Saturday, May 30, 2015

My Second Book Becomes a Reality

After my first book, Dream of the Antique Dealer’s Daughter, was published last year, my brother interviewed me for the Grub Street writer’s blog Beyond the Margins. The last 
question he posed was an interesting one:

DS: What’s next for you? Will there be a sequel to Dream of the Antique Dealer’s Daughter?

RSJ: I would love to try a chapbook next rather than another full-length book. And, who knows, maybe I’ll finish my young adult novel. For now, I’m enjoying being a first-time author.

Well, I’m still working on the novel, but I’m about to have my second book, a chapbook of poems titled Gale Warnings, published by Finishing Line Press out of Kentucky. It’s wonderful news and I’m still pinching myself from excitement.

This journey began last summer when I returned from a week’s trip to Texas. I had a few weeks before I started teaching again at the community college and a little extra time. I discovered that Finishing Line Press was offering a chapbook contest, so I began preparing a manuscript. The deadline was September 15 and I had to move quickly.

I looked through folders of poems and began selecting ones that looked promising. I already knew I wanted to use my poem, “Gale Warnings,” as the title of my book. Cynthia Brackett Vincent, editor of the Aurorean, had selected me to be a feature poet for the Fall/Winter 2014-2015 issue. One of the three poems she picked to print was this one. As I whittled down a list of possibilities, I began to see connections between poems (ones of loss, striving. ocean and nature themes). I also included several of the poems I had written as part of my Mutual Muses pairings..

My full-length book is comprised of seven sections. By contrast, my chapbook is one long sequence of poems. I sorted by intuition and instinct. When I was finished, I went over it several times, printed out a hard copy, and sent it off. Months went by and I never heard another word about my fledgling manuscript until one day in February, I received the happy news that they wanted to publish my book! I had not won the contest but I was still in the runnng to have my book considered for publication.

The book is dedicated to my three sons and the cover art is from a pen and ink my husband Greg did in his early years. Like my first book which features cover art by my very tallented sister-in-law, Liz Smith, this book has personal connections as well.

Gale Warnings is now available for pre-ordering at Finishing Line Press.: If you visit their website –, you can either access my book at the bookstore site or Preorder Forthcoming Titles..


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