Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wanting to be Jackie Kennedy

My friend and fellow novelist, Elizabeth Kern, and I have been reading each other's novels in draft and sending critiques and support back and forth. We had sushi and went to a taiko drum and choral concert in Sacramento recently and talked up books and kids faster than we could work our chop sticks. In late winter we had a one-on-one literary workshop at her house in Petaluma.

Elizabeth is working on her second novel: "Wanting to be Jackie Kennedy" and entered it in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. Here's a report on her progress:

"Just a note to let you know that I MADE THE TOP 50 (in the Young Adult Category) in this year's Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. I never expected this, and I am so excited that I could polka and eat kielbasa at the same time. You have all been my cheerleaders, writing buddies and inspiration in writing Jackie. Out of 10,000 entries there are 50 finalists in the Young Adult category, and 50 in the General category. One winner in each category will be announced in June. Thanks and hugs to you all, Elizabeth."

And, here's what Publishers Weekly had to say about "Wanting to be Jackie Kennedy:"

When Ellie Manikowski, a doctor living in San Francisco, travels back to her hometown of Chicago in the spring of 1994 to celebrate her 50th birthday with a longtime friend, the news of the death of her childhood idol Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis takes her back to the 1960s and her own tumultuous life growing up in Chicago’s Little Poland. Fueled by vivid descriptions and powerful atmospherics, Ellie’s memories of her adolescence are simultaneously pleasant (kielbasa, polka dancing) and heartrending, especially the drama surrounding her widowed Aunt Nina, whose affair with a young priest not only killed him in the act of sinning but also created an illegitimate child, as well. While the conclusion is rushed, the author’s voice is impressive as themes of religion—its significance or lack thereof—are sounded. Historical landmarks and references blend with a compelling storyline to create a nostalgic, moving story that will resonate with young adult and adult readers alike.

To read an excerpt of "Wanting to be Jackie Kennedy" or to download the expert to Kindle for free go to: http://www.amazon.com/Wanting-Jackie-Kennedy-Breakthrough-ebook/dp/B003CV7TXA/ref=sr_1_1ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=books&qid=1272503523&sr=1-1


When you're struggling to create a work of fiction and establish yourself as writer, every bit of encouragement is welcome. For Elizabeth, and those of us who care about her and share her ambitions, news of her success is uplifting. Of course, June is a long way off and being the best out of 50 isn't easy. Comment on her excerpt on the Amazon site, keep an eye out for the contest results, offer your best wishes here. Let's all cross our fingers while we wait for the contest results. Congratulations, Elizabeth!