Fears of Public Speaking (Kitt, Can You Impersonate Me?)

 

After a morning thunderstorm, Lucy and I took a long walk at the high school. My Scottish collie was tired, so where did she decide to rest? In a rainwater puddle, of course! 

 

 

Today I felt inspired to write about a book promotion-related fear I’ll face this fall. I’ll eventually write about other book-related trepidations, but I won’t ignore topics close to my heart ranging from the serious to the superficial, i.e. bipolar disorder, motherhood, the supernatural, coffee (a.k.a. the 5th food group), miscellaneous cool resources, and, naturally, my dog Lucy.

It’s safe to say there will be no more anecdotes about mountain lion encounters or freaky spiders – hurrah!

Public Speaking

Some of Us Have the Oratorical Bug…

Some of Us Don’t

 

I wish I could have mental health advocate/blogger Kitt O’Malley impersonate me this fall when I do my book events.

Kitt is a passionate and gifted speaker. She taps into her talent as a NAMI Provider Educator at the hospital where she received inpatient and partial day treatment over a decade ago. Kitt educates staff on what it’s like to live with mental illness and to be in mental health recovery. As a mom with bipolar, she has many responsibilities and she does all kinds of activities. Somehow I don’t think she has the time to fly up here to pretend to be me, but I certainly could try bribing her. You never know… 

I adore Kitt!

As a mom with bipolar, she has many responsibilities and she does all kinds of activities. Somehow I don’t think she has the time to fly up here to pretend to be me, but I certainly could try bribing her. You never know… 

My husband Craig is also an accomplished and dynamic public speaker. After his book Quest for Flight – John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West was published, he was psyched to give book talks wherever he could. Craig has given over fifty presentations at libraries, aviation clubs, museums, and other groups. He continues to receive speaking invitations even though his book was published in 2012!

I’m thinking maybe, just maybe, it’s time to drag myself to the Redwood Ramblers, my local chapter of TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL.

TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL is a non-profit organization that aims to help its members develop “public speaking and leadership skills through practice and feedback in local clubs since 1924.” 

Look at all the TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL benefits:

You know, that list reminds me of the tenets of this rather mysterious dogma!

There’s no need for me to feel paranoid. A trusted source tells me that TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL is proud to be GMO-free

and Tom Cruise-free!

(If you’re a Scientologist, I don’t mean to offend you…much.)

Book Endorsement Pupdate Update

Meanwhile, the ARC (advanced review copy) of my book is being read by a variety of amazing psychiatrists, mental health advocates, and authors. They live in Australia, Kuwait, England, Western Canada, Oregon, upstate New York, and Massachusetts.

Karen Kleiman is the founder of the Postpartum Stress Center, a bestselling author, and postpartum expert. She emailed me a blurb that actually brought tears to my eyes. 

“Bipolar illness is serious and widely misunderstood. When it emerges in the postpartum period, women and medical professionals are often blindsided due to the current lack of awareness. Birth of a New Brain is a brave and deeply personal account of how bipolar illness can impact a new mother. Her honest reveal of startling references such as mania, ECT, hospital wards, suicide and “tsunami obsessions” creates heartfelt transparency and highlights its stigma-busting potential. Postpartum women in distress will relate to Dyane Harwood’s genuineness and be grateful for this book.”

Karen Kleiman, MSW, LCSW

Author, The Art of Holding: An Essential Intervention for Postpartum Depression and Anxiety and Founder, The Postpartum Stress Center

Karen designed this fantastic meme that appears in my book

 

If you have public speaking advice (either happy stories, horror stories or both!) I’d love to know the details. Please share away…

Thanks for reading and thanks for your support!

Sending you lots of love,

Dyane

 

Dyane Harwood’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th.

It’s available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon at this link – Kindle pre-sales coming this summer!

