Several months ago, I wrote a guest post for Kathy Pooler’s Memoir Writer’s Journey blog. She posts weekly on Mondays and mixes her own posts with those of other writers she invites to share their views with her readers. The post I contributed is titled “One reason not to publish a memoir” and located right here: https://krpooler.com/?s=Laura+McHale+Holland
I want to have more conversations with readers and writers, particularly those interested in memoirs, healing and literary fiction. If you’d like me to contribute to your blog or podcast, or if you’d just like to share some thoughts with me, get in touch using this website’s contact form.
I look forward to hearing from you!
I joined three other authors for a lively evening of readings at Copperfield’s Books in Santa Rosa. We all read from our recently published memoirs. The four authors seated left to right are Patty Somlo, Nathaniel Winters, me (Laura McHale Holland) and Alicia Schooler-Hugg.
I read a slightly adapted excerpt (I had to trim and condense a bit to fit the time allotted) of a winter’s day in high school when a good friend and I cut school and drove along slush-filled streets while smoking Old Gold filters and listening to WLS AM radio. Where did we end up? You’ll have to read Resilient Ruin: A memoir of hopes dashed an reclaimed to find out.
Charlene Jones of Soul Sciences interviewed Laura for her Blog Talk Radio show.
Here’s the link to the show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/soul-sciences/2017/06/19/childhood-abuse-not-match-for-love-and-determination
And here’s Charlene’s introductory text:
We believe childhood abuse means a lifetime sentence but Laura McHale Holland proves that belief wrong. Her earliest memories of her beloved mother, dead by the time Laura was two, remain lost in the distant past, but her memories of Wanda, the Wicked Witch of the Western Suburbs, Laura’s nickname for the woman who became her step mother, remain clear. In her memoir “Resilient Ruins” Laura recounts her life under Wanda’s weird command, the ways in which young Laura acted out her loneliness including a suicide attempt, with unflinching honesty. Lacking any sense of frilly sentimentality the memoir punches through our notion that a difficult childhood consigns that person to a life of failure. Instead, award winning author Laura McHale Holland grew into a successful wife, loving mother and to our benefit continues to write about life as a beacon for so many of us.
Laura McHale Holland’s latest book, Resilient Ruin: A memoir of hopes dashed and reclaimed, won the National Indie Excellence Award in the New Adult Nonfiction category. Here’s a link to the awards page: https://www.indieexcellence.com/11th-annual-winners-80-120
This doesn’t mean it appeals only to people in their late teens and early twenties, but it corresponds to the time in Laura’s life recounted in the book. Those years present unique challenges and opportunities, as all of life’s stages do.
Here’s a link to Resilient Ruin’s page on this website: http://wordforest.com/book/resilient-ruin/
It contains links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Powell’s.
Questions? Comments? Ideas? Want to connect? Contact Laura via the Contact form here: http://wordforest.com/contact/
Come see author Laura McHale Holland read from her coming-of-age memoir, Resilient Ruin, at the following three events coming up this spring and summer. You can ask Laura questions about being an orphaned teen unhinged in the Sixties, as well as talk with several local writers and share insights:
Monday, May 8: Dine with Local Authors, 6 to 8 p.m., at Gaia’s Garden, 1899 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. I’ll be one of five local authors featured at this popular event where people get to have dinner with the featured author of their choice, listen to all authors read and then discuss the work with the authors. If you live in Sonoma County, come sit at my table and converse with me and others
Sunday, July 9: Redwood Writers 2017 Author Launch celebration, 2 to 4:30 p.m., at the Flamingo, 2777 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa. This is a chance to listen to authors who are members of Redwood Writers read excerpts from books published since last July. I’ll be reading from Resilient Ruin, my latest memoir, launched in November.
Tuesday, August 1: Hot Summer Nights, 7 to 8 p.m., at Copperfield’s, Montgomery Village, 775 Village Court, Santa Rosa. I’ll be one of four authors reading from their memoirs during this bookstore event jointly produced by Copperfield’s and Redwood Writers.
