Talking about life…In the elevator or at the wine bar?


“What’s Your Book About?”

I get this question a lot.

I know I’m supposed to have an elevator speech all lined up. At publishing conferences over the years, folks drilled this into me. “Know your pitch! Have your tag line ready!”

But I’m not a tag line sort of person. I’ve never told a story without a few detours, or answered an open ended question with yes or no. If writing were painting, I’d want to be George Seurat -many tiny points making a tapestry. (See his painting above..)

The Vines We Planted is about people who love each other, but fail to do so without flaws. It’s about horses that give them solace, secrets that break hearts. It’s about how quickly depression can steal your will to live, and how healing takes place in surprising ways. It’s about Sonoma, about wine and food, and the intensity of the light in the vineyards on a perfect fall day.

Here’s the good news about being a pointillist writer (I just coined that phrase. What do you think?) Now that it’s time to promote the book, I have many options of the “angles” I can take. I’m being interviewed about mental illness, about horses as healers, about immigration in fiction, LGBTQ characters, and mother daughter relationships.

Wineries in Sonoma are opening their doors for readings, parties, and offering to carry the book. I’ve been invited onto a few podcasts, a videocast, and maybe (hopefully) will get some attention in the local paper. I’m visiting book clubs from Sacramento to New Jersey.

I hope to speak to groups who are working to reduce the stigma of mental illness, to adoptive parents about the joys and woes of being an adoptive family and to new writers about the path to publishing.

So, sorry for no elevator speech. This book reflects a lot of the issues I have lived through, but even more the ones I’ve witnessed as a mental health professional, a friend, and an ally. Those issues are complex and nuanced. We can’t always sum up life in the course of an elevator ride.

But we can try to talk it through over the course of a bottle of wine!

The Vines We planted is available now for pre-order here:

Print launch May 8!

E-book April 25th!

I’ll be announcing events and online interviews etc. here and on my Author Facebook page.

But to really not missing anything, please join the mailing list!

Yours in writing,