Author Questions and Answers

corpsesFYI: Here is the list of questions my editor asked me to answer as new bonus material in the August 2015 reissue of “Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts: A History of Burial.” For me, it is easier to write about anything other than myself, but in the end I found the process stimulating and even fun:
What did you want to be when you grew up?
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
What’s your most embarrassing childhood memory?
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
As a young person, who did you look up to most?
What was your favorite thing about school?
What were your hobbies as a kid? What are your hobbies now?
What book is on your nightstand now?
How did you celebrate publishing your first book?
What inspired you to write Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts?
What was the research process like?
What was the most difficult part about writing this book?
Where do you write your books?
What challenges do you face in the writing process, and how do you overcome them?
What was your favorite book when you were a kid? Do you have a favorite book now?
Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to get back on track?
What do you want readers to remember about your books?
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
What would your readers be most surprised to learn about you?

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Susan B. Anthony

Portrait_of_Susan_B._Anthony_on_her_50th_birthday-255x300Susan B. Anthony’s advice to delegates at the 1895 National American Woman Suffrage Association Convention in Atlanta, Georgia: “Now, don’t all of you come to me to tell me how glad you are that I have worked for fifty years, but say rather that you are going to begin work yourselves.” For more information: www.pennycolman.com

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On Dealing with Death

corpsesJust got a heads up from a friend that the reissue of my book Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts: A History of Burial in a trade paperback edition with a new cover and bonus material, including a Q & A and discussion guide, is now available on Barnes and Noble, where you can pre-order and read my personal prologue. The publication date is 8/11/15. On the back cover is a preview of the paperback cover for Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony: A Friendship That Changed the World, due out in 2016.  There’s a link on the new home page of my website.

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Wildlife Galore

IMG_7936Jarred out of deep-writing-thinking by a cross between growls and bleats in my backyard I looked out the window–3 fawn skittering around, complaining about being caught in a downpour. I took the photo during a recent walk in my neighborhood . . . . wildlife galore around here!

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Women’s World Cup

Excited about watching the Women’s World Cup Final tonight and thinking about historic women athletes, in particular Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias, voted Woman Athlete & 9th Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century by AP. bd637610-40e4-446c-b195-502075716796“She is beyond all belief until you see her perform . .  .Then you finally understand that you are looking at the most flawless section of muscle harmony, of complete mental and physical coordination, the world of sport has ever seen,” wrote sportswriter Grantland Rice.  As a reminder of what Babe and other women were up against here’s what sportswriter Joe Williams thought: “It would be much better if she and her ilk stayed at home, got themselves prettied up and waited for the phone to ring.”

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Susan B. Anthony Crashed the All-Male July 4th, 1876 Celebration

10462597_10202750051735957_5738780758358195327_n-605x764 A lot of hoopla was held leading up to the Centennial 4th of July in 1876, none of it honoring women’s contributions, or even including women as participants.  So, Susan B. Anthony finagled five tickets to the all-male main event in Philadelphia on the 4th.  On an oppressively 4th of July, she, along with Matilda Joslyn Gage, Sara Andrews Spencer, Lillie Devereau Blake, Phoebe Couzins, silently sat in the audience until the Declaration of Independence was read. Then rising, undoubtedly majestically, they walked to the platform, where Susan B. Anthony handed the presiding official the document that she, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton had written for the occasion: Declaration of Rights of Women of the United States that included these word:  “From the earliest history of our country woman has shown equal devotion with man to the cause of freedom, and has stood firmly by his side in its defense. Together, they have made this country what it is. . . . We ask justice, we ask equality. . . be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever.

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Orphan Fawns

fawn“Bring a camera,” Linda whispered from the back porch. I did, and there they were–the orphans–eating my garden–sigh! Printing copies to send to various grandchildren at camp, including Sophie who, six years ago when the deer first appeared, sympathetically dubbed one of them “garden eater” . . . .because “deer don’t have grocery stores, Grammy.” Fireworks tonight just up the sidewalk at the high school–we’re noting that 2015 is the 95th anniversary of ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment!

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14th Amendment

Very cool!: I’ve been immersed in the 14th Amendment re my current book project so very cool to read this in Justice Kennedy’s majority decision in favor of same-sex couple’s right to marry: “under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty. The Court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry.” Onward!!!!!

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Fabulous Experience

Girl Scouts ECSJoan of Arc bestPC duetDSC04784Fabulous experience yesterday DSC04788taking granddaughter Sophie and the other terrific girls, members of Girl Scout troop 3700, to visit some New York City women’s history site. My daughter-in-law Katrin de Haen took wonderful photos. From left to right:  the display for Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the lobby of The Stanton, the apartment building named after her at 250 94th Street; Joan of Arc by Anna Vaugh Hyatt, 93rd and Riverside Drive; an impromptu duet with a passer-by at the Harriet Tubman Memorial of “O Let My People Go,” a song Tubman sang (two of the verses are carved in the curb around the memorial);  Swing Low: Harriet Tubman Memorial, 122nd Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard.

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It Rained!

rainTwo bummed-out looking twins whose grandmother and daddy didn’t pay close attention to the weather and got caught in a torrential rainstorm a long walk away from home!

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