This author thing is a new experience for me, of course, and people are naturally curious as to how it’s going.  I’m not on the best seller list, but my status on Amazon varies from 100,000s to the 400,000s in rankings of books sold.  That doesn’t count what I’m selling myself via the web site or in person.  And I’m flattered by those who’ve posted favorable reviews on my Amazon page.

But, important as sales are, that’s not my sole criterion in assessing how After the Auction is “going.” I am intrigued by the reactions of readers and SHOCKED that many I’ve heard from like/love it.  Why am I shocked?  Let’s face it–this is a new venture for me–writing fiction.  From the trials and tribulations I’ve had–for instance, not hooking up with any of the myriad of agents I queried–let’s say that I had considerable self-doubt.

Some very nice things are happening in the wake of the book.  Tom Freudenheim, an icon in the world of Jewish and non-Jewish cultural circles, is writing a review in The Forward.  Tom’s career has included management or curatorial positions at such institutions as the UC-Berkeley Art Museum, the Smithsonian, the Jewish Museum in Berlin, and the Gilbert Collection in London, and he’s  a frequent contributor to publications including, lately, the Wall Street Journal.  I’d met Tom years ago at a conference of the Foundation for Jewish Culture, of which he was board chair at the time.  We’ve kept in touch on and off, which put him on my email list when I announced the book publication.  He wrote that he’d ordered it, and sent me a message with the subject line WOW!! after he read it–and the next thing I knew he wrote that he pitched The Forward for a short review–that I think will be good??

Getting the attention of the media–everything from even my local Jewish paper, J Weekly, to the New York Times (woke up one morning last week and remembered–oh, yeah, my kid works for the Times–not that it’s likely to help!  We’ll discuss this week.) is a challenge for any writer.  For one not published by a so-called mainstream publisher it’s really an uphill battle.  So, while The Forward is NOT the Times, it has a name in certain circles and will give me a blurb to parlay onto the next potential PR outlet.

Finally, one review that really means something to me is that of the aforementioned kid, Jonathan Ansfield, who flew home to the US yesterday from his Beijing residence (notice I say “home” to the US and Beijing “residence.”  I can dream–right?).  Jonathan and Amy arrived in Milwaukee last night.  On the phone he mentioned that he read the copy I’d sent them on the flight.  He seemed impressed with his mother’s written sex scene–but also said he could really see it as a movie (not the first to mention that) and will give it to someone he knows whose mom writes “treatments” (pitches for films).  Pretty cool when your grown kid thinks you’ve done something cool.

What else do I need?

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