I should be sainted.

I’m just saying, Hello? Universe? Don’t I merit some kind of karmic generosity in the situation? (Or perhaps I should say “carmic” generosity?)

LOVE TO READERS: If you have thoughts, please do share them. I don’t imagine this girl is taking advantage of me—and I will certainly do whatever it takes to repair the problem. Just feeling kind of…dehumanized…if that makes any sense.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Inglourious Basterds Society

Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie SocietyOddly enough, I spent much of this weekend thinking about WWII. I picked up the much-discussed book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society early last week (by Mary Ann Shaffer and her niece Annie Barrows), and the novel was just what I thought it would be.

It’s the epistolary story of a writer who corresponds with a bunch of folks on an island in the English Channel just after the Nazi occupation of their territory ended. When some residents of the island were caught out after curfew by Nazis, they pretended they started an impromptu book club to cover up the fact that they were having a pig roast. The Nazis, to prove themselves to be model occupiers, were amenable to the idea of a reading group. Some even joined.

And though I haven’t finished it yet, it’s pretty much a brilliant book in terms of marketing (though I don’t think the authors thought of it that way). First off, it’s a book about a reading club (instant best-seller material there). Second, not only is it about a book club-but it’s not just any book club. It’s a book club formed to resist the Nazis. It’s such a great premise. Why didn’t I think of that?

Anyway–to further cement its popularity–there are quotes in the book that readers will just eat up. Here’s a few:

“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.”

“It was amazing to me then, and still is, that so many people who wander into bookshops don’t really know what they’re after–they only want to look around and hope to see a book that will strike their fancy. And then, being bright enough not to trust the publisher’s blurb, they will ask the book clerk the three questions: (1) What is it about? (2) Have you read it? (3) Was it any good?”

Anyway, The Guernsey Potato Peel and Literary Society–or is it The Literary Potato and Guernsey Society (I can never get it straight)--is a very quiet and almost self-conscious feeling look at Nazi occupation.

You can imagine what a shock it was when–in the middle of this book–I went out to see Inglourious Basterds (which, if you don’t know, is the new Tarantino with Brad Pitt). If there was ever an opposite of Guernsey, it’s this movie. Yes, there’s gore and wild excess and frippery and operatic acting. (I enjoyed it a lot). It’s also an alternative history–so big, ballsy, and hideous. Really, everything that Guernsey is, Inglourious Basterds is not (and vice versa).

So where is the real WWII in all of this?

Somewhere in the middle, I suspect. And far less hyped.

LOVE TO READERS: What WWII books and movies have you read? And–if you’re a romance reader–do you go for the whole WWII subgenre (which I admit to not knowing much about)?


Monday, August 17, 2009

Are you a good listener?

Public SpeakingI hope you all are having a great summer. Last week’s meltdown notwithstanding, my summer’s really been fantastic. This past weekend I went up to Albany with a bunch of friends to see my fiancĂ©, and today I’m off with one of my girlfriends to watch a football game. 

But the thing that’s most blog-worthy since I last wrote is that my MFA program invited me back to their summer residency as their featured alumni speaker.

I’ve got to admit, it’s been an especially busy week, and I didn’t really have as much time to prepare as I’d wanted. I didn’t think I was nervous until I found myself standing in front of the mike. Then, my heart started beating like crazy and my head started to pound.

Normally I’m pretty good at speaking. I know all the tricks: Imagine the audience naked. Pretend you’re someone else (like a movie star). Or take the Paris Hilton approach and act like you’re wearing an invisible tiara. But sometimes the tricks get…tricky. I saw this picture in the window of the public library this week and I thought it was destined to be on my blog. (I wonder if the universe is trying to tell me something.)

So–here’s why I’m writing about this today. I’m toying with the idea of adding a little audio clip on my Web site so people can listen to an excerpt of the new book, IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT. But I’m wondering, What do you think about that? There’s pros and cons to hearing an author read aloud.  

For me, reading a book is such a personal experience. When I’m reading (alone), I want the experience to be about me and the page.  There’s something that happens in the space between the story and me that’s so intimate, it feels really weird to share that private magic.

Plus, when I hear someone reading their work, it really influences the way that I hear and experience the story. I read the rest of the book in the author’s voice! I told another writer once that I love hearing writers talk about their work, but I’m a little less enthusiastic about hearing writers read their work. She disagreed.

LOVE TO READERS: What do you think? Do you like to hear authors read their work? Does it change the work for you to hear a writer read?