A local book store is putting together a multi-author event, and they invited me to promote Yeshiva Girl, so I’m starting to feel the panic attacks coming on. The fact that I actually worked up the nerve to promote the book on the blog is light years ahead of what I could have managed even a year ago, so I may be expecting too much of myself. I’ve been inching towards a set of notes for a few different talks about the book: one on Orthodox Judaism, one about incest, one about self-publishing, etc., so that if I get the opportunity I may even have the nerve to go forward.
When I was watching the Golden Globes recently (mostly fast-forwarding through it, but still), I had a few moments of wondering who I would want to direct the movie version of Yeshiva Girl, and how it would be cast, and if I’d be able to work on the screenplay, and where I could fit in the musical numbers. For a long time, along with assuming that I would be published right away, I took it for granted that my books would be made into movies, or TV shows. I had the guy from The Sopranos, James Gandolfini, in mind to play the father, until he died a few years back. And I kept my eye out for a young actress who could possibly play Izzy, without remaking her into a supermodel. I didn’t really think about the difficulties of making a novel about incest into a Hollywood movie, I mean, look at the stories Steven Sondheim has made into Broadway musicals!
Another thing I’ve had in mind for a long time was to do a book tour where I would focus on listening to other people’s stories of child abuse, almost like a travelling version of the Shoah Foundation, which has taken testimony from every Holocaust survivor who has been willing to speak. It would be like having pop up MeToo meetings all over the world, with my book as the excuse for us to get together.
Sometimes I think about doing an audiobook version of the book, but it scares me too much for now. Everything scares me too much at this point. I really should look into getting Ellie certified as an emotional support dog, so that she can come with me to scary events, and maybe even do the presentation herself. I think she’d sell a lot of books!
If you haven’t had a chance yet, please check out my Amazon page and consider ordering the Kindle or Paperback version (or both!) of Yeshiva Girl.
Yeshiva Girl is about a Jewish girl on Long Island named Izzy (short for Isabel). Her father has been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with one of his students, which he denies, but Izzy implicitly believes that it’s true. Izzy’s father decides to send her to an Orthodox yeshiva for tenth grade, out of the blue, as if she’s the one who needs to be fixed. Izzy, in pain, smart, funny, and looking for people she can trust, finds that religious people are much more complicated than she had expected. Some, like her father, may use religion as a place to hide, but others search for and find comfort, and community, and even enlightenment.
(p.s. if you’re going to be on the North Shore of Long Island on Saturday March 9th, I’ll be at The Dolphin Bookstore, in Port Washington, between two and four in the afternoon. I’ll post again about this closer to the event.)
Have a great book event. Practice what you are going to say and read. Practice to your friends and family, until you know exactly what you’re going to do. Make eye contact. Speak loud enough so everyone can hear. Enunciate. Bring refreshments! Tell a joke! It will get easier every time you do it.