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Catching Up - The Rest of 2009


First, my apologies for neglecting this blog.  I've been engrossed with Twitter and it has consumed my time.   My tweets keep you up-to-date with what's going on.  Hope you can join me there.   If you don't tweet, you can follow my tweets from my homepage at www.adancewiththedevil.com.
 
Dateline Interview   Dateline logo
             Dennis Murphy interviews Barbara                                          Dateline NBC - Friday and Sunday nights

Let me fill you in with a little bit of what's been going on since June of last year.  My Dateline show aired in prime time on Sunday at 8 pm, opposite the Tony Awards.  The Tony's got a rating of 10, my show got a rating of 9.  I almost beat the Tony's!!!!!!  I watched my Amazon.com rating shrink to 850; the lower  number means that I'm selling more books than people with a higher rating.  This is good.  The show aired twice more in the fall and each time I saw more hits on my web page and lower Amazon.com numbers (but never as low as 850 again).  I just learned this past Monday that Peacock Productions (NBC) is thinking about retooling my Dateline story to sell to the cable TV market. 

 
Three Sisters Oregon   Newport lighthouse drive
                        Three Sisters in the Background                                                             Coast near Newport
 
In late June - early July, we spent several weeks in Oregon.  I did book signings in Bend (Barnes & Noble), The Dalles (Klindt's - oldest bookstore in Oregon), Portland (St. John's Bookstore), and Newport (Canyon Way bookstore).   It only rained one day.  The weather was gorgeous, although we did have fog for Fourth of July in Newport.  The city fireworks were cancelled but we still saw some fantastic personal ones on the beach right below our room.
 
Napa Classic 
In July, we entered the Napa Home Winemaker's Classic and poured our wine for a charity event (the Dry Creek Lakota Volunteer Fire Department on Mt. Veeder above Napa).  It's an annual event held on the grounds at St. Supery in the Napa Valley.  We got a blue ribbon for our Sparkling Wine!
 
Davis grapes fresh  Davis juice
In August we went to Davis for our white wine grapes.  It was a tiring, hot day of pressing chardonnay, viognier, and sauvignon blanc.  By the middle of September, the charonnay must had settled.  It was separated and the wine cold stabilized.  We still haven't gotten around to bottling it.  Maybe we should have a straw party and by-pass the bottling step.  LOL
 
  Chapman Award 2                        
      Paul H. Chapman Award with $10,000 Check                                 Barbara and Rex at the Award Dinner
 
In September, we went to Atlanta, Georgia,where I accepted the Paul H. Chapman Award from the Foundation for Improvement of Justice for my work in legal reform.  A long time friend nominated me and she got to attend the ceremony, too.  The award came with a special medal and a $10,000 check.  I had promised my friend that if I won I would donate half the prize to Community Violence Solutions, a charity dear to her heart.  Not only did I keep my promise; but  I found out a way to leverage the $5,000 donation into $9,000 for them. 
 

In December, I won the gold medal in the Wine Maker Magazine International Wine Label contest
with my Hareitage label.   It was published in the magazine's December issue.

    
 Bracebridge Dinner                       Garden of Santa Barbara Mission                       Garden of Carmel Mission

In December, we spent two weeks roaming around Central and Southern California.  We started off at the Bracebridge Dinner in Yosemite, a fabulous affair that lasts four hours.  It's been a tradition for 72 years and famed photographer Ansel Adams was a part of it for many years.  We moved on to visit friends in Fresno,  Bakersfield, and Palm Springs.  We moved to the coast for a couple of days in Santa Barbara and ended up with three nights in Monterey.  Friends came down and joined us for a Happy New Year celebration.


 
Be sure to check your local NBC affiliates for time and station for DATELINE NBC on Sunday, June 7.  My story is titled "The Years of Living Dangerously" and is taking up one hour of the two hour show.  It has been a wonderful experience watching the production shape up and I have been fortunate to get to know a fantastic lady, Sarah, my producer.  Thank you, Sarah, for believing in my story and for helping me get the word out to women to help them understand the crazymaking world of the psychopath.

FLATIRON BUILDING - NEW YORK CITY
Taken from the top of a moving tour bus!
 
Instead of turning over a new leaf, I think it shriveled up and blew away before I could follow-up on my promise.  Ahh, the best laid plans of mice, men, and authors can oft go astray.  I can't believe March 14th was my last post.

In April my husband and I went to New York City for eleven days so I could do some publicity for my book.  I went to four bookstores to sign stock.  In the Borders at Columbus Circle on April 18, I was standing at the counter getting ready to sign 14 copies when a woman came up and asked the clerk for two books she had ordered.  I held my book out, introduced myself as the author, and said she might like to buy mine.  She took it, glanced at the cover, and said yes.  I signed it for her and gave her a business card.  She in turn gave me hers, which showed that she had a radio show in CT.  I said, "I do radio interviews."  She read the book and this morning I had the most fantastic interview on her show on
www.watr.com.  Check it out.  It has neat visuals while you're listening to music from the sixties, seventies, and eighties.

