News & blog

THE LATEST FROM LISA BERNE

“Young Jane Austen” in the Jane Austen Gift Shop

Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer will be available via the Jane Austen Gift Shop, a premier destination for all things Jane Austen. It’s based in Bath, England, where Jane Austen both visited and lived.

 

More about the Jane Austen Gift Shop here.

 

 

Lisa Pliscou at Jane Austen Birthday Gala 2015

Lisa will be the keynote speaker at the annual Jane Austen Birthday Gala sponsored by the Jane Austen Society of North America, Northern California chapter, on December 5, 2015, at the Seven Hills Conference Center at San Francisco State University. Lisa will be discussing Jane Austen’s childhood, her creative development, and the fascinating links to her mature work, as well as the enduring relevance of Austen’s life and legacy.

 

More about JASNA NorCal here.

 

“Young Jane Austen” at JASNA Chicago’s Spring Gala

Attendees at this year’s Spring Gala, sponsored by the Greater Chicago Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America on May 2nd and 3rd, will get a glimpse of Young Jane Austen via specially created “calling cards.”

The theme of this year’s Gala is “What Jane Saw,” with a presentation by Janine Barchas, author of Matters of Fact in Jane Austen: History, Location, and Celebrity, and curator of the website “What Jane Saw,” a virtual reconstruction of the British Institution exhibit of the works of Joshua Reynolds that was held in the Institution’s galleries in Pall Mall in 1813. Professor Barchas will be speaking about this groundbreaking exhibition and its influence upon Jane Austen, her writing, and her world.

 

More about the Gala here.

To visit the “What Jane Saw” site, click here.

 

Goodreads giveaway for “Young Jane Austen”

Two advance reader copies of Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer, autographed, are up for grabs on Goodreads. The giveaway runs until March 15, 2015.

More here.

 

“Young Jane Austen” at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Lisa will be signing copies of the just-published Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which takes place on the USC campus April 18 and 19, 2015. She’ll be at the booth of the Jane Austen Society of North America, Southwest, on Saturday afternoon. 

 

Details here.

More about the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books here.

More about JASNA-SW here.

 

“Young Jane Austen” at the Jane Austen Festival Australia

Attendees at the 2015 Jane Austen Festival Australia, set for April 10 – 12, will receive a sneak peak at Young Jane Austen via specially created “calling cards.” Held in Canberra, the Federal capital of Australia, the Festival offers symposiums, costumed promenades, historic fashion displays and workshops, and period-authentic dances and balls. More here.

 

 

“Young Jane Austen” at the Pittsburgh Jane Austen Festival

Attendees at this year’s Jane Austen Festival, sponsored by the Jane Austen Society of North America’s Pittsburgh region, will get a sneak peak at Young Jane Austen via specially created “calling cards.” Slated for March 20 and 21, 2015, the Festival includes a film screening, a variety of speakers, breakout sessions, and a period-authentic ball. More here.

“Young Jane Austen” at Santa Monica READS

Attendees at this year’s Santa Monica READS program will get a sneak peak at Young Jane Austen via specially created “calling cards” to be included at various events including discussions, presentations, craft workshops, and film screenings, all focusing on Jane Austen, her works, and books written about her. The program runs from February 14, 2015, through March 21. More here.

 

 

Writers, Balancing, Platforms

Does this title suggest a certain precariousness? I hope so.

Many years ago, before the mind-boggling explosion of social media, my college classmate Adam Begley, the distinguished author and critic, made this witty (and appropriately grisly) remark:

“Wanting to know an author because you like his work is like wanting to know a duck because you like paté.”

It would seem like a fatal attitude for an author these days. Indeed, recently I had the pleasure of sitting in on Holly Brady’s insightful class “The Entrepreneurial Writer” at Stanford University. Joining Holly was Nina Amir, author of How to Blog a Book and The Author’s Training Manual. With succinct precision, Nina laid out a roadmap for writers looking to create a successful social media strategy, encouraging attendees not only to put up a website and begin a blog, but to explore Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. One of her salient points? Marketing, she says, can be a full-time job in itself.

Nina Amir, author of HOW TO BLOG A BOOK and THE AUTHOR'S TRAINING MANUAL.

Nina Amir: ‘Marketing can be a full-time job.’

Her philosophy aligns perfectly with a comment I read once by Carol Stacy, a longtime publishing pro:

“Writers must get past the creative process and understand that what they’re selling is a product.”

It’s a tough-love call to action, but in an era of what all too often feels like TMI — too much information — how is an author to gracefully find a social-media middle road? Or, rather, a road that works for her or him?

 

 

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Two writers whose blogs I like seem to have done this with wonderful clarity.

Beth Kephart, who writes fiction and nonfiction for adults and young adults, discusses a whole range of topics including and beyond her own work, with a candor and a kind of lyricism that is, simply, absolutely lovely. It’s impossible not to come away with the feeling that here’s a person you’d love to sit next to at a dinner party, and talk — really talk.

Beth Kephart, author of fiction and nonfiction for adults and young adults

Beth Kephart: “I trust the tomorrow I can’t see.”

 

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Novelist and playwright Charlie Lovett titled a recent blog post “Why I Won’t Bombard You on Facebook.” He goes on to say:

“When I started to experience some success as I writer I heard it from colleagues, from friends, from my agent, and from my publisher: you need to have a presence on social media. But what is a presence? Facebook updates twice a day, ten or twelve tweets a day, and a new blog at least once a week seemed to be the common wisdom. There have been times when I have actually tried to do this. There are three reasons why I won’t be doing it in 2015. Not that I won’t have a social media presence; I will. I just think that it should be a presence that respects both my time and yours . . .”

Charlie Lovett, author and playwright

Charlie Lovett: “I respect you.”

His three reasons:

1) “My life is not all that interesting.”

2) “I’m trying to write a book here.”

3) “I respect you too much to bombard you with meaningless posts just because a website tells me I should tweet ten times a day.”

 

 

 

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So would I even be writing this post if I weren’t an author? It’s hard to say. I do know it’s fun to write about things that interest me as a writer (and human being), and to fling them out into the world, as it were, like confetti.

Confetti made of words and ideas. Landing who knows where.

 

 

 

More about Holly Brady here.

More about Nina Amir here.

More about Beth Kephart here.

More about Charlie Lovett here.

 

 

 

Advance praise for “Young Jane Austen” from Laura Fraser

“Lisa Pliscou has written a beautiful little book on the early life of Jane Austen. Based on extensive research, Young Jane Austen will delight anyone who has ever been enchanted by the marvelous wit and storytelling of one of our greatest authors, and wondered how Jane’s own childhood may have influenced the creation of her most memorable characters.”  —Laura Fraser, Editorial Director, Shebooks, and author of An Italian Affair and All Over the Map