And the winners are…
Sharon E. Owens
WOOO! Thanks, everybody, for playing!
Happy Friday, everybody! Well, here’s a pre-Halloween treat for you. Award-winning author Cindy Rizzo stopped by to talk about her latest book THAT IS SRSLY HOT OFF THE PRESS FROM YLVA PUBLISHING. As if that isn’t enough, she is also going to provide goodies for you! FOR REALZ! Cuz here at Women and Words, we like to share the luv, and so does Cindy.
So with that in mind, Cindy is putting up TWO copies of her latest, Getting Back. One ebook and one paperback. The first person drawn gets to pick the format and then the second gets whichever format is left over.
SO! You know how this works. To get in on the awesome, leave a comment below. Make sure you provide your email address in the comment fill-out form but NOT in the comment body! THERE ARE SPAMBOTS WHO CARE NOTHING ABOUT YOU but all of us at WaW are trying to PROTECT you from them! REALLY! We’ll notify winners Monday, November 2 (HOLY CRAP NOVEMBER) at 9 PM EST US. Which means we email them and post the names here on the blog. If you see your name here but you haven’t received an email, check your spam filter. Good luck!
And now, I’ll turn it over to Cindy. Welcome, Cindy!
Love & Publishing
By Cindy Rizzo
Imagine that one of the biggest mainstream publishing companies in the country was run by an out lesbian. That’s what I did.
She’s Elizabeth Morrison, CEO of Morrison Publishing, the main character in my new book, Getting Back (Ylva Publishing). Set in 2008, when the mainstream publishing industry is beginning to come to grips with the disintegration of its long-cherished business model, Elizabeth must figure out how the company can survive at the same time that her once predictable personal life is being turned upside down.
As the book opens, Elizabeth has just been informed that Ruth Abramson, her ex, and the only woman she once thought she would ever be with forever, has agreed to be the class luncheon speaker at their 30th college reunion. Elizabeth hasn’t talked to Ruth since their break-up in 1977, when Ruth announced she was engaged to the boy her family had wanted her to marry.
The prospect of seeing Ruth again sends Elizabeth into a tailspin. The months tick by and at last the two women are face-to-face. It’s quickly clear that Ruth, now divorced and living openly as a lesbian, wants them to get back together. But as Elizabeth stares at the business card that she’s been handed with Ruth’s cell number written on the back, she can’t even imagine such a possibility.
Besides, a messy personal life is the last thing Elizabeth needs at a time when her industry is undergoing seismic changes brought on by the looming shadow of the giant Amazon.com. (Yes, I went there.)
Saving her company, and the jobs of the 200 people who work for her, is Elizabeth’s top priority. So she recruits a group of recent college grads, all steeped in technology and online trends, and creates Morrison Publishing’s 21st Century Marketing Team. Understanding the new environment and what’s coming down the road is the only way she believes the company can weather the storm.
And she also crosses into enemy territory — breaking ranks with her industry peers and negotiating the first publisher price agreement with Amazon. While this decision does not endear her to her colleagues at other companies, it does stop the free fall of Morrison Publishing’s bottom line.
But the agreement must be revisited by both parties every six months, so right after her reunion, Elizabeth finds herself on another cross-country trip to Seattle. And even with the continued pressure of this new negotiation on her shoulders, she cannot get Ruth out of her head.
It’s no secret to those of us who write and read a lot that the advent of the Internet over the past 20 years has paved the way for the crisis that Elizabeth Morrison finds herself confronting. Whether it’s lower-priced e-books, the closing down of independent bookstores and large chains, the increased availability of self-publishing options and the growing acceptance of “indie authors,” or just the behemoth Amazon.com itself — these are just some of the factors that have seriously impacted publishing and have pushed companies to pour their ever-decreasing revenues into only the top names in their catalogues.
Even so, Elizabeth is still beset by aspiring authors wherever she goes. A therapist she’s referred to has written a book on love and loss. Ruth’s adult daughter’s boss, an attorney, is convinced he’s the next John Grisham. A scriptwriter at a Hollywood fundraiser has a noir thriller set in L.A. And through it all, Elizabeth, the confident and imperious executive who everyone refers to as “Queen Elizabeth,” is unable to figure out what she should do about Ruth.
As the story advances and Elizabeth begins to gain some clarity about the woman who has always been at the center of her heart, she also begins to connect with other aspects of herself that she has long ago abandoned. And she hits on a new way that she can reorganize and reconceive Morrison Publishing to ensure its survival. As she tells Reese Stanley, her protégé:
“We need to move from planning for next year to planning for three years from now and even beyond. This sweetheart deal with Amazon will not last forever. Very soon our competitors will be entering into their own negotiations, and when they do, I want us to be a step ahead of them onto the next thing they haven’t even thought about yet.”
No doubt there will be more changes and challenges ahead, for Elizabeth and for her industry. But I think you’ll be convinced that after surviving the very eventful year she experiences in Getting Back, Elizabeth Morrison will be more than capable of successfully surviving anything.
Cindy Rizzo dwells in New York City with her partner and two cats. By day, she is a social justice advocate and works for a philanthropic organization. At night, she’s a writer and fan of the following things: social justice, politics, LGBT issues, lesbians, lesfic, writing, homeless LGBT youth, philanthropy, Judaism, teen movies, Boston, NYC, crossword puzzles, computer games, Montauk, Tenants Harbor Maine, and will the Red Sox beat the Yankees. She is the author of the Goldie-winning Exception to the Rule; Love Is Enough, and the hot-off-the-press Getting Back. She is also an editor of the anthology All the Ways Home: Parenting and Children in the Lesbian and Gay Communities, a Collection of Short Fiction.
OOOO! Now that sounds like just the treat y’all need for Halloween! amiright?
So leave a comment below to get signed up for the drawing.
WOOO! Happy Friday, Happy pre-Halloween, and Happy HALLOWEEEEEN!!!!!