 

Review — Birth of a New Brain: Healing from #Postpartum Depression by Dyane Harwood

 

 

 

 

I want to thank my writing mentor Wendy K. Williamson for writing this wonderful review of my book! I only paid her five bucks to do it! 😉

If it wasn’t for Wendy, I don’t know if my book would have been “born!” I’m forever grateful to this intrepid writer for her encouragement, humor, and wisdom.Wendy’s belief that my writing was good enough to share with others truly kept me going.

Be sure to check out her two books I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar (an outstanding memoir that was ahead of its time) and Two Bipolar Chicks Guide to Survival (which I wish I had to read in 2007 when I was diagnosed); please follow her blog & Twitter too @bipolarwendy.

Wendy has some amazing blog posts – one of my favorites is her post called “Go Ahead Writer”:

https://wendykwilliamson.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/go-ahead-writer/

Once again, Wendy, thank you. I’ll always be in your debt unless I win the California SuperLotto Plus jackpot – in that case, I’ll build a writer’s colony and name it the Wendy K. Williamson Center for the Literary Arts. It will have a cafe called “Diner Girl,” a bookstore heavily stocked with her books, and I’ll give you a million dollar stipend! How does that sound? (I wish I could do that!!)

Xo,
Dyane

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Order on Pre-Sale at Amazon   Click Here

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Blurbs & A New Section: “You’re Rejecting Me? Prepare to Learn Some Cat Facts!”

 

Aimee Mann has been one of my favorite musicians ever since her ‘Til Tuesday “Voices Carry” days in the 1980s. She has a new CD coming out called Mental Illness, and this brief interview explains why she gave her CD this title.

 

Hi there, my friends!

I hope you had a good week and HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

I was too lazy to dress up Lucy, so I’m using this photo instead: 

In other scintillating news…

I’ve continued putting out the feelers for book endorsements. 

Some fantastic authors and advocates have agreed to endorse the book -hurrah!

I had another rejection, but thank God it didn’t sting very much. I had emailed Andrew Solomon, the author of the bestseller The Noonday Demon, on a whim. I thought it was a longshot, but it was worth a couple minutes of my time to contact him. That same day, I received such a gracious response. Andrew explained he was overextended with his new book’s release, but he wished me the best of luck. 

My pet peeve is when I contact someone and I don’t receive a reply.

In a time when it’s so easy to send a brief email brush-off, there’s no excuse for rudeness. 

I know what you’re thinking….you’re thinking that when I don’t get a response, my email could’ve gone into the spam folder. You’re right! That’s always a possibility, and it happened with one person. And I’m not such a narcissist that I assume it’s all about me – the person could be sick or going through a crisis, for all I know. But something tells me that hasn’t been the case with a couple other folks. 

What can be done? 

Well…I could call and leave a voicemail message as a follow-up. BUT I will only call once because I don’t want to be a phone stalker.

And then there’s always the Cat Facts option, which I’ll explain later on.

 

Using Twitter to Make Connections – Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Twitter has been very kind to me…

and Twitter has been a bit of a bummer!  

Through Twitter, I was able to thank the multi-talented comedian/actor/bestselling author/mental health advocate & Mohr Stories podcast host Jay Mohr for his re-tweet.  He shared my Huffington Post Postpartum Bipolar article with his followers, and after that happened, I informed him about my book, but didn’t ask for anything. He surprised me by endorsing my book on Twitter! (I’m sorry the tweet is so tiny and blurry!)

My tweeting experience with Minnie Driver didn’t have such a happy ending, but I’m okay with it now. I’ve admired Minnie Driver’s acting, singing, and songwriting for a long time. I thought she might be receptive to endorsing my book because last year she starred in the film Return to Zero. The film is about a married couple who loses a child through stillbirth.

Plus she’s a mom.

Minnie Driver and Paul “He Rocked Private Practice” Adelstein in the heartrending film Return to Zero

In my 1st tweet to Minnie, I complimented her Academy Awards dress and she “liked” it! Oohhh! I was jolly because many famous people don’t look at their fans’ tweets.  

My tweet #2 was about Minnie’s song “Down” from the Everything I’ve Got In My Pocket albumI love that song & I tweeted her about how much I’ve enjoyed it, and guess what – she “liked” that tweet too!

