ANN PUTNAM teaches creative writing and women’s studies at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. She has published short fiction, personal essays, literary criticism, and book reviews in various anthologies such as Hemingway and Women: Female Critics and the Female Voice and in journals, including the Hemingway Review, Western American Literature, and the South Dakota Review. Her recent release is Full Moon at Noontide: A Daughter’s Last Goodbye. You can visit her website at www.annputnam.com.
Thank you for this interview, Ann. Can we start out by having you tell us briefly what your new book is about?
If I may, I’d like to refer to the “Preface to Full Moon at Noontide: A Daughter’s Last Goodbye. It’s a memoir about my mother and father and my father’s brother, his identical twin, and how they lived together with their courage and stumblings, as they made their way into old age and then into death. It’s the story of the journey from one twin’s death to the other, of what happened along the way and what it means to lose the other who is also oneself.
My story takes the reader through the journey of the end of life: selling the family home, re-location at a retirement community, doctor’s visits, ER visits, specialists, hospitalizations, ICU, nursing homes, Hospice. It takes the reader through the gauntlet of the health care system with all the attendant comedy and sorrows, joys and terrors of such things. Finally it asks: what consolation is there in growing old, in such loss? What abides beyond the telling of my own tale? Wisdom carried from the end of the journey to readers who are perhaps only beginning theirs. Still, what interest in reading of this inevitable journey taken by such ordinary people? Turned to the light just so, the beauty and laughter of the telling transcend the darkness of the tale.
More and more authors are realizing the potential for sales that derives from virtual book tours. Can you tell us your personal reasons why you chose a virtual book tour to help get the word out about your new book?
I am only beginning to learn the value of such things. I do know that there is a limit to how many bookstore readings and signings I can do. It’s wonderful to talk with people and hear their own stories, as well as hear how my book has touched them. There is no dollar value to put to that. But it costs so much emotionally for me to do these that when a virtual tour came highly recommended by a good friend who had done this, I said, hey, sign me up and now here I am!
Is this the first time you have heard of them?
Yes it is. I can barely operate my IPOD.
What do you hope to achieve through promoting your book through a virtual book tour?
What I hope will happen is a larger readership. I’m hoping to catch some reviews in good places. I feel as though my book has work in the world to do…that my story will be of help to others. And this seemed like such an interesting way to go about this.
Do you promote online through other means? Website? Blog?
Not yet. I have a website, www.annputnam.com but I don’t actively use it.
Who maintains your website?
My daughter, bless her techno heart!
What are your experiences with offline booksignings? Do you have much luck selling your book through that method?
I think I began to talk about this a few questions earlier. Yes, I’ve had great success. It’s been standing room only at times. But again, I’ve been limited to my own home state of Washington, and have pretty much exhausted the local book scene.
Here’s a fun question. If money was no object, how would you promote your book?
I would hire a publicity agent and let him/her do all the rest.
Thank you for this interview, Ann. Do you have any final words?
This virtual tour is very exciting to me. I hope to have much more to say about it when it’s over. Right now, it’s just barely beginning.
Visit Ann’s Full Moon at Noontide tour schedule here.