Gold before the Olympics begin

Feathered Quill logoThere is no way to say this without sounding like I’m bragging, so I’m just gonna say it:

I won a gold medal!

Well, okay, *I* didn’t win a gold medal, but the book I wrote did. That may be splitting hairs. I’m gonna go ahead and claim it!

I found out that “Who Am I If You’re Not You?” won first place for memoirs in the 2018 Feathered Quill Book Awards! I couldn’t be more proud, and not just because I can now call it an award-winning book, but because it’s resonating with readers. Here’s what the Feathered Quill judges had to say:

“This is a well-written memoir on a topic that people don’t see much of on the library/store/online book shelves. A must-read and valuable addition to LGBTQ collections. This book scored a perfect 100 from the cover to the content. Excellent job!”

That line – “a valuable addition to LGBTQ collections” – probably means the most to me. To feel that this story can make a difference for someone, that it merits space on their shelves, speaks volumes. It reinforces the belief I felt from the get-go: that this true story of one couple’s journey to love beyond gender was both unique and unusual. The more I researched, the more I realized just how special this real-life couple is, and I couldn’t wait to share their story with the world.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s available on the book’s website and at Amazon. And as of this month, it’s also at the Barnes & Noble store in Charlottesville, Virginia, where I’ll be doing a book signing this Saturday, 2/10, from noon until 2pm. If you’re in the area, please come by and celebrate with me!

LynnThorne-Cover-fqawardAnd this is a perfect chance for me to thank the uber-talented Liz Weaver of Paprika Creative for her fantastic cover. She’s the bomb! I mean, just LOOK at this cover she designed. Seriously, look at it, and then go to her site and see what other outstanding design work she’s done.

Thank you, Liz!

 

OrionWisdom and me

I’m so excited! As my book, Who Am I If You’re Not You? draws closer to launch, there’s all kinds of exciting things happening. Some of it has been planned for awhile, like my upcoming booksigning events at AFK Books in Virginia Beach, VA and at The Abbey in West Hollywood, CA. I’ve also been planning the Nov. 14 launch party at Over The Moon Books and Artisan Gallery in Crozet, VA for a couple of months.

But today I got a wonderful surprise when my book was reviewed/featured in this wonderful newsletter, OrionWisdom. Check it out and subscribe, if you’ve a mind to. Elisabeth Fitzhugh pens this digital newsletter full of thoughts to help you consider your personal spiritual perspective. I was delighted to be included in this month’s issue, and I continue to be humbled by those who believe in and support this book right alongside me. Thanks Elisabeth!

As I gear up for the launch, I’m looking for other ways to publicize this book. Who do you know who might be able to help its message reach those who need to hear it? Can you help me spread the word by sending out an email, or putting something on social media for me? Or maybe you’d consider sharing this blog with someone who’d be interested. I strongly believe someone, somewhere out there, needs to read this book and I want to make sure I’ve done everything I can to get it to them–but I also know I can’t do it alone. Thanks for helping me give this book wings to fly.

Here’s to our journey together. Cheers!

Where’s “Who Am I” now?

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I’m glad you asked!Option A

My book Who Am I If You’re Not You? is now available!

It’s the true story of one woman’s experience when her spouse changes gender. I’m extremely proud of this book because it presents the partner’s viewpoint, which hasn’t been well represented before now. There are a number of books out there that document what it’s like to be trans … but very few take into account what it’s like for the other half of the couple.

You can read more about it at www.whoamithebook.com.

Readers-Choice-Awards-circle-blue-n-gold-768x582

Help me win!

And hey, while you’re at it, maybe you’d consider voting for it! It’s up for an Independent Author award at TCK Publishing. Three steps to voting:

You’re awesome for doing so!!! (Actually, you’re awesome no matter what but this would really help me!)

The book has garnered some amazing reviews. Here’s just a bit of the feedback I’ve received so far:

“Once you start reading this book, you can’t stop.”

“Impressive, vivid, powerful, uncompromisingly honest. It made me cry and it made my heart sing.”

“A non-fiction page-turner, something of an anomaly in my reading experience. A true story, with true heart, told by a true writer.”

“Lynn captures the heart of Jen’s story well. I feel thankful to have read it.”

I hope you’ll consider supporting this book with an order (or two. The holidays are coming, you know).  I truly believe in my heart of hearts this story has the potential to help someone through their dark times, and will educate others who don’t understand what it means to transition.

Come and see me at the launch party! It’ll be held November 14, 2017, at Over the Moon Bookstore & Artisan Gallery in Crozet, VA from 7-9.

 

I’d rather write than be pregnant

Birthing a book is like having a baby in a lot of ways. You carry it around inside of you for a reallllly long time, worrying about it, thinking about it, growing it. You agonize over what to name it. You think about what it will look like, and how amazing it will feel to hold it for the first time.

There are also other similarities. You can’t wait to share the news with others, excitedly talking about every aspect from the story to the cover to the promotion. Don’t forget about the labor pains, which involve waiting and waiting and waiting for it to be edited. For it to be laid out. For it to be printed. And when it’s finally “born,” it’s magical.

Thankfully, the waiting on this little project of mind is nearly over! I’d hoped to be able to launch Who Am I If You’re Not You? in October, but, like having a baby, sometimes it takes a little longer to be born.

