Creaking Open That Old Shed Door…

Creaking Open That Old Shed Door…

Why – hello everyone. Are you still here? Are you all really STILL here? Wow! Thank you for sticking around. It’s so wonderful to be able to engage with you again!

If you’ve forgotten, it’s me, Francine LaSala. You may remember me / my words from such quirky novels as Rita Hayworth’s Shoes and The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything and as the publisher and co-editor of the anthology A Kind of Mad Courage. (You may also remember me as the author whose book somehow had the same cover as one by Margaret Atwood – my biggest post to date.)

Margaret Atwood's "ripoff" cover.
Margaret Atwood’s “ripoff” cover. (Click on image to read post.)

Actually, you may not remember me at all – or that you even subscribed to this blog – as it’s been so long since I published anything. Since I’ve written anything of my own. Somehow in the madness of the past two years, I have abandoned my poor “Shed” and somehow managed to lose track of my identity as a writer. Very Mina-esque for anyone who gets the reference.

Before…?

Well, no more or that. The past couple of weeks, I’ve been working to whack away the weeds that have grown over the “Shed” (otherwise known as my creativity). I’ve WD-40’d the hinges of the rickety old door and finally pushed it open. It’s a little musty in here, and there are some cobwebs and spiders hanging around, but give me a few weeks and I’ll have it all spic-and-span again.

I’ve already started to redecorate aesthetically – giving the blog a new look. (What do you think?) Now I’m working on “redecorating” content. I don’t think I’ll be able to commit to regular features, like Wassup Wednesday and Five for Friday anymore, but I will try and post regularly.

I still want to hear from you guys as well. While I haven’t been around all that much, I’ve really missed the sense of community having a regular blog gives a gal.

In the time that I’ve been away, I lost my mother. I became estranged from my father, and made my peace with him.

I became a dog person.

The three "musketeers" (or "stooges" - depending on the day/hour).)
The three “musketeers” (or “stooges” – depending on the day/hour).)

I took a couple of winter trips to a California beach house with writer pals Eileen Goudge, Samantha Stroh Bailey, Julie Valerie, Jen Tucker, Meredith Schorr, and Josie Brown and enriched my soul.

I went to France with my ten-year-old daughter and left here there with her grandparents – to fly home on her own. The most terrifying experience of my life, but she was awesome!

Yep, I’ve done a lot of growing these past months. How about you? Please leave me a comment about the biggest thing that’s happened to you in the past two years. (And if you’re not subscribed, do it now – it’s so easy!)

I look forward to welcoming you all back into the Shed again – maybe when it looks like more this…?

The Goal!
The Goal!

Till next time,

Francine

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162762_2662032389151_5076510_nLet’s connect! Find me on Twitter and Facebook, and email me: francine@francinelasala.com.

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Who Wore it Better?

Who Wore it Better?

Or, My Literary Idol Used the Same Cover Art…

A Re-Share for Julie Valerie’s Hump Day Blog Hop!

A funny thing happened to me while I was searching for “Margaret Atwood” on Kobo:

Image.ashxAnyone who has known me for the past thirty or so years knows I’m obsessed with Margaret Atwood. That Surfacing still surfaces in me sometimes to unhinge me. That The Handmaid’s Tale blew my mind, and is always a handy reference for when people don’t treat women so nicely. That Cat’s Eye still creeps into my consciousness years after I’ve read it.

I’m a FAN.

And anyone who knows me, or knows of me, essentially anyone I’ve begged, cajoled, harassed, annoyed to buy my first novel over the past three years (when I initially self-published it and then again when it got picked up by Diversion Books), probably sees this when they close their eyes and someone says my name:

Rita Hayworth's ShoesWell, I suppose it was bound to happen someday, huh? With stock art being so accessible to everyone. I’m actually shocked it hasn’t happened yet!

But Margaret Atwood!

Such big shoes to fill… An author in whose footsteps I’ve always wanted to follow…

Okay, you get it. So what now?

What’s an indie author of quirky women’s fiction to do when the indelible imagery of her first wacky book will now no longer be fully hers? Now that a superstar, a goddess of letters, will also be using it? What’s a girl to do?

Here’s what her story’s about (Byliner; May 2013):

Image.ashxThe internationally bestselling diva of dystopias is back with a new installment of “Positron,” her darkly comic Byliner Serial about life in a Big Brother America of the near future.

In the seemingly well-adjusted world of Consilience, it’s dawning on the residents that they’ve thrown away the keys to more than their ragged former lives outside the high walls of their gated community. When they volunteered for this new social experiment, they also gave away the keys to their destinies, even their hearts.

Ask Charmaine and she’ll tell you her husband is a dead man. Sure, marriage can be murder, but when Charmaine plunged a deadly hypodermic needle into Stan, because it was part of her job–dispatching undesirables in Positron Prison–Stan survived. His former jailer, a libidinous security chief named Jocelyn, had switched out the death drugs for knockout drugs and drafted him into a plot to undo the increasingly sinister social scheme. In so doing, she promoted him from her sexual plaything to full-blown subversive. The underground is housed in a manufacturing plant of one of Consilience’s most successful products: sexbots, made to order.

Love, however, is not made to order, and despite a Darwinian labyrinth of betrayal after betrayal, including wild extramarital encounters and, yes, murder, Stan can’t stop thinking about Charmaine. Not only because someone has requested a sexbot replica of her but because, well, she’s home in a world without homes. In “The Heart Goes Last,” one of Atwood’s darkest and most deviously entertaining inventions yet, the human heart proves more resilient and true than any mail-order machine.

And here’s what mine’s about (Diversion Books; May 2012):

Rita Hayworth's ShoesAmy Miller gets dumped on her wedding day and everyone knows it’s for the best her relationship with David had eaten away at her for years. Except for Amy… When her best friend, Jane Austen-Rabinowitz, and Jane’s sagacious six-year-old daughter, Zoe, convince Amy to treat herself to an extravagantly priced, super-cute pair of shoes, which purportedly once belonged to a siren of the silver screen, she balks at first, but their allure soon wears her down. Once they are hers, her life turns around. She gets refocused on her career and meets a true kindred spirit, the also-jilted English professor, Decklin Thomas. She’s not attracted to Deck at first. But when circumstances lead to them spending more time together, they bond, and Amy starts to believe she may have found her soul mate. But when Deck’s former wife goes missing, again, the perfect romance may not be what it seems…

Sparkly and witty as a 1940s screwball comedy, and filled with quirky characters and lots of delightful surprises, Rita Hayworth’s Shoes is a story of bouncing back, a heartwarming and potentially heartbreaking romance, and even a mystery rolled into one fun, hilarious page-turner.

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So I gotta ask… Just like the magazines do…

Who wore it better?

Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. I promise, I won’t be too devastated if you like hers better. I mean, come on… She’s freaking Margaret Atwood!  My favorite Canadian writer just after Samantha Stroh Bailey. 🙂 (Whose cover looks nothing like ours. But who gets to be in this article because in all honesty, she’s the one who found the Atwood cover.)

FLNov22Bigpaperback But Ms. Atwood, if you’re reading, I’m sure Sam wouldn’t mind sharing jacket art with you, too. I, for one, am honored to finally  have something of mine that compares to yours!

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Like to party? Hop along the Hump Day Blog Hop on Julie Valerie’s Book Blog. Click here to return to the Hump Day Blog Hop.

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162762_2662032389151_5076510_nLet’s connect! Find me on Twitter and Facebook, and email me: francine@francinelasala.com.