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“Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone…”

W.H. Auden

     Taking a breather @ 11:11 from writing the climax to the sequel of “The Cyber Miracles.” Phew! Le cunamh Dé, it will be finished by nightfall. First I’ll pause to gives some thanks where it’s due, “the author of life,” then back to scribbling out the story on notepad. Feet don’t fail me now…

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     Thanks to Amazon.com and other such vendors, beginning writers like myself have an unbelieveable audience reach. Within a year my humble novel had an international audience. That just blows me away.
     At the same time, let’s not forget our homegrown neighborhood bookstores. They are particularly helpful to local authors, giving them an audience in their own backyard that can, through word of mouth, help grow a book’s audience.
     Think about the jobs you can save, too, by shopping locally. You help the hometown economy, you help fledgling authors. Win-win, as they say.
     Signed copies of “The Cyber Miracles” are now available at three Southern Tier bookstores.
     Stop in and say hi to Laura at Riverow Bookshop, where you’ll find current works and a great used/rare books selection that can save you lots of $$$. Chat awhile with Connie, Pat and Jane at the very cozy RiverRead Books in Binghamton.Gaze at the beautiful view of the Chenango River as you sip tea in handthrown pottery mugs. And make sure to stop and say hi to Gary at The Bookery II when you visit the always cool & hip downtown Ithaca.
     Online stores and local bookstores can, and must, coexist. So readers, give them a chance and browse them all.

    Translation: “Speak Irish with me.” For tips on how to do this, visit my Gaeilge page for all sorts of phrases for St. Patrick’s Day and other times of the year.
     Want to learn the language? I’ll be teaching an introductory course from March 4 – April 8 at Broome Community College. To sign up, follow directions in the online catalog here.

     “The Cyber Miracles” sequel was put on hold for January as I decided (insanely) to compete in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Specifics in the rules said that “TCM” was not eligible, and I thought the sequel so far is dependent on the original story. That left me with the task of writing something new. I did it in a month!
     My entry in ABNA is called “The Terminal Diner.” Just as in “TCM,” this novel also takes place in Binghamton, N.Y. It tells the tale of a pie baker at a diner near the airport who meets three people there on the day before 9/11 who will all have a profound effect on her life. I find out March 16 if I’ve made it through to the second round. Watch this spot for more info. Should I be fortunate to win (or place in the top four), there’s a great chance of getting a book deal with Penguin Books. Mamma Mia!
     So, as I pray for a cyber miracle of my own, it’s back to writing the sequel. Now Fergal, as you were just saying…

I just came across one of the responses to my query letters to publishers for “The Cyber Miracles.” It was dated 2006! That means the letter from St. Martin’s was THREE years old.

     You may, or may not have, heard that President-Elect Barack Obama has Irish roots. To be exact, his ancestral home is in Moneygall, County Offaly. Well this disclosure has triggered a lot of pride on the other side of the Atlantic. A group called The Corrigans (formerly Hardy Drew & The Nancy Boys — fabulous name) have recorded a fun hit single “There’s No One As Irish As Barack Obama.” Perhaps you saw the piece on CBS SUnday Morning about them.
     Anyway, if you want to hear about their adventures in “The States” during the inauguration — and they should be Homeric, follow them by reading Paddy Anglican’s Blogspot.
     Go n-éiri an bóthar libh, lads! Fáilte romhaibh go Meiriceá!

     In 2007, I sent out query letters to about two dozen publishers regarding my novel, “The Cyber Miracles.”
     Mind you, I followed the protocol suggested by those writer’s market books. I spent hours poring over descriptions of the publishers to see which ones carried similar work. The letters gave a brief description of my novel and some bio info. I addressed the letters to names of editors listed in the books. I included self-addressed stamped envelopes for their replies that would hopefully include a request to see some of the manuscript.
     Of the handful of replies I received, ONE had a small handwritten note explaing that they weren’t taking in any work without an agent. She wished me good luck though, and I appreciated that.
     Later in the summer of 2007, I learned about the prospect of self-publishing. Thank God I followed that route and today my story is being read across the country.
     Here’s the laugh. I received this letter today… TWO YEARS after mailing out my query letters from St. Martin’s Press:

Dear Sir or Madam:

Thanks for your inquiry. Unfortunately, St. Martin’s Press only accepts submissions from literary agents when they are first discussed with, and then requested by, a member of our editorial staff.

I hope this doesn’t inconvenience you.

Sincerely,

St. Martin’s Trade Editorial Department

Glad I wasn’t holding my breath waiting for their reply.

     As I plug away at “The Cyber Miracles” sequel and another novel (!) for a contest in February, here’s a bit of a distraction to have some fun on Valentine’s Day. (More fun than Maeve had, I’m sure!)
     Visit my Gaeilge page to learn how to say all sorts of romantic things to your sweetheart in Irish, including a pickup line from Connemara. 🙂 You won’t find that at any old blog…

Happy New Year!

     It’s been such an exciting year, and before midnight strikes here in upstate New York, I want to thank all of you who took the chance and bought my novel. That act of faith meant the world to me and I’m honored that you spent precious time from your life reading my work. I hope you enjoyed reading the story as much as I did writing it.
     I must also thank the many people who helped me get the word out about my book. They include Bill Jaker of WSKG, Barb Van Atta of The Press, Lynn Coyne of Divine Devotions, the Friends of the George F. Johnson Memorial Library, Eileen Bach of Ithaca High School, Isabel-Rose of Blog Talk Radio, the Catholic Writers Conference, Barnes & Noble in Vestal, Riverow Bookshop in Owego, The Bookery in Ithaca, RiverRead Books in Binghamton, Steve Craig and Frank Dirig of WIVT TV-34, the Continuing Education Department of Broome Community College, The Ithaca Journal, Syracuse University Magazine, Syracuse University’s VPA Chimes, the Authors Dens, facebook, MySpace, Amazon.com, CreateSpace Publishing and all those readers who wrote reviews.
     The sequel is still in progress (up to Chapter 14 in the first draft) and I will let you all know as soon as it’s ready for publishing.
     May you all have a healthy, prosperous and joy-filled 2009!

     Sorry for the tricky, gratuitous Stevie Wonder reference…
     If you’d like to buy a signed (but not sealed or delivered 🙂 copy of “The Cyber Miracles” to give as a Christmas present, you can find them at RiverRead Books in Binghamton or The Bookery in Ithaca.
     This Christmas, give someone you love a signed first edition copy!

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The Cyber Miracles

About the book

Maeve Kenny's life was going exactly as she'd planned. At 30 she was dating a soap opera star and had an exciting public relations career with an Irish-owned firm in Manhattan. Then three sudden events turned everything upside down, and Maeve found herself fleeing her Queens apartment for sanctuary back home upstate in Binghamton. As she tries to readjust to the dramatic changes in her life, Maeve says she needs a miracle to turn her life around. Who would have thought the whole world would be watching when it happens?

What readers are saying…

"Rollicking fun!" "A delightful read." "Leaves you feeling good." "Highly recommended!" "Your book would make a hell of a movie!"

By the numbers…

The Cyber Miracles readers are in:

2: continents

4: countries

16: states/districts/territories

32: places in NY

Blog Stats

  • 18,399 hits

Recent Comments

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Podcast interviews with the author

Listen to an interview on the Isabel-Rose Show on Blog Talk Radio here. Listen to an interview with the author on Bill Jaker's Off The Page show on WSKG FM Radio here.
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