Thanks for joining me on the 2012 MARA-thon! This includes a physical book tour through Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California, and it includes a national blog tour. During the entire MARA-thon, please be sure to download your FREE prequel short story, When Whales Watch at www.MaraPurl.com/downloads. As of January 1, you’ll be able to find purchase links for all e-readers at http://marapurl.com/books/when-whales-watch.
This is posted from the road during my All-Indie-Bookstore book tour titled MAPPING THE JOURNEY OF YOUR HEART. Revisit the entire tour at any time by visiting www.MaraPurl.com/calendar where you’ll see event details, links to the bookstores, and soon, photo archives. Also join me on the ongoing Double Blog Tour, which will be archived at http://marapurl.com/fall-blog-tour-schedule.
Legends adhere to certain locations the way perfume clings to a silk scarf. So although one stretch of magnificent coastline might be much like another geographically, there’s something about Malibu and its storied past that hangs in its rarified ocean air like a fine aroma.
When I first moved to Los Angeles as a young actress and writer I had no awareness of this rich history, but Malibu was a magnet for me as a place to find refuge from the city, communion with the ocean, and inspiration from the Muse. Malibu was a small, coastal village with weather-beaten structures and salt-sprayed vehicles. The well-worn Malibu pier offered a way to step away from land and float over the Pacific for a few moments. On sunny days the crystalline beauty would restore my sense of magic. When low clouds or fog shrouded the coastline, I could escape the perpetual California sun-bake and drift into the moodiness needed to write my mystery storylines.
Then I’d head for a funky little shack that offered diner-food and good, strong coffee served in a thick, white mug. I’d sit on the narrow balcony, which seemed to be fastened to the building by nothing more than a pair of nails. I’d let my gaze find the horizon, then glance down at the fresh yellow pad I always carried with me. My pen would start to fly across that paper, filling the pages with episodic television scripts and song lyrics, screenplays and story treatments, disembodied scenes that might later fit into a play, and even the beginnings of a serial drama I hoped to write one day.
Eventually I had several friends who lived in Malibu and joined them for mountain hikes with panoramic ocean views, or dinner parties where the background sound of pounding surf was nearly drowned out by the pounding of my heart at keeping company with directors and writers I so admired, As I gathered some credits of my own and, Malibu became once again a place of refuge where I’d meet friends for Sunday brunches, catching up while we waited in long lines then sitting at minuscule tables for some fabulous seafood Benedicts. I even house sat in Malibu for a stretch, writing feverishly in that rarified setting, all my moments spent there over the years becoming seeds that later bloomed into my own coastal serial story Milford-Haven.
So it was a full-circle thrill—and perfect timing—when Malibu’s brand new independent store invited me to be part of their Grand Opening as part of the tour for my brand new (California coastal) novel. Located strategically in one of Malibu’s only shopping centers, the store is as enticing and delightful as you might hope, with a few extras not every indie bookstore can boast. Café? Check. Good children’s section? Check. Places to sit and relax? Check. And the brand new Kobo Reader download service? Check. But then there are the extras: collectible first editions; a list of local authors that reads like a who’s-who of celebrities; and, of course, the view.
Who is it who dared to open an independent store in this era of bookstore closures? None other than Clarey Rudd, an independent book seller with thirty year personal experience and a family history of bookselling. You might think he actually knows what he’s doing. And he does! We became acquainted when we both served on the board of the California Literary Arts Society in Ventura. That’s when I first visited his original store — Bank of Books on Ventura’s Main Street. His original two-storied store is a treasure trove of every new or used book imaginable. It restores the word “browse” to its original meaning, where instead of squinting at tiny book-cover images on a screen, one picks up volumes fo test their heft and thickness, detailed cover imagery and font, paper quality and dust-covers.
All this experience came into play when they hired the lovely Anne Vanoy as the store’s manager, and she in turn proved her worth immediately at their Grand Opening. She chose an impressive line-up of authors, provided a small stage with a sound system that pulled in the folks who’d otherwise have walked by, and invited authors to share their reasons for writing their newest book. Nearby Pepperdine University sent their broadcast journalist to cover the event for local cable television and a photographer captured images for the store’s archives. When it was my turn, I found an engaged audience who asked the kind of stimulating questions that keep me coming back for more.
The new store is the latest jewel in the Rudd family’s crown. Their decision to open a new bookstore at this moment is both a stroke of genius and a vote of confidence in the recovering economy. It provides a Main-Street-style service to a busy, active community of smart, accomplished people. It makes a new wave in a place famous for making waves. And on the California coastal map, it has added a small jewel that will only get more polished as visitors discover it.
If you’re in the Malibu area, Bank of Books has a few signed copies of my new novel Where the Heart Lives. Or you can order your hardcover or e-book at your favorite on-line bookseller. And don’t forget that my gift to you is the FREE short story prequel, When Whales Watch. The special page where you can find links to all e-book readers, or a PDF download if you don’t have an e-reader is www.MaraPurl.com/downloads. Join me in Milford-Haven and discover where your heart lives.
For more information on the evolving world of The Milford Haven Novels, visit my new website www.MaraPurl.com where you can subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on social media, enjoy photos and videos, discover more special offers and more.