Back to the New York trip, on April 19, I was on a panel for Meet the Authors for the Big Apple Conference put on by the International Womens Writing Guild.  I met some ladies I hadn't seen for fifteen years!  I also sold ten books.

On April 20, we met up with my editor, Shannon, and my publicist, Caitlin, at Berkley Books, Penguin, USA.  It may have rained on us as we went to lunch and back, but it didn't dampen our spirits.  What lovely ladies...I'm so fortunate to have them as part of my publishing journey.

I also had the good fortune to get tickets to the Live with Regis and Kelly show on April 21.  Little did I know that Regis and Kelly come out to the audience during the commercial breaks.  Fortunately we were sitting in the first row and I just happened to have a copy of my book with me (I was going to give it to Ivette, whom we were to meet afterwards).  In a spur of the moment decision, I popped up and gave Kelly my book.  I asked if she'd like me to autograph it for her after the show and she said yes.  Then she read the back and her jaw dropped.  She didn't want to give it up to the assistant when it was time to go back on the air.  To say I was jazzed is putting it mildly.  And it goes to show that you have to be ready to market your book whenever and wherever.

That evening we met with Katie for dinner at the Redeye Grill opposite Carnegie Hall.  Katie was the second editor I had at Berkley and she saw me through the first round of edits and the name change before she left to pursue a career at her alma mater.  We had fun remembering all the antics of dealing with each other while I was in China and Japan for six weeks in 2007.

Wednesday, April 22, was like a dream come true.  We got to see Angela Lansbury on Broadway in Noel Cowards "Blithe Spirit."  She's a living legend and, at 83, was so energetic on stage she made me tired.  What a lady!  Thanks, Angela, for sharing your talents with the world.

Thursday, April 23, was NBC day.  We took the studio tour then me up with Sarah, my producer from DATELINE.  One of her editors, Andy,  joined us and we went to lunch in Rockefeller Center.  Then she gave us a tour of her office and floor.  We left her to work and we went on the Radio City Music Hall tour.  Quite interesting.  We followed that up with going to dinner with Sarah, her son, and my correspondent on the piece, Dennis Murphy.  What a fantastic day.

Friday evening we had dinner with Hannelore Hahn, the founder and director of the International Women's Writing Guild.  She is a lovely lady and an inspiration to many.

Saturday, April 25, we took the train to Albany, NY, for the day to visit a friend that I first met in 1993 at the International Womens Writing Guild summer conference in Saratoga Springs.  It was a two-and-a-half hour ride along the Hudson each way and a sunny day.  My friend Hyla is 83 years old and a role model.  She still teaches tai chi!

There were many more wonderful adventures to Ellis Island, Museum of Natural History, bus tours, etc..  But, as always with travel, it was good to get home.

Turning Over a New Leaf




Okay, I admit it.  I'm not very good at frequently posting on my blog.  The speaker at my California Writers Club meeting today made that point clear.  So I'm going to turn over a new leaf and try to post two to three times a week.  Whew!

This past week I signed up with Twitter.  You can catch my tweets at
http://twitter.com/BarbaraBentley .  Let's call this my mini-blog.   If you haven't signed up yet, it's very easy and you don't have to give a lot of personal information.  That's what I like.  Once, when I looked at all the data Facebook wanted, I shied away from this method of keeping in touch.  So visit http://twitter.com and invite me to join your group.

What's happened since my last post?  In February I did four speeches for STAND! Against Domestic Violence at the local junior college.  I also went to San Francisco and spoke to 520 students at Mercy High School.  Stopping domestic violence is all about education.  Many women caught in the terror don't even realize they are trapped.

I had fun creating my You Tube video as a book trailer. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rmtJw6iArc



Last Sunday I did a book signing at Copperfield's in Santa Rosa.  One man came up to me and gave me his card.  He's an instructor in the criminology department at the local junior college and said he may use my book "A Dance with the Devil: A True Story of Marriage to a Psychopath" as required reading next semester.  If he does, I'll go to his class and speak.

Thanks for reading,
Barbara Bentley

INSPIRING COMMENTS FROM READERS



January 26, 2009……….Over the past several months I have received emails from women and men who have found inspiration in my book.  I’d like to share a few with you.  They show how important it is to get the word spread about my book.  The work is far from being finished.

 

YOUR BOOK IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! AFTER DEALING WITH A RELATIONSHIP THAT NEARLY KILLED ME AS WELL, YOUR BOOK HELPED ME ALOT. IT MADE ME REALIZE THINGS THAT I WOULDN’T HAVE IF I DIDNT READ YOUR BOOK. HE’S NOW IN JAIL, BUT IT HAS BROKEN ME AS A PERSON AND I AM TRYING TO PICK UP THE PIECES AND START NEW AND FRESH. THANK YOU FOR PUBLISHING THIS BOOK, I TELL EVERYONE ABOUT IT, I STAYED UP ONE NIGHT AND READ THE WHOLE BOOK IT WAS SO INTRESTING AND I WAS SO COMPELLED TO FINISH THE BOOK BECAUSE I COULDN’T PUT THE BOOK DOWN!!!! YOU ARE TRUELY AN INSPIRATION AND I WISH NOTHING BUT THE BEST FOR YOU!!!!!          (Note:  the message was sent in all capital letters.)

