Well, there is one small string.
I’m looking for readers and reviews. So the catch is if you like the stories, you give me a review on Amazon, and maybe Goodreads. Why reviews? Because reviews–good ones, that is–bring more readers, who write more reviews, which bring more readers . . .
I published Unforgettable: Short Stories in February. Unlike The Answer to Your Question, it’s hard to promote. I reached lots of readers and reviewers for Answer by giving away thousands of free eBooks via ads and promotions on places like Bookbub and Kindle Nation Daily. That worked well because Answer was pegged as a “suspense” book, and a lot of the subscribers to the free giveaway sites go for genre books–mysteries, thrillers, suspense, romance, fantasy. Unforgettable is the opposite of a genre book.
Nor is Unforgettable a single narrative, like a novel, which would make it a little easier to synopsize and describe. Nor does it have a specific subject, such as a memoir does.
Unforgettable is nine autobiographical short stories, all built around a single protagonist, Miriam Batson. There’s one story about a college student of Miriam’s who tries to commit suicide, which mixes erotic and maternal feelings with teacherly concern; there’s another about a job rejection that possibly resulted from sex discrimination, or perhaps adjunct discrimination, “the galley slave problem,” as Miriam’s husband puts it; there another about the death of a beloved maid from Miriam’s Southern girlhood; and another about her father’s sudden death from a heart attack.
The final five stories track Miriam’s efforts to keep her mother afloat as she is pulled under by Alzheimer’s. I’ve tried to take what were nine difficult years and shape the experiences into what art does: specifying the particular while capturing the universal.
I think Unforgettable is a good book, worthwhile reading for some readers–if only I can reach them. The way I found readers for Answer won’t work for Unforgettable. So I’ve decided to try giving it away myself via my blog and FB.
Don’t be shy about asking! Don’t feel embarrassed by thinking you really should buy the book! I don’t care! My goal is to get the book into more hands, including yours.
If Unforgettable sounds like something you might like to try (or if you know of someone else who might), email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my website contact form. Tell me if you’d like the Mobi, epub file or the paperback. For the paperback, give me your mailing address. (Sorry, I can only send in the US because of mailing costs.) It costs me about $7.00 per paperback, so I figure I can give away up to about 50 copies. I’d rather spend my promotion money this way than by buying ads directed to the wrong audience.
What are you waiting for? The price is right!
Unforgettable: Short Story Quotes from Amazon Readers’ Reviews (They’re unforgettable to me):
“Each one of these stories is a gem, drawn from the author’s own experiences. They are written with such clarity, such marvelous dialogue, and such sensibility that you feel you’re right in there with her struggles: her concern over a deeply troubled student,
her anger at being passed over for a teaching position, and finally – and most especially – the awful frustrations of caring for an ailing mother whom she loves with all her heart even as she wrestles with the often overwhelming burden this kind of care involves. Despite the many sorrows in these stories, there is much joy, much humor, and the lucky decision to write it all down for our reading pleasure.”
“Finally, a collection of short stories beautifully rendered and filled with universal truths about the human experience. I am enthralled with this collection. It is the first short fiction collection I have read in a long, long time where I felt transported, consumed and moved by each story.”
“Having just gone through three excruciating years dealing with my mother-in-law’s decline into dementia, I found Paulette Alden’s UNFORGETTABLE to be a guidebook of how to comprehend grief and loss, how to understand transitions, how to make meaning and sense of our human condition. Deft and direct, this is a book that sneaks up on you. On the surface, everything seems so simple, so ordinary–dare I say it?–so human. You know the feeling: “this could be my story. How does she know my life so well?” But beneath the surface is great depth and dimension and ultimately the deep wisdom that comes with self acceptance.”
“This collection reflects the periods of certainty, vulnerability, compassion, and wonderment that have passed through the lives of so many baby boomer woman. The prose is never cloying or predictable. A collection that will stay on my shelf for rereading through the years.”
“I read this book almost in one sitting. This author has a way of immediately engaging the reader. These stories come from the heart, and I was totally absorbed by each one.”
“I once heard an editor say he most admired writers “with no hands showing.” He meant, of course, writers whose prose was so lucid, direct, and powerful that it didn’t call attention to the great skill of the writer but simply pulled you irresistibly into the story itself. That is how I felt about these stories.”
“Painful – beautiful – and an uplifting testament to family loyalty and the human spirit. If you have a parent facing the ravages of old age, do yourself a favor: read Unforgettable.”