Lois Leveen

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May 15, 2013

Happy Birthday, Book!

One year ago today, my book went on sale.

Thanks to all the readers, book clubs, bookstore owners, librarians, event organizers, audience members, interviewers, reviewers, and everyone else who's made this such a fast-paced, inspiring, and amazing year for me and Mary Bowser!
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May 12, 2013

Maya Angelou, Keith Richards, and Me

I'm delighted that Kirkus Review and the Huffington Post named The Secrets of Mary Bowser on of best books to give as a Mother's Day gift.

I'm honored to appear on the list along with Maya Angelou's Mom & Me & Mom.

And a little perplexed to see we are both there along with Keith Richards' Life. (Although I suppose the rocker memoir is a better book for mom than for dad)

Things you don't dream of when you're writing your book: that anywhere in the universe, there is a Venn diagram in which the intersection of three sets involves Keith Richards, Maya Angelou, and you.
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May 8, 2013

Kindle this, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Yesterday, Amazon made THE SECRETS OF MARY BOWSER their Kindle Daily Deal.

Today, it continues to attract LOTS of new readers. So much so that I am now the #8 author in the Kindle store (most authors in the top 100 have out 4 or more books, because the ranking is for your total sales).

And SECRETS is ranked #3 for all books in the Kindle Store. Trailing some guy named F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Amazon Kindle Store

But his book has only 4 stars, while mine has 4.5

Now if I can just get Leonardo di Caprio to play Mary Bowser in the film version . . .
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May 1, 2013

Wikiwhere am I?

Wikiwars are afoot! (If you don't know what I mean, here's the scoop)

As a white woman novelist from the United States whose book based on the true story of a former slave who became a Union spy in the Confederate White House is told from the first-person POV of an African American character, I can hardly wait to see what category Wikipedia puts me in.

Lois playing accordion

Especially when John Lambert finds out I play the accordion.
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April 10, 2013

Devil’s Half-Acre

At several points in THE SECRETS OF MARY BOWSER, Mary refers to "Devil's Half-Acre," the site of Lumpkin's Jail, a public whipping post and slave auction site.
I was honored and awed to be asked to speak at that site on April 6, as part of the Future of Richmond's Past, a citywide commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and Emancipation.

When I arrived at the site, the African American woman I was with -- a Richmond native who spent the day showing me around and discussing the history of the black community -- told me she always feels uncomfortable being in that spot, knowing her own family members were likely bought and sold there. Fifteen minutes later and fifteen yards away, an older white woman came up to tell me she was almost done reading SECRETS for her book club next week. Then she mentioned that she's an officer of the local UDC (United Daughters of the Confederacy) chapter, and that they were doing a program on spies in January, and she was glad they could include Mary Bowser. I never imagined the UDC coming to embrace a former slave who spied for the Union. These two women did an amazing job of reminding me of the power of literature.

Here's the talk I gave. Apologies for the ambient noise!

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