High on the success of my two tweets, I tweeted my book cover to her. I asked if I could send it to her for her consideration, but there were crickets.

I guess I should have gone through her publicist or manager, but I took a foolhardy chance. Sometimes you need to do that, right? 

And now, drum roll please….and a big, throaty MEOW because you’re about to read my new section.

 “You’re Rejecting Me? Prepare to Learn Some Cat Facts!”

I’ll begin by stating for the record that this is an immature activity, but hey – at least it’s not malicious or illegal. I’m referring to PrankDial – The Original Internet Prank Call Website. This company gives you three free calls. You enter the number to be dialed on the site, and they take it from there. (PrankDial claims your number and personal information won’t appear to anyone else, but don’t take my word for that!)

I decided to give PrankDial a try. There was only one choice that appealed to me and that was Cat Facts!

I knew just who needed to learn about Cat Facts. I can’t name him here, of course, but take my word for it – this guy is LAME and he needed to learn about cats! (He had nothing to do with my book…)

When PrankDial called him, it recorded his replies. After the Cat Facts call ended, the website played that recording back to me. Hee hee hee! The Lame One didn’t sound angry; in fact, I was amazed he listened to the entire recording. Perhaps he’ll show greater respect for cats, if not humans! 

Please prank call responsibly…or at least try to, anyway!

In the future, if someone rejects my lovely email or voicemail, I might need to share Cat Facts with such a cold hearted snake! 

I hope you got something out of this post.

It’s not touching on bipolar disorder (there are plenty other posts that do!) and it’s not deep, but that’s how I roll sometimes.

After so many years of living in my internal Nightmare On Elm Street film, it’s nice to focus on other things, even if they’re silly.

I wish you a great weekend!

Next week I’ll let you know if I contact anyone about Cat Facts! 

Love,

Dyane

 

Dyane Harwood’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October.

It’s available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon at this link – Kindle pre-sales coming this summer!

A Woodsy Vlog: Endorsements & The Awesome Mohr Stories Podcasts

My Fall Creek Redwoods Vlog 

If you’re brave enough to listen (and braver still to watch my shaky camera work), you’ll be updated about my quest for book endorsements and other tidbits. I forgot to mention that my Scottish collie Lucy has the same birthday as I do: March 18th! She’s turning a whopping 3. (By the way, sorry for the abrupt end…)

Jay Mohr and “Mohr Stories” 

Jay Mohr in the hit show The Ghost Whisperer as Professor Rick Payne

Here’s Jay with Mean Jennifer Aniston and Kevin “Bacon Grease Hair” Bacon

Yes, America’s beloved “Jen” was very cruel to Jay during the filming of Picture Perfect. In fact, her atrocious behavior actually made him cry! 

If you want to hear the funny-yet-gory details, listen to Podcast #7 “The Rachel.” That podcast is in the archives, and you’ll need to download the free Mohr Stories app – it’s no big deal, but if you run into problems, just let me know.

My favorite picture of Tom Cruise 

I also love Jay’s podcast about acting as the villain sports agent “Bob Sugar” opposite Tom Cruise in Cameron Crowe’s classic film Jerry Maguire. Podcast #5 “The Legend of Tom Cruise” is fascinating.

Ever since I started following the comedian/actor/producer/advocate Jay Mohr on Twitter (@jaymohr37) I’ve listened to his acclaimed Mohr Stories podcasts while walking Lucy or in bumper-to-bumper traffic. These podcasts are entertaining, educational, heartrending, funny, raunchy (sometimes) and inspiring. What’s especially cool is that every podcast is unique. Rumor has it that yours truly might appear on a Mohr Stories podcast this summer – I’ll keep you posted!

Jay has recorded over 380 (!!!) podcasts. He has said he enjoys doing these shows more than acting or even stand-up comedy, which he has done since he was sixteen. When you hear Jay interact with his guests in his garage Fake Mustache Studio, you can tell he loves what he’s doing. It’s no glitzy, superficial presentation, but an authentic conversation.

