Where and when can I buy the novel?

Buy the Limited Edition paperback through Original Impulse June 11th – 21st. Limited Edition no longer available.

Buy the paperback or e-version at Amazon or the e-version at iTunes.

Ask your local independent bookseller and library to order the book.

The ISBN is: 978-0-975-92242-2

Is there a launch party?

Yes! There was. It was a blast. See photos here.

When is the book signing tour?

I’m planning a fun indie author book tour for 2013. I’ll offer workshops and events in different US regions and in France.

Want me to come to your region? Drop me a note and let me know where you are and I’ll add it to the list.

Who is Sylvia Beach?

Sylvia Beach was an American bookseller in Paris. She ran the original Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris from 1919 – 1942.

She shut the shop down in the face of the Nazi occupation after refusing to sell a book to a Nazi officer. Sylvia died in her home in Paris in 1962.

For more about Sylvia and why I’ve been studying her since 1997, click here.

What genre is Chasing Sylvia Beach and who this book is for?

This is one of those cross-genre novels like Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I could say historical fiction, science fiction, or women’s fiction. I like calling it a good bookish mystery, too.

People who are dedicated to Paris will hopefully enjoy this book. It’s a way to vicariously have an experience in Paris that a certain kind of artist or writer dreams about. You saw how many people relish the thought of Paris’s Golden Age with the popularity of Woody Allen’s movie Midnight in Paris.

If you work at a bookstore, you will shelve this trade paperback in general fiction.

Why is Sylvia Beach being chased and by whom?

There’s a certain kind of person who’s destined to carve out a creative life. This is fairly obvious when your career or personal path doesn’t line up along traditional lines.

Once you accept an unconventional path, you’re still likely to need role models. People who have gone before you and people who have proven that following your intuition and creative impulses – against the advice of all around you – is actually a good thing.

My character Lily Heller is like me in her quest to understand what it takes to live an extraordinary life like Paris bookseller Sylvia Beach.

So Lily isn’t really chasing Sylvia, she’s merely trying to get closer to understanding her own life by witnessing Sylvia’s choices.

How long did it take you to write this book?

I started writing performance pieces about Sylvia Beach in 1997. Then I began the novel started in 1999.

Ultimately, it took seventeen drafts and thirteen years.

Why so long?

I was learning how to write a novel. I was building my coaching business. Many of the revisions took an entire year.

It takes time to write a book. It doesn’t have to take a dozen years, though!

How did you stick with the project through all those revisions?

I had no idea it would take thirteen years to get this book out. But I did know that persistence is the key to success in writing.

It was only by writing this book that I realized I am more tenacious than I knew. That’s a gift I got from sticking with it – knowing I have stamina. I can apply that to future projects.

My coaching skills absolutely pulled me through this. Alongside writing this book, I developed my career as a writer’s coach.

Motivation, goal setting and concrete tasks necessary to complete projects were always at the core of my conversations with clients.

The last twelve years has been an incubator of the creative process – both living it, writing about it, and helping others with their creative work. This understanding helped fuel me.

Finally, having strong public accountability really helped me stick with the novel when I wanted to give up.

What’s your connection to Paris?

In high school I chose to study French because of my mother’s Louisiana heritage and our roots in France. From then on, Paris occupied a mythic place in my heart and mind.

Instead of attending my high school graduation, I was on a plane to France for the first time. That was a coup de foudre – love at first sight. I’ve been going back ever since, putting my French degree to good use.

If you want to know the woo-woo part, I believe I had a past life in Paris in this era. Since childhood I’ve been inexplicably drawn to it, particularly Occupation-era Paris.

What advice do you have for someone wanting to write a book?

I’ve been teaching writers since 1996. I have a deep respect for this impulse. Writing and publishing take a great deal of dedication and work, but I believe that if you have the impulse to write, you must follow it.

Listen to that insistent voice that urges you to write. Start now.

See my Claim Your Authority series for guidance on writing the book only you can.

I’ve written books, e-books and hundreds of articles on this very thing – how to dig deep and write big. Through my company, Original Impulse I encourage and guide people to design their sustainable and satisfying writing life.