First, welcome to those who recently joined my Prosecco & Prose community. I'm thrilled you're here!
Second, it has been quite a while since my newsletter has landed in your inbox, and I have been a busy beaver over here, so I have lots of exciting updates for you! I plan to reach out more often over the next year, and love hearing from you too, so feel free to hit reply and fill me in on what is going on in your corner of the world. If you want to keep in touch more frequently, be sure to connect with me on social media and check out my blog.
I may as well start with the most amazing news that is long overdue. Hint: something's finally being released into the world next year!
It’s Official! Announcing My Debut Novel Book Deal
I’m thrilled to share that after six years of working on my manuscript, my debut novel, a multi-generational Italian American family drama, will be published by Red Adept Publishing in 2024. Woot!
I got the news on my birthday weekend in January while Sean and I were away on vacation on the beautiful California Coast at a magical place called Sea Ranch. Happy freaking birthday to me! I signed the contract a few days later with flowers from one of my best friends nearby, a bottle of champagne, and my husband cheering me on. Then, the publisher invited me to a private social media group for Red Adept authors and I got such a warm welcome. Delighted to be in such great company. I am so excited that this book will finally make its way into the world.
What a surreal moment. I savored it.
In June 2023, my chapter, The Brand Called You: Personal and Professional Branding for Authors, was featured in the fantastic book Launch Pad: The Countdown to Marketing Your Book, a three-part anthology series spearheaded by Grace Sammon, Mary Helen Sheriff, Emma Dhesi, and published by Red Penguin Books. (I apparently have a thing for Red being in the name of the publishers I partner with, don’t I?). Here is a video of an interview of the collaborators, with yours truly guest hosting.
This summer, I made the decision to step down from a long-time freelance writing gig. For the past 4 years, I got to be “the voice” of the Bike Campaign as their feature writer. It has been an absolute pleasure to interview people and organizations in the community, highlight the benefits and joys of riding, and be a part of the wonderful bike-friendly movement. However, I have now passed the baton so I can focus on my fiction writing as I get ready to launch my debut novel into the world next year. I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to write for an organization whose mission I truly believe in. Check out my body of articles here.
More news and updates:
Over the past year, I had the pleasure of connecting with my writing peeps virtually and in person. Check out the Writer Community section below for more deets!
In the Writing Reflections section below, I share what I'm currently working on, and where I am in my author journey.
In the Speakingsection below, you can see where I’m presenting for the writing community in upcoming months. Hope to see you in person or virtually at an event soon!
Check out what I’m listening to and reading in the Reading Recommendations section.
I love being able to help other writers, so check out the Coaching Corner if you could use some Business, Branding, Mindset or Productivity Coaching.
On the personal side, my husband Sean and I took our third trip to Italy in the summer of 2022, visiting Pisa, Lucca, and Bologna this time. And I fulfilled a bucket list item of taking Italian language classes in an 18th-century palazzo with students from all over the world. What an experience to treasure! This fall, we are heading to Barcelona for a week, so I am now brushing up on my Spanish.
Hope you are enjoying your corner of the world, wherever you are — and safe travels if you head out to other locations!
Cheers ~ Lisa
In keeping with the “signs” from the Universe that my novel has truly found its home with Red Adept, I was assigned my content editor on my beloved mother’s birthday, May 22nd. I wish she was here to see this book slowly come to life (especially because it is inspired by my family’s story), but I have to believe she is watching over things - and maybe even had a hand in it.
I’m now busy behind the scenes working on content edits. While it’s tempting to feel like, “Oh no, not more revisions!” after working on this manuscript for so many years, I’m trying to view this as an opportunity to strengthen the manuscript even more based on excellent feedback from my editor. Plus, I get one last chance to spend time with my characters again, just us, before I release them into the world.
I also started the research phase for my second book, and I am so excited about it! I’m in love with the concept and can’t wait to share it with you once I’m ready to officially dive in. For now, I'm keeping it under wraps and setting it aside until I finish final revisions for my debut. But I can share that I had a unique opportunity to visit Harvard University School of Law in Cambridge, MA in June 2023 to conduct research in their archives. It was a pinch me experience as I got to see official documents from the time period and setting of my novel. Plus, I combined it with spending quality time with a college friend, who geeked out on the book concept almost as much as I did! What a treat.