These guests include Charlie Sheen, Jerry Seinfeld, Eric Roberts, Penn Gilette, Gabrielle Reece, Krista Vernoff (she’s a writer for Grey’s Anatomy & a mini Shonda Rhimes, and it’s a great podcast for any writer!), Tom Arnold, Perez Hilton, Kevin Pollak, Dr. Drew Pinksy, Illeana Douglas, Adam Carolla, Melissa Rivers, Henry Rollins, David Lee Roth, Rufus Wainwright, Ice Cube, Jay Leno, Colin Quinn, Stewart Copeland just to name a few…what an eclectic list, eh?

Jay has a special interest in mental health topics such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression. He had severe anxiety/panic disorder during his two years as a featured player on Saturday Night Live which he wrote about in his bestselling book Gasping for Airtime. Jay is a mental health advocate and a spokesperson for the “Keep Oregon Well” mental health campaign.

Logan Lynn

I encourage you to listen to Jay’s latest podcast he recorded with his close friend Logan Lynn, an incredibly inspiring person.

Logan is a survivor of multiple suicide attempts and childhood sexual abuse. He’s a musician, writer, producer, filmmaker, television personality, mental health advocate and LGBT activist from Portland, Oregon. Lynn’s music is most commonly classified in the pop, indie, rock, electronic, techno and dance genres.

In 2017, The National Council for Behavioral Health honored Logan with the prestigious “Award of Excellence” for “Excellence in Artistic Expression” for his music and for creating the “Keep Oregon Well” campaign and social movement to fight the stigma of mental illness through the arts. 

The Mohr Stories app is free, and here’s the link for the Logan Lynn podcast.

Take the time to listen to it. You won’t regret it!

 

And I thought I’d write a very brief introduction to the vlog. Ha!

Take care, my friends. Have a good weekend!

Lots of love,

Dyane

 

 

Dyane Harwood’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October.

It’s now available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon at this link!

ARC’s, Anxieties, Insecurities, and More

 

Lucy

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My Writing Muse 

 

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Holding my first galley, or advanced review copy (ARC)

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Charging the ARC with positive crystal hippie energy.

Hey, before you make fun of me, I live with a geologist so we have tons of crystals in this house. Moreover, I live in a hippie town, so I figured, why the heck not??? I charged the ARC for an hour before I sent it to my dream endorser who requested a hard copy for consideration. Stay tuned for the outcome…

 

Happy Friday everyone!

This week has been all about the ARC.

The what?

The advanced review copy, or ARC. Many people don’t know what the acronym stands for, including some authors! The ARC is the more recent term for a galley, which is an advance copy of your book that’s sent to book reviewers, endorsers, and the press.

This pre-publication copy doesn’t quite look like a book – the pages are simply bound and it might resemble a college term paper. Sometimes the copy hasn’t been fully edited. The cover art isn’t usually included. (For two cool links that will explain more about ARC’s and how to make your own, please visit here and here.)

Sometimes reviewers want the ARC via computer, such as a PDF file. Other times they want a hard copy printed out. Today I sent out my first hard copy to an incredible bestselling author. I’m superstitious so please forgive me for holding off on naming names until I get an answer  I’m crossing my fingers and toes that I’ll get good news in the near future! Even if I don’t get the endorsement, I’ll write about what happens. This endorsement, or “blurb” will appear at the top of the front cover. (Click here for helpful articles about attaining blurbs.)

***Anxieties***

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I’ve been extremely anxious about sending the galley to this famous author. I’ve procrastinated all week, but today after a “pep text” from the gifted author/journalist Greg Archer who has interacted with 95% of the most famous, talented people on the planet (check out his blog Know Place Like Home) I sat down and forced myself to do it.

