Free Books… and Hear Me, Caffeinated

Dan Berne’s The Gods of Second Chances, my small press’ next novel release, is coming out March 1, and I have a few giveaway copies to share. Contact me if you want one, and specify paperback or ebook. Here’s the description:

Family means everything to Alaskan fisherman Ray Bancroft, raising his granddaughter while battling storms, invasive species, and lawsuit-happy tourists. To navigate, and to catch enough crab to feed her college fund, Ray seeks help from a multitude of gods and goddesses—not to mention ad-libbed rituals performed at sea by his half-Tlingit best friend.

But kitchen counter statues and otter bone ceremonies aren’t enough when his estranged daughter returns from prison, swearing she’s clean and sober. Her search for a safe harbor threatens everything Ray holds sacred. Set against a backdrop of ice and mud and loss, Dan Berne’s gripping debut novel explores the unpredictable fissures of memory, and how families can break apart even in the midst of healing.

The Gods of Second Chances by Dan BerneI’m actually working a bit with a publicist this time, to hopefully get some more national traction, so here’s your chance to get a buzz-worthy book for free before most people know about it. It’s more on the commercial end of literary fiction–a real page-turner that has kept some of our readers glued to their books for 24 hours, until they find out what happens to Ray. So if you like that kind of book, I’d love to send one your way.

We have fabulous blurbs by Rachael Herron, Karen Karbo, and Rob Yardumian, which I’ll share when we get a little closer.


So I knew I shouldn’t drink too much caffeine before my very first podcast interview recording, but in December, I had time between my two meetings, and I spotted a coffee shop on my way from one to the other, and stopped, with a happy stack of editing to work on, and I ordered an 8 oz. latte, just a little something, and then when I got to the recording, I was relaxed but excited, so glad to be there but not jittery… and then we sat down with the sound board and a giant microphone and I was still okay, until I realized we were recording.

And then I started talking fast.

And then I slowed down again, but by slow, I mean my old New Jersey self version of slow, which is very fast by Oregon standards. I get that way when I talk to my Jersey friends on the phone, or when I’m really, really excited about something. And I was really, really excited to have the opportunity to do this interview.

So here I am, talking about print-on-demand publishing, my relationships with my authors, and my own fiction (yay!) on Late Night Library’s Late Night Conversation series. I had so much fun talking with Executive Director Paul Martone.

And if  you haven’t heard of Late Night Library, go check it out. It’s based in Portland and Brooklyn, and recently became a nonprofit. The mission is to promote and support debut authors by giving love to their titles, but also by offering tools and tips from industry members. That’s where my interview went–talking about the behind-the-scenes small press world. If you get a chance to listen to it, let me know what you think!

About Laura Stanfill

Publisher, Forest Avenue Press
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9 Responses to Free Books… and Hear Me, Caffeinated

  1. What a great interview. I love how you take it step-by-step through how Forest Avenue Press began, which really tells people that they can do things (including, but not limited to, starting a press 🙂 ) even if they don’t have all the pieces and all the knowledge before they start.

    And I liked how you talked about how magical realism can take different forms in different cultures and times. That’s one of the things I started out with after reading One Hundred Years of Solitude — I don’t want to copy this, because none of it is my culture or my time or place, but this must apply more broadly, even to the gritty and graffiti-covered streets of 1970s New York City.

    • I would have never believed I could start a press, until I–umm–actually did it, so I’m glad that message comes through, Anthony. In listening to it myself, I realized I need to get moving on reading more of the newer authors who are doing this similar magical fabulist fiction but in America. (Like you with U-town!) Definitely I need to read Karen Russell and Hilary Mantel, who both came up in the interview.

      • It was a funny coincidence because Natalia Sylvester (another of my favorite bloggers) just revealed that there will be magical realist elements in her novel, too. Hey, it’s a movement!

        (Several people have recommended Mantel to me — it’s probably time I took the hint.)

        • Oh cool! I have heard that this sort of thing is in fashion now. Maybe we should both read Mantel in 2014, Anthony.

          • Rather embarrassingly, I sometimes get Hillary Mantel and Henning Mankell confused. Both have been recommended to me, and other than having somewhat similar names they have nothing in common, so it’s awkward to get them mixed up. If I read one book by each this year, I think that should solve that, so that’s my plan.

  2. Oh, and yes, maybe a tiny bit caffeinated. 🙂

  3. jmmcdowell says:

    Wonderful interview, Laura! I share your habit of speaking fast when I’m excited, but I also combine it with a lot of gestures—which sometimes substitute for words! I’d hate to think how that would translate to radio. 🙂

    Also, I have all my remaining January posts written and scheduled in hopes of making some writing progress. Keep an eye out for January 28th’s post, which is a long overdue review of one Simplified Map…. 😀

    • I’m glad it’s not just me, jm! I’m usually slow and measured when reading my own work out loud, but excitement takes over when there’s no script! I’ll have to remember not to rush in my upcoming lectures!

      And exciting about Stevan’s review! One of my big goals is not to drop my authors and their books right after launch, so this timing is absolutely perfect. I have it on my calendar. Thanks, jm!

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