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Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Cai Emmons, author cli-fi novel WEATHER WOMAN, set for October release, is doing innovative pre-pub book tour in her white PR minivan. This is book PR at its best! See photos and notes!
Paul Calandrino is with Cai Emmons.on her book tour for WEATHER WOMAN, a cli-fi novel coming in October. This summer they are doing a small PR tour in the Pacific Northwest where they live.
Cai Emmons, author ''cli-fi'' novel WEATHER WOMAN, set for October release, is doing an innovative pre-pub book tour in her white PR minivan. This is book PR at its best! See photos and notes! With this kind of PR and promotion chutzpah, Cai's novel is sure to hit the bestseller lists. WATCH!
Leg #2 of WEATHER WOMAN van tour begins. Heading north to Seattle and beyond, this time with honey Paul. @redhenpress
Is this a devoted partner, or what? Weather Woman @PaulCalandrino He's getting me ready for Leg #3 which starts on July 9th, just me, solo, going through Eastern Oregon, Eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado!
@WeatherWomanNovel van tour on Mercer Island @IslandBooks @redhenpress
Dear Friends and Readers,
Approximately four months remain until the publication of my new novel Weather Woman, and things are beginning to heat up!
This novel tells the story of a meteorologist who discovers she has the power to change the weather. But for that one fantastical element, it is a realistic novel that explores issues of female empowerment, women in science, mentorship, science vs. intuition, and climate change.
"I love this book so much I want to marry it...a beautifully brainy, indelibly moving, knock-your-socks-off novel...written with the dazzling surprise of a double rainbow." Caroline Leavitt, Novelist
"Even the most rational among us will find wisdom here, wonder, and truth." Eileen Pollack, Novelist
"We feel the emotional intensity that comes with connecting with the wild power of nature." Jason Box, Climate Scientist
In June and July, I will be driving the Weather Woman van to independent bookstores in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Colorado, distributing Advance Reader Copies and chatting with booksellers.
And starting in September, I will be reading and talking at various venues around the country.
New York City, September 13th, Reading at the Cornelia Street Cafe Long Beach, September 20th, Reading/Talk at Long Beach State University Santa Monica, September 25th, Reading at the Annenberg Beach House Eugene, October 14th, LAUNCH PARTY!, at Oregon Contemporary Theater Eugene, October 17th, Reading/Talk at University of Oregon Denver, CO, November 1st, Reading at Tattered Cover Northampton, MA, November 6th, Reading/Talk with Straw Dog Writer's Guild Portland, January 2nd, Reading/Talk at Yale Club
Check my website for details about unfolding Fall and Winter events. Let me know if you would like me to visit your area for a reading, a class, a book group meeting, or a talk. I am ready to travel and eager to discuss.
Finally, the book can be preordered, if you so wish!
BONUS PR INTERVIEW WITH CAI EMMONS
What prompted you to write about a character who controls the weather?
I grew up in New England where weather can change on a dime. I sometimes felt bad weather was my fault, and I wished I could change it. I would look up at the clouds and imagine maybe I was changing it. Eventually this longing gave rise to a character who really can change the weather.
You have a way of writing about the weather that makes the reader feel almost as moved by it as Bronwyn is. How much research did you do into meteorology and climate change in order to write this book?
As soon as I thought of the idea for this book it was apparent that a great deal of research would be necessary. While I have always been very interested in science, I have very little science background (early on I gravitated toward the arts). So, I tried to play catchup. I began with a 24-lecture DVD series from Great Courses, called “Meteorology: An Introduction to the Wonders of the Weather” taught by Robert Fovell of UCLA. This was a terrific introduction to the field of meteorology. Other standouts in my research were books by Elizabeth Kolbert, Bill McKibben, Craig Childs, Fred Pearce, among others. I read bits and pieces in physics texts that were way beyond me. I came across a gem of a book called The Cloud Collector’s Handbook by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, which contains pictures and descriptions of every kind of cloud. I talked to numerous science people including our local TV meteorologist, Candace Campos, now at News 6 in Orlando. And while browsing climate scientists on Twitter I began a dialogue with climate scientist Jason Box (he was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone as “The Ice Maverick”), which led to my traveling to Greenland in his company, a great privilege.
The book integrates elements of the supernatural or magical with elements of science. What was your approach to integrating these two things?
