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Tuesday - April 20, 2021

No One Said it Would be Easy

Bookends by McClellend Barclay (1891 - 1943)
“Dad, why do you work so hard?” My father was president of a family-owned paint company, in Hoboken, New Jersey started by his father and his father’s two brothers, Barney and Louie. As the dutiful son he was primed to take over the business as soon as he graduated college with a degree in chemistry. He never left Hoboken White Lead Paint and Chemical Company (the home of Hoboken Harry) although other offers came his way. He always thought about his parents and uncles first and could not imagine abandoning them. So he persevered, driving 140 miles roundtrip each day across the George Washington Bridge, leaving our house in Westchester at 7 am and returning at 7 pm in time for dinner with my mother. It was grueling but it afforded us the perks of suburban living.

What did my father answer to my question? He said, “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.” In his case, running a successful paint company that competed with the big manufacturers – Sherwin Williams and other behemoths. He carved out a niche and had a book of loyal clients whom he nurtured. He was affable and honest and had an engaging personality – handsome too. His response to me as a curious teenager is one that has carried me through my life. “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.”

When I decided to write a novel in the midst of running Write Wisdom, I could not have imagined the obstacles that would have stood in my way or the years that it would consume – I’m too embarrassed to tell you how long. Let’s just say it was more than a decade. I heard all the reasons why agents would not represent me; all the editors that slashed and burned pages and chapters that I labored over, titles that I jettisoned, almost offers that didn’t materialize into a commitment. But I persevered and 
All Sorrows Can Be Borne, will be published on May 11, 2021 by Rare Bird.

So thank you, Dad. I hope you will be proud of me. And forgive me for the one piece of advice that I didn’t follow, “Why don’t you become a lawyer? You can make good money and the work is steady.”
Preorder “All Sorrows Can Be Borne” on Amazon
Authors’ Megaphone

Last Month, Effy Pfefferman, author of Never Give Up, and Loren Stephens, the head of Write Wisdom, were featured in a webinar hosted by the Holocaust Museum LA. Effy told his story and described his life during the Holocaust in Romania. At the end of his formal remarks, both Effy and Loren answered questions from the live viewers. You can now watch the recorded version of the webinar on the museum’s Facebook page (you don’t need an account to view), where it’s been watched by close to 800 people. Effy is currently speaking to many more Holocaust Museums across the country and is scheduling more webinars for the future.

Additionally, Effy’s son, Oren (along with his sons), made a touching promotional video for the event that can be seen below.

Effy’s Webinar with Holocaust Museum LA
Oren’s Promotional Video for Effy
George Kolber and Charles Kolber have launched a stunning new website for their book, Thrown Upon the World. The website features sections on their background, interviews with the authors, expert reviews, events, and news coverage, as well as a free preview of several chapters.
(L) George Kolber, (R) Charles Kolber
“Thrown Upon the World” Official Website
Nothing sends shivers up the spine of an author than to see their book listed on Amazon with a notice, “currently unavailable.” Jeff Pink has just signed on with Brodie Consulting Group to reinstate his memoir and get his book into the hands of devoted fans of the Orly brand and readers interested in a behind-the-scenes look at the one of the world’s most famous beauty companies – how it was started and built and survived the ups and downs of a global economy and changing consumer tastes. This memoir will be available at the end of April 2021.
Judge Herb Dodell, author of From the Trench to the Bench (available on Amazon), has a weekly radio show on Apple Podcasts, For the People With Judge Herb Dodell. Each week he addresses a timely topic or invites a guest. His show on March 29 follows on a previous show on the George Floyd murder trial. He expresses the position that this case is being tried in the media and most people have already made up their minds. He predicts that the case will end in one of three ways: a hung jury; an acquittal; or a sentence of manslaughter. Let’s see if his opinion is supported by the facts. Authors looking for opportunities to promote their book should take a page from Judge Dodell’s playbook and consider creating a topical radio show. Fascinating listening, Herb!
“From the Trench to the Bench” Available on Amazon
What’s the Team Up To?
All Sorrows Can Be Borne, Loren’s debut novel, will drop on May 11, 2021. Advance copies can be ordered on Amazon (link below). Inspired by true eventsAll Sorrows Can Be Borne is the story of Noriko Ito, a Japanese woman faced with unimaginable circumstances that force her to give up her son to save her husband. The novel is set in Hiroshima, Osaka, Tokyo and the badlands of Montana.

Check out the upcoming blog tour dates for All Sorrows Can Be Borne here.
Preorder “All Sorrows Can Be Borne” on Amazon
Advance Praise for All Sorrows Can Be Borne:

"So many of us have suffered this past year or so. Many of us have had to dig deep within ourselves to learn how to bear sorrows and loss. Many of us have looked to the past for inspiration to get through difficult times. For all these reasons, Loren Stephens' All Sorrows Can Be Borne has come at the exact right time. Inspired by true events and real people, the story looks at pain and suffering but also the ultimate triumph of love, forgiveness, and compassion. I loved the book."

Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author of The Island of Sea WomenThe Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, and many more

All Sorrows Can Be Borne is a harrowing story of love and betrayal, all the more heartbreaking because it is based on family history. Post-war Japan comes alive in these pages, and even the most unforgivable acts make a tragic kind of sense when viewed through the prism of violence that marked every one of the war's survivors. As this tale makes clear, in the wake of such trauma, humans can do the unthinkable, both to and for the ones they love."

Aimee Liu, author of Glorious Boy

"Starting with the heart-wrenching opening chapter of All Sorrows Can be Borne, Loren Stephens weaves a tale of love, family and loss with a page-turning plot. Both harrowing and tender, this generous and emotional novel pulls you into a story of character and place that’s hard to put down. This is a beautiful book."

Barbara Abercrombie, author of The Language of Loss
Josh Stephens recently reviewed Land, Simon Winchester's new book about the history of land ownership (it's more interesting than it sounds!), and In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower, by Davarian Baldwin, which scrutinizes the relationship between universities and their host cities. Josh also advises students on college applications and has written some strong words about the craziness that this year's high school seniors are facing, caused in part by the demise of the SAT. He wrote about the impact of the pandemic on college applications, and he has some recommendations for reforming the application process. 
In Memoriam
“My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night.
But, ah my foes and oh my friends –
It gives a lovely light.”

                                           - The First Fig, Edna St. Vincent Millay
Cliff Simon burned his candle at both ends, living life to the fullest and touching everyone he met with his lovely light. He was an adventurer, a world class athlete, a mesmerizing actor whose presence on the screen commanded your attention, an animal lover, a shepherd of the environment, a sailor, a true gentleman, an author, a bad ass guy with a gentle soul. He was guided by a strong moral compass from which he never deviated no matter the cost.

The world is a little darker for his absence. To his beautiful wife and soulmate, Colette, his family in South Africa, Israel, and the United States, and to the countless people whom he called brother, friend, comrade in arms, we send our deepest condolences. Our hearts are broken. Ride on Cliff.
Loren Stephens' Twitter
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