Parisian Phoenix has passed its nine month anniversary this month. This business is like a new relationship: every month matters. Next week, specifically June 23 and June 25, we have two special events.
On June 23, Not the Quiet French Kid, a novelette from the Fashion and Fiends series focused on the origin story of Jules Zweigenbaum, officially launches.
On June 25, Joan Zachary, our photographer, will lead a presentation to the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group (GLVWG) on the intersection of photography and the craft of designing books. Art Director Gayle Hendricks and I will join her primarily as side kicks.
Yesterday, we received our first advance copies of Not the Quiet French Kid. We hosted a clumsy unboxing video here and a poll on Instagram regarding whether or not people like our matte (vs. glossy) cover. So far the answer is yes.
Random trivia: In 1996, I visited Paris for the first time as part of a college course on “Art and Politics.” We spent the mornings in lectures and the afternoon at sites that would illustrate what we had just heard. Think the castle at Blois, Versailles, the Louvre. On my last night in Paris, I tried to steal a phone book from a phone booth. (Both of these are alien concept to the current coming-of-age generation.) I wanted it to help name French characters.
My professor, a native Parisian, stopped me and promised to get me the phone book on his next trip home which would be later that summer.
(Here’s the funny part. He mailed it. Media mail. So every day I would show up in his office and ask if my phone book arrived. It took six months. I still have that phone book.)
I randomly opened the phone book and that’s how Jules Zweigenbaum got his name. I managed to find a not-very-French name in the back of the Paris phone book.
The new novelette features Jules’ experience moving from Southern France to California, recreating life in American high school in the 1990s, and dips its toe into horror fiction with a lighter, coming-of-age, dare I say, young adult vibe. It’s about 40,000 words if I remember correctly, retailing for $6.99 and includes excerpts from all three of the Fashion and Fiends novels. Jules makes his debut in volume two, Courting Apparitions, but has a more prominent role in volume three, Recovery.
The next book, Road Trip, chronicles his adventures with his younger sister, Minette, and their older brother, Benji. This is the first full-length book in the series that has only one viewpoint character, Jules himself.
GLWVG meets at the Palmer branch of the Easton (Pa.) Public LIbrary, and they have been broadcasting their gatherings on Zoom in addition to in person. I hope some of you will consider coming to our presentation. It begins at 11 a.m. For more information, visit GLVWG.org. The Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group allows people to visit an event before they join.