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Why Don’t You Sneak a Peek?

So.

This came in the mail Wednesday.not without my father book

You peeked first, Dear Reader. Well, after the publisher. And MTM and me.

Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace launches January 15, 2015 at Nashville’s Parnassus Books. If you’re in the Nashville area, or you’d like an excuse to be, the party starts at 6:30pm.

Does this sound like a book you’d like to read, Dear Reader? It’s the current back-of-book blurb. If it doesn’t make you want to reach out and devour the book, the folks at Word Hermit Press would love to know.

NOT WITHOUT MY FATHER: ONE WOMAN’S 444-MILE WALK OF THE NATCHEZ TRACE
Andra Watkins

For Fans Of: Cheryl Strayed, Paul Stutzman, Bill Bryson and Suzanne Roberts

Andra Watkins, author of To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, wanted to launch her debut novel with a splash: She would be the first living person to walk the historic 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did. She planned to walk fifteen miles a day for thirty-four days, taking readers into the world of her novel.

She thought walking more than a half-marathon every day would be fun.

But she needed a wingman, someone to drop her off and pick her up fifteen miles later. After approaching everyone in her life, she was left with her eighty-year-old father. And his gas. The sleep apnea machine and self-scratching. Sharing a bathroom with a man who couldn’t aim.

As Watkins trudged America’s forgotten highway, she almost lost herself in despair and pain. Nothing happened according to plan, including finding her father. In arguments and laughter, tears and fried chicken, they redeemed their relationship near the end of his life. In Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace, Watkins invites readers to join her dysfunctional family adventure in a humorous, heartbreaking and uplifting tale that challenges everyone to embrace loved ones while they still can.

∗               ∗               ∗

Andra Watkins lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Michael T Maher. A non-practicing certified public accountant, she has a degree in accounting from Francis Marion University. She’s still mad at her mother for refusing to let her major in musical theater, because her mom was convinced she’d end up starring in porn films. Her acclaimed first novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis was published by Word Hermit Press on March 1, 2014. Read more about Andra at andrawatkins.com.

Publication Date: 1/15/15 ISBN 13: 978-0-9908-5930-7 Price: $14.99 Genre: Memoir Format: PB, 6” x 9” Est Pgs.: 230 For editorial questions, email publisher@wordhermitpress.com

44 Comments Post a comment
  1. rod #

    It’s too long.

    October 9, 2014
  2. omg, i am so excited. spoken like a groupie of the highest order.

    October 9, 2014
  3. I’ll be getting the book because of the author. The blurb. It does not particularly grab me as I am a very cantankerous Yankee who does not want his heartstrings pulled, BUT it is exactly right to grab many of my friends and acquaintances.
    “As Watkins trudged America’s forgotten highway, she almost lost herself in despair and pain. Nothing happened according to plan, including finding her father…”
    Is there a way they can put this paragraph higher up? It somehow feels like they are burying the lead.

    October 9, 2014
  4. I look forward to getng a copy in January. As I read the blurb, I would think that Roy is no longer amongst the living, which I think is not true….just sayin’.

    October 9, 2014
  5. Could be a tad long for some folks, but I hung on every word. Of course I am a nerd so you can’t go by my response.

    October 9, 2014
  6. menomama3 #

    Hell ya! I’ll be your fan-girl again. Looking forward to it, Andra.

    October 9, 2014
  7. Awesome!

    October 9, 2014
  8. I’m with Lisa: Awesome! I am more than ready to get started on your next book…bring it on!

    October 9, 2014
  9. Woooohooo!!! Can’t wait. “What a long strange trip it’s been….”

    October 9, 2014
  10. I can’t wait to read it! I also wondered about the phrasing “near the end of his life”. It does sound like he’s gone. ???!

    October 9, 2014
  11. Fabulous! Looking forward to it!

    October 9, 2014
  12. Love it and excited to read more “Roy Boy” stories.

    October 9, 2014
  13. As someone else mentioned, it sounds like Roy is no longer with us.

    While others say it’s a tad too long, it’s well-written and entertaining enough that once I started reading, I wasn’t about to stop until I reached the end. I’ve read longer back cover blurbs. Frankly, I would prefer a long one to a short one anyway. I like knowing what I’m getting myself into when I buy a book 🙂

    October 9, 2014
  14. Cindy Duryea #

    Cannot wait.

    October 9, 2014
  15. Coolness. You are on a roll. Two books published within 12 months is amazing to me. Good job, Andra.

    October 9, 2014
  16. I will buy this book because of you, Andra, not the book blurb. It really isn’t too long or too short. Your humor peaks out, but the blurb doesn’t really grab me and yell “READ ME!” I can’t wait to read it though (and review it)

    October 9, 2014
  17. Musical theater. I’ll be chuckling at that all day long. Oh, and the book thing is pretty cool too.

    October 9, 2014
  18. I was excited about this book long before the blurb. I do agree with the comments you’ve gotten. It also takes a bit to get into “the meat” of the blurb.

    October 9, 2014
  19. This is so exciting, Andra! I don’t think it’s too long for a back-of-book blurb (or as a synopsis on Amazon, etc.). I do agree that the sentence, “In arguments and laughter, tears and fried chicken, they redeemed their relationship near the end of his life.” sounds like he is no longer here. I think just ending the sentence at the words relationship would be perfect. You’ve established that he was 80, so I think it’s assumed that this is the latter stage of his life, and by removing those last words, you remove the ambiguity.

    Love the humour you’ve injected.
    Lumping yourself in with Cheryl Strayed may or may not be a good thing. I really didn’t like Wild at all, but… with the film just hitting the festivals a month or so ago, you may get a crowd of pop culture enthusiasts that latch onto anything Hollywood (or close to it).

