September 1, 2015
19 Century Antebellum Artists Poets Painters, 19th Century, 19th Century Antebellum, 19th Century Antebellum Literature
19th century, 19th Century Antebellum Literatur, autistic, Autistica savant, Best-selling novel, Blind Tom Wiggins
Hello, historical fiction fans. EIGHTH WONDER: THE THOMAS BETHUNE STORY is officially in the copy editing stage. It’s three weeks away from completion. From there, I begin the process of building a website and deciding whether to self-publish or go the traditional publishing route. I’m strongly leaning toward self-publishing.
This is my debut novel and the writing process has been a long, sometimes intimidating journey. But I’ve been committed to bringing the incredible story of the blind slave, Thomas Bethune, known throughout the world as “Blind Tom” to the page.
Born blind and feeble, left in a sweltering smokehouse for dead, Thomas began playing Mozart at the age of three. His story, as seen through the eyes of the master who saved him, is a gripping, inspirational, and intriguing 19th century tale.
I hope you enjoy the read, and appreciate the great effort I put into sharing his captivating story with you. Like many authors, it’s been a labor of love.
The book will be out in February 2016. I’m excited, nervous, and proud to share the story of Thomas Bethune with the world.
September 1, 2015
THANK YOU, Seattle!
The turnout at the newly remodeled Renton Holiday Inn was absolutely incredible at the premier of “I Will Never Breath The Same As Yesterday,” the self-published novel of first-time author Stacey Willis, where I was invited as the celebrity guest speaker. I shared my writing experiences as a former L.A. Times journalist, my experiences in Hollywood, getting my start by Producing B-movies to writing for Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and “Meet the Browns,” as well as my upcoming t.v. shows “A Different Kind of Family” and the one hour drama “Boyz N Blue.” In addition, I explained how I came to discover the genius slave prodigy and classical pianist Thomas Bethune while researching prodigies for my thesis in graduate school.
I signed stacks upon stacks of excerpts of EIGHTH WONDER. The hotel room was packed to capacity! The photo below was taken before the start.
Daria, sissy, Cal set up and manned the table.
The greatest part was seeing a room filled with many familiar faces from as far back as elementary school! More Pictures and video from the event will be forthcoming!
I want to thank you Stacy Willis for inviting me out to speak. Thank you to Eugene Sarigumba, the cinematographer for the event. Thank you to the WONDERFULmusicians, led by Eldgridge. It was an extremely classy and wonderful affair.
A great launching pad for the novel EIGHTH WONDER. I will be attending additional excerpt signings in the Seattle area, at bookstores, the Fairmont hotel downtown, and a few coffee shops over the next few months. I am grateful to my birth city for all your support!
Here’s the trailer from my first and last mutlimillion dollar scary movie as a Producer.
Image via Wikipedia
July 15, 2014
19 Century Antebellum Artists Poets Painters
So, I took a few months off from writing EIGHTH WONDER to come aboard as one of the producers of THE NIGHT BEFORE. We had a wonderful cast and crew. Don’t worry, I had several calls, including my mother, urging me to finish this book. I’m on it. A novel is not a piece of cake. Hats off to all the incredible authors, published, and working on it, in the universe. Here’s some photos from the film:
June 12, 2014
19th Century Antebellum America
Sorry I’ve been away so long. I’m still working on EIGHTH WONDER. Thank you to all who are interested in my book, I’m truly humbled by the responses I’ve received from a work that is not completed yet. I’m so excited about my progress and truly appreciate all the support and inquiries about when this book will be finished.
This book has been five years in the making. I finally had time to take some invaluable writing classes. My first was from L.A. Workshops this past year with Adam Cushman. I also learned a great deal about the craft from taking editing classes from another teacher, which gave me my lightbulb moment on novel writing. The classes have given me the tools I need to rewrite my novel with skill and confidence. I’m 3/4 of the way through the manuscript! It actually reads and feels like a real, well-crafted novel. (In my humble opinion.)
While working on rewriting PART ONE of my book, I had to do some research about how people traveled in the past and came across this great blog from the twonerdyhistorygirls hosted by talented historical romance authors: Lauretta Chase and Susan Holloway Scott.
According to Cecil Aldin’s The Romance of the Road, “The more wealthy sent on relays of horses for the shorter journeys, or might hire post-horses where necessary.” Gentlemen who constantly traveled the same route might have their own teams stabled along the way. A good alternative is to hire horses from the outset. In the case you describe, while it’s possible that a gentleman would use his fine carriage horses for the first stage of a long journey, it’s equally possible he preferred to use hired animals.
I invite our horse and carriage experts to weigh in on this interesting topic!
Above left: James Pollard, Mail Changing Horses at the Falcon Inn, Waltham Cross, courtesy Wikipedia. Below right: Thomas Rowlandson, The Runaway Coach, courtesy Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.
April 21, 2014
19th Century Antebellum Literature
Where have I been the past two years? I’ve been teaching and writing. After receiving an overwhelming response from agents regarding the book and subsequent rejection letters, it became apparent that I (like most new authors) sent my book out too early. I needed to learn the craft of novel writing and complete a rewrite on my book. Since I’d never written a novel, I got a referral from an author about the L.A. workshops. So finally, I took a workshop for EIGHTH WONDER last March (2013) with Adam Cushman from workshops L.A. and it was an amazing eye opener. Very beneficial. Then most recently I took an editing workshop with the Susan Wyler (author of SOLSBURY HILL) that helped take my writing to another level! Finally, I’ve acquired the skills necessary to properly rewrite the book. It’s a great, tough, fulfilling, lengthy journey, this debut novel of mine, however, I know it will be worth it.
So for those asking, the goal is to have EIGHTH WONDER completed before I start my doctoral program. Yes, I’m going to be Dr. Anita M. Cal in a few years – God willing, that is the goal.
I already know my second novel, however, getting EIGHTH WONDER finished is a priority. This will be year 5. It MUST get done and it will get done. Your interest and your support has been a blessing. It’s been overwhelming and motivating to have so much interest in a work that is still in progress. Thank you, thank you, thank you!