I had purchased a beautiful card to accompany my book. My hands shook so badly that I screwed up while writing the title of one of the author’s books – how embarrassing!!! Since I paid $7 for the Papyrus greeting card, I just did my best to correct it! I’m keeping it real! (This is the card I sent – I love their cards so much! The Halloween ones are the best I’ve ever seen…)

 

***Insecurities***

Although I tried to mute or unfollow any social media outlet I thought might share the Demi Lovato Situation, I didn’t get everything, so I encountered announcements of a red carpet extravaganza event.  My insecurities were triggered each time I spotted the photos and press releases. But it wasn’t healthy to keep cursing Demi Lovato & her high-rolling production team to the darkest corners of Hades – I needed to move on once and for all. 

My wise daughter Avonlea told me, “Mommy, even if you were chosen, you know you would have freaked out going to New York and being on that panel with Demi Lovato!” and she was right. It would have been too much – I’m not ready for that kind of media exposure. My social anxiety would have been through the roof.

My close friend and mental health advocate/blogger extraordinaire Kitt O’Malley read my mind when I told her it would’ve been too difficult. She reminded me how something stressful (like filming and flying to New York for the red carpet/panel discussion with Demi Lovato) could trigger hypomania. I’m 99.9% sure it would have been the case for me. The rejection was a blessing in disguise.

***Better Late Than Never: At Last I Have An Author Website!***

After procrastinating for several years, I bought a domain name on Wix for $24 for one year. I opted for Wix’s month-to-month Premium Plan at $7/month. I could’ve signed up for a longer subscription time resulting in a lower monthly cost, but I wanted to try it out for a few months, and then decide.

http://www.dyaneharwood.com

If you take a peek, please keep in mind I’ve only just begun to play around with the site, and there are some sample sections up that have nothing to do with me or my book! Please sign up for the mailing list. Also note that Miss Lucy is my media inquiries canine associate for the time being.

***Insecurities (Yet Again!)***

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I’ve started reading bestselling author Joanna Penn’s book and I really like the useful information and her down-to-earth writing style. Some of the sections don’t apply to me, but that doesn’t matter – I read them anyway because they’re brief and interesting. I definitely recommend you read this book, especially if you have insecurities as a writer! I’ll write more about this book as I go along. Here’s the nutshell description:

“Being a writer is not just about typing. It’s also about surviving the rollercoaster of the creative journey. Self-doubt, fear of failure, the need for validation, perfectionism, writer’s block, comparisonitis, overwhelm, and much more.

This book collects the mindset issues that writers experience, that I have been through myself over the last nine years and that perhaps you will experience at different times on the creative journey. Each small chapter tackles a possible issue and then offers an antidote so that you can dip in and out over time. It includes excerpts from my own personal journals as well as quotes from well-known writers.”

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Joanna Penn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers (as J.F.Penn) and non-fiction, a professional speaker and award-winning entrepreneur. Her site, TheCreativePenn.com is regularly voted one of the Top 10 sites for writers.

And now I’m about to enjoy an episode of Shetland, a murder mystery set against the stunning Scottish backdrop of the Shetland Isles. I’m addicted, and I’m not ashamed! My Scottish collie Lucy has genetic roots from this rugged part of the world, so I have her watch it with me.

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It’s really well done, and it’s no surprise that Shetland has earned rave reviews. During the first ten minutes, I couldn’t understand the thick Scottish accents and I set the disc aside, disappointed. I’m so glad I gave the series a second chance. All I needed to do was to select the subtitles option, and everything became clear. Let me know if you’ve seen it!

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Actor Douglas Henshall as Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez

Have a good weekend, and say hello in the comments!

XOXOXO

Dyane

 

Dyane Harwood’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October.

It’s available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon at this link – Kindle pre-sales coming this summer!

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Insecurity Boo Hoo Bummers & the Book Cover Saga Continues…


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The dynamic duo!

 

Hello there!

I hope you’re doing well!

I’m writing this post on Wednesday at the close of a funky day. Rilla had a tummy bug – it was nothing serious – but I kept her home just to be on the safe side. She had a blast showing me the intricacies of her favorite computer game, National Geographic’s Animal Jam. 

