Edited to add: The contest deadline has been extended to February 20, 2009. Your responses, both here and on my blog over at Salon, are so brilliant I am awaiting decisions from a couple of impartial judges to help me out here. And so there is still time to enter -- I'll announce the winner on Monday February 23.
Okay, time to stop whatever you are doing, jump up and down, and scream Yes! Yes! Yes!
Oh. Wait. That's me screaming. Erm. Sorry. But okay, I'm a little bit excited. After five years of total insanity, three agents, many rewrites, quitting my job of over two decades to write it...Daddy Left Me Alone with God is now in print and available at Amazon...look for it at Barnes and Noble, Borders, and yes, even an independent bookstore near you shortly. But for now, you can purchase it right here!
I wanted to mention the goddess responsible for not only my book cover but for all of the cool promo which will be forthcoming when I come to a town near you to sign, read, and generally party over the book's release. And she is also a brilliant author in her own write, the lovely (oh is she ever!) Stella Price.
Is it lame to be excited about promo? Not in this case. Along with the usual postcards, magnets, t-shirts, keychains, etc., Stella has designed very special custom guitar picks for me, which I purchased through the absolutely fabulous In Tune Guitar Picks...some of which will be, d'oh, just picks, but others of which I will be busy turning into some really cool jewelry - earrings, chokers, and whatever else my devious little brain can come up with, but here's a sneak peek of the pick itself - all of which will be black with silver print/design, some of which will matte, some of which will be glossy:
And where will I be in the coming months? Well, my favorite webmaster, Scott of Nerdy Rhino Development has updated my website...go on...have a look...you know you want to...and he's added a new feature, Where's Robin? Look for more dates and places to appear in the coming weeks, but so far, my first event is in Orlando, Florida for four days in April - the 22nd through the 26th right here.
Isn't the "moving" Daddy banner on my front page cool?
And now about the book itself...
Daddy Left Me Alone with God started out as two separate entities...the first of which was a short story published in an anthology, Rebellion: New Voices of Fiction, and not to toot my own horn, but this is a book really worth picking up as it contains stories by incredibly fantastic authors, some of whom are good friends.
But really, it's the second aspect that is the meat of the book. In 2004, when the Paul Green School of Rock was just beginning to make their mark on the world and Julie and Eric Slick were the two of the original twenty-two All-Stars, Paul took the kids on a three week tour across America, playing in clubs everywhere from Salt Lake City, Utah to Spokane, Washington to Phoenix, Arizona to Boise, Idaho, etc. Julie and Eric were 17 and 18 at the time and I learned that this would be a real rock and roll tour...um, meaning, a real rock and roll tour of a group of musicians who hadn't quite "made it". Translation: Spending some nights traveling 13 hours by bus; some days with no hotels, no showers, 22 kids eating tacos from fast food restaurants on the way and then sharing one porta-potty on said bus. Ever the neurotic, over-protective mother, I said "There's no way you are going on this trip without me!" So I signed up as a chaperone and got a lot more than I bargained for. No one over the age of forty should ever spend that much time on a bus with 22 teenagers in raging hormone hell (both them and me) -- certainly not without a comfortable bed to sleep in every evening or hot and cold running water. There were times I thought I was going to die. But somehow I managed to write a daily journal of the tour, and documented everything. Early readers of this blog may remember my day by day account of this fabled event, warts and all (since deleted).
Did you ever have an experience in life which you wish you had the opportunity to do over? While on that bus, I was so freaked out by lack of sleep and proper nutrition (my own fault...I could have chosen healthier options on the road), that I failed to really appreciate all of the good on that tour - seeing places in America I never dreamed existed, (did you know Wyoming is mostly surrounded by red mountains/rocks? It looks like Mars! And ohhh...the beauty of San Francisco...) hearing incredible music every single night as the kids just got better and better...and watching the amazing, amazing comradery grow between this unlikely group of extremely talented group of friends/musicians.
And so I decided to rewrite the book as it should have been written in the first place -- full of joy and wonder and har har, anonymous characters as opposed to a strict non-fiction account naming names. So yes, while the book has a strong backstory of the 2004 School of Rock west coast tour and some of you may think you recognize yourselves, trust me, you've all been turned into...muhahahahaha...other people. Ahem. Some of you, anyway.
But the book was still missing something. What, you might ask? Well, how about something about the author? Why was she on the trip? Did she have any ulterior motives? Why yes, she did. Did she have a deep, dark secret?
From the book's back cover blurb:
"At age seventeen, Annie had a love affair with a man ten years her senior, legendary British rock guitarist Mick Saunders.
Now...feeling desperate to change her life, she is unexpectedly given the chance to reconnect with Mick while chaperoning her fledgling rock star teenagers on a tour across America.
To Annie, this opportunity to recapture her past is a dream come true. But will she and Mick be able to pick up where they left off?"
Hmm...is Annie my alter ego? Is this book really a memoir? Or is it simply a fictional tale, woven into the story to make it more interesting?
Ha ha - how about all of the above?
So when you read Daddy, you may learn more about me than you ever wanted.
You be the judge.
Would you like a free copy? Okay. I've decided to launch a little contest here in connection with a new book by the editors at the fabulous Smith Magazine, where I also have a little piece of the internet. The book is also available at Amazon, it's called Six Words on Love and Heartbreak, and you can purchase it right here.
And in furtherance of that...this is your challenge. Write me a six word memoir on love and heartbreak. Post it in comments here, or email it to me (but let me know in your email if I have permission to post it on the blog). I'll choose one or two winners or more, depending on the amount of entries I receive...and that lucky person(s) will receive not only a copy of the book, autographed, but some fabulous guitar picks/jewelry as well.
In closing, um, I did say this was the "mostly" Robin Slick post. As most of you know, Julie and Eric are down in Nashville recording their very first studio CD with Mr. Belew. I trust all of you have seen this?
Okay! Write me your six word memoir on love and heartbreak. I'm really looking forward to knowing a little bit about each of you, too.