An Apricot Year, by Martha Egan
University of New Mexico Press
An Apricot Year by Martha Egan was the featured book on Writers’Block this week. It is a wonderful story about a woman whose life is turned upside down and inside out by circumstances. A gift that should have lead to a joyous experience opens the door to a future Luli Russell never anticipated. Faced with starting over she gets caught up in the lives of strangers who soon become friends. These associations will bring her a new outlook on life, unexpected relationships and a new found appreciation for New Mexico, its art, color, traditions and people.
Martha will be the guest at an author event at Tome on the Range, 3 p.m., Sunday March 11. She is a writer, entrepreneur and importer of folk art. Her shop, Pachamama, in Santa Fe features imports from Latin America. Her experiences related to the import business lead her to write Clearing Customs, in response to what she refers to the US Customs Service’s “dirty little war on small import businesses.”
An ApricotYear is a study in character, place and relationships. Luli becomes involved in the shady side of the art business without realizing it, but the bad guy – though undoubtedly involved in art fraud – is also generous in his way. Luli is perhaps a bit naïve, which shouldn’t be interpreted as weak. Despite a defunct marriage and years of being a traditional stay-at-home wife and mom, she finds freedom in the knowledge that against the odds she is a survivor.
Martha’s experiences in the folk art world and as a shop owner in Santa Fe are reflected in the storyline as Luli seeks work in a town were finding a living wage job is next to impossible. It says a lot about Luli that she doesn’t hesitate to take on work that even her family finds unsettling.
The following information is from online resources:
The author’s interest in Latin American folk art began in the mid-‘60s in Mexico City, where she was a student at the Universidad de las Américas. She graduated in 1967 with a B.A. in Latin American History, followed by two years as a Peace Corps volunteer working with credit unions in rural Venezuela.
Martha’s works include award-winning novels Clearing Customs (2004), Coyota (2007), and La Ranfla & Other New Mexico Stories (2009) and two non-fiction titles—Milagros: Votive Offerings from the Americas and Relicarios: Devotional Miniatures from the Americas.
Gayle Gross is a writer, entrepreneur and owner of 10daybookclub.com. She’s on a quest to change the world, which might seem like a big undertaking until you spend some time talking to her. Following a four-month retreat, she created a platform for authors where their work can be critiqued and where social networking training is available. Signing in as a member is free; fees apply to services. The fees are affordable. For $10 a writer can have his or her work read by a virtual book club and get feedback. A second benefit is a 15-minute prep interview with 10daybookclub that gives authors insight into ways they can use social networking as a marketing tool.
Gayle comes across as smart, creative and dynamic. Her background is in creative and professional relationship development. Her LinkedIn recommendation describe her as an entrepreneur and “the best hand-holder of budding writers and authors.”
Gayle has an active Facebook page and takes advantage of beneficial social networking tools. In developing her concept she offered shares to trusted friends. As the company grows she sees the initial benefactors as key to making the venture successful, and expects they will benefit.
“One thing that emerged from my retreat is the certainty that in everything I do I want to give back. Helping others is an important part of 10daybookclub.com.”
Based in Colorado, Gayle is building a network of resources to meet the needs of her growing client base. She attended Devry University and Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.
Her LinkedIn connections exceed 500 and the membership of 10daybookclub has passed the 5,000 mark.
· 10 Day Book Club (click here for membership information)
Gayle’s commitment to make good things happen for authors makes this an excellent tool for writers to put in their toolboxes.