The events listed above are all admission free. Gaia’s does request that those who attend make a $5 minimum purchase. The venue offers a tempting selection of food and drink, so it’s money well spent.
Charlene Jones, founder of Soul Sciences, just posted a recording of an interview she did with me that aired in February.
We talked about some of the life experiences recounted in my new memoir, Resilient Ruin: A memoir of hopes dashed and reclaimed; finding hope during dark times; overcoming trauma; forgiveness; women’s rights; today’s renewed activism; how important good parenting is for the health of our society; and more.
Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/2njzcve; I hope you’ll tune in and let me know what you think.
Thank you, Charlene, for including me in your podcast.
The Midwest Book Review spotlights Resilient Ruin: A memoir of hopes dashed and reclaimed in the March 2017 issue of Reviewer’s Book Watch.
The book is listed on the Reviewer’s Choice page. Just scroll down, and you’ll see the terrific review written by Kathleen Pooler.
Thank you, Kathleen, and thank you Midwest Book Review.
Many thanks to Folio Books in San Francisco’s Noe Valley for hosting an event Thurs., Jan. 26, during which Laura McHale Holland read from Resilient Ruin, her latest memoir. The book was published by WordForest in November 2016. Bookstore staff members Susan Kroll and Andrew McIntyre welcomed all who attended with spirited grace.
Laura was also joined by two friends at the mic. Storyteller Susan Ford told of when she made inroads as a young woman working in a furniture manufacturer that had previously hired only men. Novelist and poet Olivia Boler read a poem about a friend with whom she formed a lasting sister bond in grammar school.
In addition, Folio is stocking all four books published by Wordforest: Reversible Skirt: A Memoir; Resilient Ruin: A memoir of hopes dashed and reclaimed; and the flash fiction collection The Ice Cream Vendor’s Song—all three penned by Laura McHale Holland—and the anthology, edited by Laura, Sisters Born, Sisters Found: A Diversity of Voices on Sisterhood. The anthology contains the work of 76 writers from across the globe. It won a gold medal in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and was a finalist in the IndieFab Book Awards 2015.
It is incredibly supportive of Folio to carry these books. So if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and want to purchase one or more of them, take a trip to Noe Valley and stop in at Folio, a true community resource. There are some terrific restaurants to check out on 24th Street, as well.
To follow Laura and receive an ebook available only to her newsletter subscribers, click on the Free Book link in the menu at the top of this page.
Laura’s latest short play, You’ll Be Sorry, is part of the River Friends of the Library Readers Theatre’s 2017 season. The play will be featured, along with other short plays by local writers, Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m. and Jan 28 at 1:30 p.m.
Performances will be at the Guerneville Library, 14107 Armstrong Woods Rd., in Guerneville. It’s a scenic town in a gorgeous part of the San Francisco Bay Area. Hope you can come!
Folio Books, a vibrant independent bookstore in San Francisco’s Noe Valley, invited Laura McHale Holland to read from her new memoir, Resilient Ruin: A memoir of hopes dashed and reclaimed, on Thurs., Jan. 26, 2017.
Laura, who used to live in the neighborhood and looks forward to seeing friends she made there, will read from her book and then answer questions.
The reading begins at 7 p.m., 3957 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114.
Here’s a book description:
A teenage girl breaking free. A cunning classmate on the prowl. Can she recover after they collide?
Orphaned as a child, fourteen-year-old Laura finally rebels against her abusive guardian. Living on dreams, rock ’n’ roll, and kisses in moonlight, she believes whatever comes next can’t be worse than what she’s already endured. She has no idea how far she will fall before she can build a better life. Resilient Ruin is a poignant personal story that recounts a rocky, ultimately inspiring journey. If you like brave, unaffected heroines; striking scenes and characters; and pacing that keeps you turning page after page, you’ll relish this masterful memoir of survival and learning to forgive.
Join Laura for an inspiring time in a welcoming bookshop in a beautiful city.