In the era of big hair, hefty shoulder pads, Reaganomics and Madonna of the 1980s, four newspaper women are desperately seeking success. Maureen, Tina, Elektra, and Sarah bond over their love of newswriting and cats but learn female friendships can be as tricky to navigate as love affairs. When Sarah slips into unconsciousness after an accident, her friends resort to feline subterfuge to wake her from the state they call “cat dreaming.” It's all about cats, media and the elusive power of animal companionship. A wickedly funny romp into women's fiction.
Cat Dreaming: A Story of Friendships and Second Chances explores the events that brought the friends together and the changes that could pull them apart – unless they accept the faults in each other and in themselves.
Inspired by her years in the trenches of journalism at the Boston Herald, the Stamford Advocate and the Associated Press, author Stephanie Schorow takes readers on a wickedly funny and fantastical romp through the 1980s, seeking to answer the question: Why are women often their own worst enemies?
I will present a special multimedia show about my new novel Cat Dreaming: A Story of Friendships and Second Chances, on Saturday, March 2, from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Jamaica Plain Branch of the BPL at 30 South Street in Jamaica Plain in Boston.
With a soundtrack and images from the 1980s, readings from the text, some cat talk, and a discussion on the transition from nonfiction to fiction, this will not be your typical author reading.
Additionally, I will also offer writing tips and techniques that I hope will be useful to other writers, gleaned from my 50 years as a journalist, freelancer, nonfiction author and now novelist.
The presentation will be hybrid. See https://bpl.bibliocommons.com/events/64e8c6d15c4d5341003d3768
Published by Small Town Girl Publishing,
an imprint of Brother Mockingbird Publishing.
Read an interview with Stephanie here.
For videos of excerpts of my book, see my YouTube channel.
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Cat dreaming is a state between consciousness and sleep, both lucid and hazy. In cat dreaming, cats chase mice, birds, fish or leaves endlessly and effortlessly. Yarn hangs from the sky, feathers drift from the ceiling, tiny rubber balls never escape under the dresser out of reach. Cats can prowl along mossy trails, across alleys, through bushes and closets and screen doors. That’s why cats sleep so much. They aren’t sleeping; they are cat dreaming.
Even when Tina started to nibble food, it seemed something remained broken inside her, and her body held on to the damage for the rest of her senior year. Her sorority sisters told her she was a slender slip of a woman with pale blue eyes and corn-silk blonde hair. They said men turned to look at her in the street. They told her she was still oh so thin. But in the mirror, Tina saw a little fat girl with bad skin.
When Maureen got up to go to the bathroom, her cat Hercules padded over to Tina and jumped in her lap, a huge furry weight. She found herself putting her arms around him and hearing a rusty purr. Maureen returned and smiled her approval.
“Oh, he likes you,” said Elektra. “He knows a cat person.”
“Oh no,” Tina said. “I don’t have any plans to get a cat.”
“You forget that, like nature, cats abhor a vacuum,” Sarah said, waving her glass. “When one cat goes, another appears. I learned this back when I was living in Dallas.”
Everything about Maureen O’Malley was emphatic, her height, her solid figure, her mass of chestnut hair framing a square face with porcelain skin. Her blazer had shoulder pads with the heft of submarine sandwiches, her nails were gleaming ovals of scarlet, and a green and coral scarf was wrapped precisely around her neck. “Okay, okay, Elektra. Yeah, that’s fine. Let’s say you get this in by Tuesday morning. All right? Good.” She hung up the phone with a thud, and muttered, “Actually the deadline is Wednesday but she doesn’t need to know that,” and turned to Tina.
Tina was fixated by Elektra’s smooth olive skin and frothy hair; a cascade of raven curls brushed her shoulders and flowed over her forehead. Her lips were slathered with cherry red and her azure-lidded eyes danced around the table, joyously acknowledging the other writers.
Stephanie Schorow is an award-winning reporter and editor, college writing instructor, and the author of nine nonfiction books on topics such as fires, crime, drinking, and sexual politics. She has been an editor, reporter and/or freelance correspondent for the Boston Herald, the Associated Press, the Boston Globe, and newspapers in Missouri, Idaho, Utah, and Connecticut.
Her books include: The Cocoanut Grove Nightclub Fire; The Great Boston Fire: The Inferno that Nearly Incinerated the City; Inside the Combat Zone: The Stripped Down Story of Boston's Most Notorious Neighborhood; The Crime of the Century; and East of Boston: Notes from the Harbor Islands.
Her most recent book is A Boston Harbor Island Adventure: The Great Brewster Journal of 1891. It is the story of four intrepid women who spend 17 days on the remote Great Brewster Island in Boston Harbor and create an intriguing album of their adventures.
After a search for some fun books based in the awesome '80s, and having no luck finding anything, we decided to begin a publishing company for just those totally rad books and author. See: https://www.smalltowngirlpublishing.com
Small Town Girl Publishing is an imprint of Brother Mockingbird Publishing.
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
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