This virtual world is COMPLEX.  Rilla has played “AJ” for three years, and my head spun while she demonstrated all the features. 

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When I took a break from the tutorial, I hopped on Twitter and spotted the tweet I’d had been dreading for several months. It was DBSA’s announcement of Demi Lovato’s Be Vocal Campaign’s Beyond Silence documentary. (Lovato executive-produced it.)

Last year I was nominated by someone at DBSA to be one of the three subjects in this film. After doing a 45-minute phone interview with the six-person panel, I wasn’t selected. (I wrote more about that here in “Sour Grapes, Rejection and Perspective.”)

The people profiled in Beyond Silence are remarkable – they’re movers and shakers. While their worthwhile causes deserve the massive amounts of attention they’re getting, I was bummed…

Demi Lovato has 41 MILLION Twitter followers. Her Facebook page (38 million likes) showed Beyond Silence had 150 thousand views only a few hours after the stream went live. Lovato plugged the documentary on today’s Ellen show, and she’s promoting it in all the major media outlets. Everyone loves Demi Lovato! (Well, except Kathy Griffin, but I won’t go there! 😉 

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You can guess where I’m going with this. 

If I had participated in Beyond Silence, the PMAD I live with, postpartum bipolar (PPBD), which has been minimized, ignored, you-name-it, would have gotten this fantastic exposure. And yes, if I was in the doc, that would’ve been the ideal, unicorn-rainbowy way to promote my PPBD book. I couldn’t buy better PR!

I knew I’d be triggered by the media campaign’s debut. Despite all my positive thinking, I cried about this shit. (Sorry, friends, my potty mouth is a deeply ingrained part of me – I find it hilarious that I hardly used any unsavory words in my book!)

Anyway….my precious Rilla made my day. She was a fantastic source of encouragement & comfort. I didn’t ask her to make me feel better; that’s not her job as a nine-year-old, but she knew the Lovato doc backstory and she understood what was going on.

She hugged me and said that I don’t need to be in Demi Lovato’s documentary because I’m “a wonderful mommy” and that I’m “successful with my book!”

How could I upset after hearing such a loving affirmation from my girl?

Well, I was still down. More than I thought I’d be. When I had been informed I wasn’t selected, I felt rejected, not to mention other nasty things. Those feelings got re-activated with this media campaign’s debut.

How am I dealing with this, aside from diving into a pint or two of ice cream? (Okay, okay, I ate a pint & 1/2 of Halo chocolate ice cream & mocha chocolate chip, but it’s low-cal, low-fat, & low-guilt!)

I’m keeping busy, and thank God the sun is finally out because we’ve been through gloomy weeks of terrible storms, flooding, landslides, and power outages where I live.

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A slide on the highway very close to our house

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The basketball courts down the road flooded by the San Lorenzo River, Ben Lomond CA

I’m looking to the future. 

I’m muting Twitter feed that will remind me of this campaign. DBSA tweets about the film several times a day and they will do that for at least a week, probably longer since they’re a sponsor.

I know someone who’s in the hospital right now with life-threatening depression. If I think about that, I feel guilty complaining about this trivial crap. But it’s my life, it’s my reality, and who knows, maybe someone will read this post and relate to my experience. You never know when it comes to the blogosphere, right? 

 

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Book Cover Update

Thanks so much for your comments about the book covers! Now you can all list “design consultants” on your resumes.

No matter what style you preferred, every comment helped me. That’s one of the reasons I love blogging – your comments make a difference in how I see things and you don’t bill me! (Please keep it that way!)

Yes, there a new cover that’s almost ready to share with you, but Post Hill Press is tweaking it. I’ll share it in next week’s post.

At least I didn’t go with these top contenders:

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If you’ve ever been “close but no cigar“**  in a situation where you really wanted that “cigar,” I’d love to read about it!!! **Click the green “close but no cigar” phrase to read about how this phrase came to be.