Over the past year, I attended writer retreats near and far. In July 2022, I hit the ocean and spent a relaxed, lovely few days with three members of a long-time writers group that I lead called TGIF Rogue Writers. The group is made up of 15+ writers who meet on a virtual basis on Fridays for the past 3+ years whenever we can, and have become a tight-knit writing family to each other. We’ve been there for each other during some serious challenges, and been the biggest cheerleaders during the celebrations. To be with some of them in person around the clock was such a treat. And even better — 13 of us will be attending the WFWA Conference next month! It’s going to be wonderful to be with so many Rogues in person.
Speaking of WFWA, I attended their retreat in New Mexico in September 2022, and like all the past times I went, it was awesome. There is something truly special about this supportive writing community meeting in that gorgeous Southwestern setting that makes the event almost magical.
Then in March 2023, I went to Gold Country here in NorCal for a long weekend to retreat, write, play games, walk in the snow, do yoga, and laugh with three dear local writer friends who I call my Davis Writer Gals. We have been writing every Monday night at Starbucks for over 6 years now! We try to do a local writer retreat at least once per year. We always get a lot done, and come back renewed and ready to keep persisting on this crazy author journey!
Hopefully you surround yourself with a writing community to motivate and inspire you, pick you up and dust you off when you stumble on the author path, and be your “believing eyes” when you need a vote of confidence!
You can catch me monthly as Webinar Host for WFWA. Upcoming topics include getting reviews and rewards for your book, turning heartache and trauma into the written word, crafting powerful scenes, and mind mapping your characters. Members get access to all replays for free, which is an amazing value, so if you’re not yet a member, give the organization a look. Plus, it is a fabulous, supportive community of talented writers!
In September, I’ll have the pleasure of sharing the stage with my friend, author Nancy Johnson, who will deliver theopening keynote at the WFWA 10th Anniversary Conference in Chicago. I will interview her about her author journey, in what I am sure will be an engaging conversation about resilience, changes in the publishing industry, and the impact of finding your writing peeps. Nancy and I met when I attended my first WFWA Conference in 2017, and connected at numerous writer conferences since. We also had the chance to spend a day together in Chicago in 2018 enjoying great food at Eataly and visiting the newly opened American Writers Museum. What an honor to be able to interview her at this upcoming event!
I will also be presenting a breakout session at the WFWA Conference - The Brand Called You: Personal and Professional Branding for Authors - on Friday, September 22 at 8:45 AM Central. Come join me for strategies on how to rock your brand!
I read incessantly! I always have an audiobook in my ears, a digital book on my Kindle, and a physical book by my bed. And yes, I pretty much review every book I read — not only to share my thoughts to help other readers, but also because I know reviews are like gold for authors! If you want to see all my reviews, connect with me on Goodreads. You can also visit the Book Reviews page of my writer website, where I cover my faves!
This month’s recommendations include:
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
I gifted this book to my niece Angelle, who graduated from college with a chemistry degree in May 2022. And then I had to read it myself!
This book served as inspiration during my research trip for my second novel (hint: it features some badass women breaking barriers at a time when they were told to stay in their own lane!).
The Emerald Necklace by Linda Rosen
I love reading books by my writer pals! Linda is a WFWA member, part of my TGIF Rogue Writers group, and was a coaching client (we worked on her brand, which she rocks!).
This book is historical fiction with a cast of compelling female characters and has strong themes of friendship and envy. But I also love how Linda wove in real-life events like the women’s march and reproductive rights.
I had the pleasure of helping several writers launch their brands and books into the world over the past year! What a privilege to help them share their words with readers. Currently, I'm also helping a writer to overcome some mindset blocks and productivity challenges that have stalled her writing.
If you need help with Business, Branding, Mindset or Productivity Coaching, give me a holler and we can set up a Spritz Session. I’ll bring the virtual bubbly!