I can share with you now that my book will launch on November 14!

That birthday is significant. It has nothing to do with being a Scorpio, and everything to do with it marking the beginning of Transgender Awareness Week. (Hint, if you didn’t already know what this story is about, it deals with trans issues.)

Want to know more? The book’s website is www.whoamithebook.com, and you can check out the prologue. I also feature it on my website, www.lynnthorne.com. Stay tuned to this blog to find out where you can get more sneak peeks at content in the coming months. I can’t wait to share it with you!

Even though the official launch isn’t until November, I will have copies in hand by Labor Day, which I’ll have available at CVILLE Pride Festival on September 16 in Charlottesville, Virginia, and at VAPrideFest in Richmond, Va on Sept. 23. If you’re in the area for either of those events, please stop by my booth and say hi!

You’ll also be able to order it from me directly after Labor Day. It won’t be available on Amazon or in bookstores until the launch, but I’ll be happy to fulfill any orders as soon as I have copies in my hand! Shoot me an email at Lynn@lynnthorne.com and I’ll gladly get you hooked up.

By the way, in case you were wondering, there is one VERY big difference between birthing a book and birthing a baby: when this baby is born, I won’t have to change a single diaper. Sorry, Pampers … your time has come and gone. (Insert “crappy” joke here.)

 

 

Why I now respect a ton of folks I don’t even know

One thing I’ve learned while writing this book: WRITING the book is one TEENY, TINY part of the whole process. You have to have a story. You have to sit down and write it. You have to edit and re-edit it. You have to query agents and publishers, and convince them they should pay attention to what you’ve written.

And if you’re lucky enough to actually land a contract, even then your work’s not done.

Oh no. Because now, you have to MARKET the sucker.

As someone who’s been around marketing for (ahem) a year or two, I figured this part would be a piece of cake. Geez, was I wrong. There are so many pieces to it! The part I’m currently working on is trying to convince people who don’t know me to do me a favor:

I’m trying to land endorsements.

These are the blurbs that go on the cover, or inside the jacket. Praise, accolades, compliments. Research shows these actually make a difference. If you have strong endorsements from people who are well-known among your target audience in particular, the average reader is more likely to buy your book.

So here I am, trying to convince these perfect strangers to take time from their fabulous lives to read my work AND say something nice about it.

Hence my recent flurry of emails, tweets and Facebook requests to people like Lady Gaga, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Aniston and J.K. Rowling. Yes, there are many requests to men too: Ben Affleck, Larry Kramer, Jim Parsons, and John Grisham among them.

Here’s the interesting thing, though. I had to research people who had ties to the LGBTQ+ community. They didn’t have to be a member of the community, mind you; they did, however, have to be visibly supportive of causes that impact this group. These are the folks that my target audience are most likely to respond to. So I started scouring the Internet to see who I could find.

AND THERE ARE SO MANY OF THEM!

I was floored. Honestly, the more research I did, the more people I found who’ve used their celebrity status to advocate on behalf of the LGBT people in this world. Names like David Leavitt, Chuck Palahniuk, and Alison Bechdel might not be familiar to you. But what about Daniel Radcliffe, Christina Aguilera, Oprah Winfrey and Queen Latifah? (By the way, if you ever try to write a letter to Queen Latifah, let me know how you address it. I struggled with that. “Dear Queen?” “Dear Ms. Latifah?” Lady Gaga caused the same issue. “Dear Gaga” just sounds odd.)

All of these celebs and so many more support the idea that we all deserve love. That we’re all equal. That we’re all worthy. And they’re using their fame to promote those messages, even though some of them are straight, cis, and could advocate for so many other causes. How great is that?!

This book has taught me so many lessons. Some have been tougher than others. Some have been painful (rejection letter after rejection letter gets rather depressing after awhile). But this one, this one … well, I’m very glad to have been reminded of just how supportive human beings can be.

And by the way, in case you’re wondering, my book goes to print July 17! Stay tuned for more on that one…

Who am I, if you’re not you?

Those words will look familiar to you if you’ve been following the journey of my latest book. If you haven’t been, welcome aboard my book train!

I blogged about it here, in case you’d like to catch up. Go ahead and read that post if you like … I’ll wait for ya!

So now that we’re all on the same page (!), here’s the latest …

The book is completely written and being professionally edited. Mascot Books will be publishing this, and they’re currently working on creating some options for the cover art. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!

Once we have the edited manuscript and the cover art, it will be laid out (both for print and e-book) and then it will go to print.

I’ll have a few copies in hand by Labor Day but the official launch won’t be until October. (When we have an official date, I’ll definitely letcha know!) That extra time gives the publisher an opportunity to do several things:

  1. shop it around to various retailers;
  2. convince them they should carry it;
  3. ship it; and
  4. make sure it is stocked on store shelves before the launch date.

It also allows time for us to schedule some book signings and events to make the biggest possible splash 🙂

This particular post feels a bit self-serving (because it is). I just wanted to keep you in the loop. You’ve all been so supportive of this effort and I couldn’t be more thankful.  This book has been a few years in the making and it’s hard for me to believe I’ll be holding it in my hands in a few short months. Can’t wait to share that moment with you!

P.S. I still haven’t landed @EllenDeGeneres to write the foreword but I’m not giving up! Ellen, if you’re reading this, let’s tawk.