    Can’t wait to read this book – because I care about YOU and your stories!

    October 9, 2014
  20. Congratulations!!!!! I laughed and cried just reading the back cover blurb!!! Musical theater’s loss is book lovers’ gain. Porn not withstanding…

    October 9, 2014
  21. Lance #

    GREAT! I can’t wait. I’ve recommended your other book to so many people. Can’t wait.

    October 9, 2014
  22. Alice #

    The length seems fine. Kind of agree about the “towards the end of his life” thing as well. But damn, I LOVE the musical theater bit in the bio. Awesome, can’t wait to read it.

    October 9, 2014
  23. Your bio just gets better 😉 I agree with the points about burying the lede and that it reads as though your dad has passed already, but otherwise I am all in, and as we’ve talked about, memoir doesn’t grab me unless I can smell a good story.

    October 9, 2014
  24. MeMeMe! I want to see the Advance Reading Copy! I like the blurb. And seriously, if you’d made porn, I would watch it. Not to see you nekkid. Just as a supportive friend. And for the male that would, presumably, be in it too.

    October 9, 2014
  25. Kristin Cobb #

    Can’t wait!!! Sounds awesome!!!

    October 9, 2014
  26. Wow, I can’t wait to read (and listen) Andra! Your cover photo does a great job drawing us into the setting and down the Trace managing to look spooky, mysterious and pretty at the same time. 🙂

    October 9, 2014
  27. tarakianwarrior #

    Why did this make me cry? Yes, I’m sitting here in my office…crying. I can hardly wait! I am so dang proud of you and your accomplishments. Is it okay if I take the portion that is the back of the book and send it along with the extra books I purchased to the Library? I want to let them know that you are not only an author of one book, but of two, and another one on the way. You are so totally awesomesauce!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please let me know if it’s okay.

    October 9, 2014
    • Lori, if your local library is open to receiving an ARC, I’ll be happy to put them on the list for one. You just need to let me know the specific person you’ve been working with, along with their mailing details. I can let you know when the ARCs ship, and you can wait a few days and reach out to them. Will that work?

      Several libraries have been very supportive of TLF. They’ve bought multiple copies and given them to patrons with strong recommendations. (NY Public Library is among them.) If you tell your contact that, it might pique their interest for NWMF.

      October 10, 2014
      • tarakianwarrior #

        Thank you.

        October 13, 2014
  28. Congrats again, Andra!

    October 9, 2014
  29. I can’t wait to read this! Congratulations!!!

    October 9, 2014
  30. I agree with Robert in that you are burying the lead. Get into it sooner. And perhaps reword the bit about the end of his life. And I might start with that. “Nothing in life goes as planned. Then jump into getting to know your dad

    October 9, 2014
  31. SQUEEE
    OK. That was too short. But now I’ve added more words.
    SQUEEEEE

    October 9, 2014
  32. Oh, Andra, I’m so excited for you – and for me, too. I can’t wait to read this. I am really liking the cover and the use of “wingman”. Would it work better at the beginning?

    October 9, 2014
  33. Debbie #

    Well I’m sold! How do I get the advanced reader copy? Please, please, please! I do agree that it’s sounds like your Dad is no longer with us. You need to change that.

    October 9, 2014
  34. Good luck with the book…..you deserve it.

    October 10, 2014
  35. That sounds like it is going to be amazing! I can imagine I will be laughing and crying already. It will certainly be something to look forward to at a time of year that I sometimes find a little flat. Good luck with it all!

    October 10, 2014
  36. Yay on this ARC! So cool to see the cover! I like the blurb, but agree that it is a little long. Also, these sentences give away the ending: “As Watkins trudged America’s forgotten highway, she almost lost herself in despair and pain. Nothing happened according to plan, including finding her father. In arguments and laughter, tears and fried chicken, they redeemed their relationship near the end of his life.” A blurb should engage a reader, but not tell the whole story. You want readers to wonder whether or not you triumphed over despair and read to find out if you did. But if you tell them ahead of time that you did, they won’t have to read the book to learn that for themselves. I would cut those two lines.

    October 10, 2014
  37. Please know I’m not ignoring everyone here today. I read all these comments yesterday in an eight hour round trip jaunt to Shelby, North Carolina for a book event. I appreciate your feedback. The consistent strains were: too long (ARCs are typically longer than final blurb, but point taken for final book copy); Dad is not dead; get the experience with Dad in the first paragraph; and Linda’s great ‘don’t give away the end.’

    I have to get this book to the publisher by 5pm today, but I didn’t want to fail to tell you how much I appreciate you. This feedback fundamentally changed the ARC blurb, which will help craft a home run final book blurb, and I appreciate it more than I can say.

    Where a couple of you have asked questions about getting copies for various outlets above, I’m going to respond. Please don’t think my non-response to the rest of you means I didn’t read and value your comment.

    October 10, 2014
  38. I am so excited for you! I almost jumped out of my chair when I saw the cover! Love it!

    October 10, 2014
  39. Oh my gosh, YES, Andra. This is a fabulously enticing introduction to the book. I can’t wait to read it. I think we all feel we know so much about the walk and what it represented, but we don’t know the intimate day-to-day challenges and there is so much more to know about you and Roy–together on an extraordinary quest. Congratulations!

    October 11, 2014
  40. I’ve been absent. Double-migraine-with-chocolate-chips, lasting more than a week. But what treat to come back to. Just can’t wait to download this, Andra.

    October 11, 2014
  41. Reblogged this on Thoughts by Mello-Elo and commented:
    Meet a great author, Andra Watkins and her new book…

    October 11, 2014

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