 

 “Close But No Cigar” is one of my favorite Thomas Dolby songs on the stunning album Astronauts and Heretics 

Take care, and thanks for being the best followers in the universe! If I get rich, I’ll have you bill me for blogospheric-therapy services rendered, I promise!

Lots of love,

Dyane

 

 

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Dyane Harwood’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October.

It’s available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon at this link – Kindle pre-sales coming this summer!

The Evolution of a Book Cover/Update

 

Welcome and Happy Freaky Friday, my friends!

I’m writing this post in a zombie-like state.

(Now, before some of you comment, “That’s nothing new,” please hear me out.)

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I met my editing deadline on Wednesday night, and I swear I felt like I had a baby. I’ve never worked that hard on something before, with the exception of labor. I was so exhausted that I actually slept well. (
My fellow insomniacs will get the significance of such an event!) I’m slowly coming back to life…

I look forward to reading your blogs again and replying to your wonderful comments.

Some of you have seen the current cover on the Facebook page (please “like” & share the love!) and Twitter. It’s available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon  (woo hoo!), and the Kindle pre-sales option will come this summer. It’ll be out October 10th.

A week ago my book got posted on Amazon, and it was SUPER-exciting! It went to #20 on Bipolar Book bestsellers for an hour! 😉 It was the #1 Hot New Release in Amazon’s “Pregnancy & Childbirth” category for an afternoon or so! 
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But yesterday I had a little surprise!

My publisher asked me to consider changing the front cover title font from cursive to regular. (Regular…schmegular…whatever that word is! I told you I’m a zombie!)

Although I’ve disagreed with them before on other points, I was okay with this suggestion. More than okay. But I don’t like the all caps element. (You’ll see what I mean when you look at the 2/16 image.)

Some backstory you should know is that I negotiated with my publisher to handle the cover design, but they would get final approval, of course. And they did approve what I submitted. (Hope that makes sense.)

Moving on…

Here’s how the cover came to be:

My daughters and I thought of an idea. We created this mock-up. (Sorry for the terrible picture, but you get the idea…) The title, subheader, bylines were black on the mock-up, but we wanted our designer to use a sparkling white color instead of black.

Avonlea wanted the title font to consist of stars (and those fonts exist), but that didn’t quite work out.

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We gave that mock-up to our remarkable graphic designer Vanessa No Heart to play with. Vanessa sent us a bunch of ideas that boiled down to this image with three different color palettes:

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I liked this one the best:

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My publisher prefers this font. They have a very good rationale which I’ll paraphrase below.

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I’m down with the publisher’s font, BUT I’d like “Birth,” “New,” and”Brain” to have the first letter capitalized.  I’m really hoping they’re going to be honky dory with that feedback!

Here’s the loosely paraphrased rationale:

“Dear Dyane,

We think the design you submitted will hurt sales. 

Readers use visual elements to identify the book’s topic, and this process happens super-fast

Usually, script fonts signify humorous topics, light topics

Your memoir covers a serious, important topic. Our font makes it look more serious, not like a Harlequin romance novel

When you look at books online or in a store, you spend a fraction of a minute looking at a cover. Cursive is harder to read. Many readers pass on the book ONLY because they don’t want to take a closer look at the font!”

Okay, that all makes 100% sense! Like I mentioned, I just don’t like the all-caps version. It’s too stark and I don’t feel the magic! 😉 

The publisher also wrote they wanted my approval on the suggested font, which was very cool of them to do. Technically, I think they could have insisted that I had to accept the new font. At least they are being respectful.

In the big picture of worldly events, this is a very, very, VERRRRRRY minor situation, and I’m not going to freak out. But I do love nice book covers, and I’d like to be proud of mine, you know what I’m sayin’? 

Stay tuned…..let me know your deep or shallow thoughts on the matter, and if you don’t like the cover, I understand – it’s not for everyone…& most importantly, have a GREAT weekend!!!!!

XOXO

Dyane

Dyane Harwood’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October.

It’s now available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon at this link!

 

post-hill