 

Dear Ms. Bentley:

Thank you so much for sharing your horrific.  I, too, was married to a sociopath.  My children and I escaped on July 5, 2005 and each day is a struggle to stay safe.  Until I read your book, I felt alone in my struggle.  Now I feel I have a friend.  Like you, I have recognized an injustice in the family law code--sociopaths should not have unfettered access to their children.  I have decided I would like to change as well.  I will continue to follow your book signing schedule in the hopes of eventually being able to meet you in person.  While my children and I continue our journey of healing, your book has inspired me to not let the abuse my children and I suffered define us, but for us to move forward and redefine the situation.  Thank you again for sharing your struggle and helping me to move my own life forward again.

 

Dear Barbara,
I am a police officer in NW Minnesota.  I have been a police officer for approximately 5 years now and have witnessed some bad domestic situations.  You are a true survivor and an inspiration.  I am almost done reading your book.  I cannot put it down.  Amazing work!! Thank you for writing this book and telling your story.  (Male reader)

 

I wrote a post about a month ago about wanting to write a memoir on my weight struggles and depression, so reading your book has given me more inspiration to do this, so you not only get emails from women who you have saved lives from, but also other kinds of people! :) I think you've achieved so much more! And hopefully Lifetime will add the story to their archives. I would like to see that.  (Male reader)



 

January 24, 2009……….Over the past month I have joined several Amazon.com communities where I feel my book has a place. Today I did a posting on the Women’s Community Site where people write about the books they have written.   http://www.amazon.com/tag/women/ref=tag_ybc_ycc_itdp    I saw my web hits jump to 40 for the day and almost immediately got one good comment.

 

 I keep looking for opportunities to post in appropriate places. I posted several times on one survivor site on the web last November and feel good that I can share my experiences with women who are still in the throes of the crazy-making world of psychopaths, sociopaths, and narcissists.  http://www.runboard.com/bnarcissisticabuserecovery

 

 IF AN AUTHOR DOESN’T BELIEVE IN PROMOTING HIS OR HER BOOK, WHO WILL?

QUERY FOR NEXT BOOK



January 24, 2009……….I’ve started the process once more….this time I want to get my fairy tales published. I wrote FAIRY TALES FROM THE HEART: THE BLACKSMITH’S DAUTHER TRILOGY over several years and have also done watercolor illustrations for each story. The editor for A DANCE does not do children’s books so I am almost at square one again in the publishing journey. I say almost because I did get a lead from my agent for someone she knows in the business. Also, I have a lot more experience under my belt. I’m jazzed about my fairy tales because I had two children’s authors read the tales and they loved them, including the illustrations. A manager at a Barnes & Noble also read the first tale and absolutely adored it. She even recommended where it would be placed in her store….picture books for the 4 – 7 year old range. Here’s a sample from “The Blacksmith’s Daughter” that goes with the illustration above.

 
 

       “Inside, the Blacksmith’s Daughter stood in a dark room lit only by a moonbeam shining through a small stained glass window. The moonbeam illuminated winding stone steps at the end of the room. She slowly climbed the stone steps. There was no other way to go.

        At the top of the stone steps, she crept toward an open doorway and peeked inside to see a large hall lit by glowing colored candles and warmed by a roaring fire in a huge fireplace. A wise old man with long silver-white hair sat in a red high-backed chair facing the fireplace. He wore a blue velvet robe and his feet rested on a white bear rug.”

 

BOOKSIGNING and the STATE of the ECONOMY



January 21, 2009……….I was back at Clayton Books to present a discussion, Q&A and book signing. Only five people showed up, plus my husband and a friend. Joel, the owner, was disappointed. He said that I was his third event of the year and I had the highest attendance. I think this speaks for state of the economy.   Independent book stores have been feeling the crunch from major chains and the internet. I pray the financial problems don’t ring a death knell for the independents. Get out there and support your local bookstores.


YOU TUBE POSTING


January 18, 2009……….I put together a four minute video trailer for the book and posted it on You Tube. I use Pinnacle software to produce my travelogues so that’s what I used to put the photo stills and captions together in a dramatic little piece with exciting music.   Then I tackled the You Tube process and was pleased to find that the software is quite user friendly. 

I have a link to the video on the home page of
www.adancewiththedevil.com or you can go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rmtJw6iArc . If the link doesn’t work you can go to www.youtube.com and put in the title of my book in the search field. 

Be sure to click “Watch in High Quality” under the video screen and turn your computer volume up. 

So far 75 people have watched.

EDGAR AWARDS – I DIDN’T GET NOMINATED

 

January 16, 2009……….BIG DISAPPOINTMENT DAY….I DIDN’T GET NOMINATED FOR AN EDGAR AWARD. BOO HOO! But wait….what the heck….Ann Rule didn’t make it off the submission list either. The way I look at it, it was an honor just to be submitted. It meant two things: I was published in 2008 and my editor felt the book was good enough to submit to the Edgar Awards. But all is not lost. I’m entered in two more book competitions – the California Book Awards and the Nautilus Awards! Stayed tuned for more on those later in the year.