This was the part of the book that took the most work. In early drafts I tried to explain Bronwyn’s power scientifically, but it became clear to me that not only was I stretching scientific credibility and inviting skepticism, but it was also unnecessary. What was finally important was creating the conditions under which the reader could happily take a leap of faith.
There is an overall sense of positivity and generosity towards the world in the book. It’s striking because writing about things like climate change, or people just living their lives, in literary fiction often falls prey to a kind of reflexive negativity/cynicism. Did you set out to convey that tone?
Bronwyn feels deeply connected to the earth and appreciates the multitude of its expressions, even the destructive ones. I hope the reader will also marvel at the might and the beauty of the earth’s forces, and realize that those forces are far more powerful than humans are. In all honesty, while I hold a rather bleak view regarding the probability of human survival, I am an upbeat person in day-to-day life and I think the book’s tone emanates from that.
When Bronwyn finally accepts her abilities, she must take responsibility for what she does—and doesn’t do—to help the world. In many ways it’s a story about women and power, especially new-found power, and about what humans must do to heal the earth. Can you talk about that?
Yes, I definitely feel the over-arching theme of the book has to do with a woman wrestling with her power and trying to find the best expression for it. First, can she really accept herself that she has this power? Then: Who can she tell? Will she be believed? What will others think? Finally, what will she do with this power? For a shy, self-doubting woman who has been mocked in a graduate program these are difficult questions to answer, but she muddles through, as we all do. The primary question Bronwyn faces is the same question we all face going forward: We do have power but how do we use it? A corollary of that is: How do we best heal the earth? Is it the purview of one individual?
Have you ever traveled to Siberia? If not, how did you write about such a distant place? I have not been to Siberia, and for a long time I thought it would be impossible to write about such a distant, foreign place. But I knew the book had to end on the methane fields there, so I had no choice but to figure out how to write about it. Though there are many negative things to be said about being a writer in the digital age, the internet has made certain kinds of research possible that would have been impossible even a couple of decades ago. I started Googling various places in Siberia, found out that there is a weather station in Tiksi, Russia, and decided Tiksi was the right place for the book to end. Then I happened on a wonderful blog written by a young woman about her life in Tiksi. What a find! The pictures and the writing on the blog were so evocative they transported me there, and after that I felt confident to write about this place I’d never visited. Of course, I may have gotten a lot wrong, but what I sought to create was not verisimilitude, but an atmosphere, how it might feel to live in—or visit—a remote location near the Arctic circle.
I loved how the characters were all mature and responsible adults, and yet were still allowed to embrace change and discovery and wonder. It wasn’t a story about people being stuck, but rather being unconventional by choice. Discuss.
Bronwyn and Matt are both people who are reconsidering their choices and trying to find lives that are more in concert with who they see themselves to be. For this reason, they are open to change and discovery. Eventually, due to their influence, Diane, too, begins to rethink her choices. We have a tendency to think of life as moving forward along a straight linear path, plateauing sometime in mid-life, but in actual fact our lives often take radical turns, veering in new directions, possibly because we’re responding to something that has unexpectedly presented itself, or because we’re looking for something more satisfying or more authentic. Sometimes, when people appear to be stuck, they are not actually in stasis, but at one of these pivotal moments of change where a great deal is happening, at least internally.
Can you describe your writing process?
I am one of the few remaining long-hand writers. I write upon waking. We have a coffee maker in the bedroom and my partner brings me coffee and then leaves, and I begin work, propped up in bed, writing on a lined pad of paper, or in the blank book where I jot notes, ask myself questions, and lay out possible ideas for upcoming scenes (or stories or novels). These days I try to work out as much as I can about a novel before the actual writing begins. In the past, when I dove in too soon, I often wrote hundreds of pages I had to throw out. I write for 3-4 hours, or until duty calls. If I have time in the afternoons I type my handwritten material into the computer, making changes as I go, but the main work of revision is always done on a hard copy.
PW PHOTO in daily newsletter Below:
'Weather Woman' Hits the Road Author Cai Emmons prepares to take off on a three-part van tour to alert indie bookstores of her upcoming novel 'Weather Woman' (Red Hen Press).
Courtesy Press Shop PR
CAI WRITES: ''Is this a devoted partner, or what? Weather Woman @PaulCalandrino He's getting me ready for Leg #3 which starts on July 9th, just me, solo, going through Eastern Oregon, Eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado!''