New York Times and USA Today Bestselling novelist, screenwriter, editor, namer, critic, movie addict and chocoholic
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Amy Koppelman and Is It Contagious
Amy Koppelman happens to be one of my favorite authors. Her novels are dark, gritty and just gorgeously written (I've blogged about her before on here.) and impossible to forget. I just heard that she has an important new line of books and I wanted to post this for her:
As most of you know, I started a company called Is It Contagious? Books. We publish children's books designed to explain and answer questions about the most common diseases. Our first titles are "Is Cancer Contagious?" and "Is Epilepsy Contagious?" Our next title, "Is Diabetes Contagious?," will be available in December. While these topics may sound depressing, many families will face them at some point.
The book idea started several years ago, when a close family member got cancer, Sammy and Anna asked Brian and me so many questions, most of which we couldn't answer. "What is cancer?" " Why does it happen?" "How is it diagnosed?" "How is it treated?" "Is it Contagious?"... Later that night, I began looking for cancer books for children. There were several on the market, but they are either very childish ( a story about a dinosaur's mother) and/or scary (pictures of tumors and children with bald heads). Our books are different.
Please visit us at: isitcontagiousbooks.com. There you will see sample pages of the books. I hope you'll agree that the books are well-written, and Vern Kousky's illustrations are both engaging and informative.
I'm writing today to ask for your help. Please understand, I'm not asking you to purchase a book. I'm asking for ideas and introductions. If you have any marketing thoughts, magazine, television or radio connections, friends who work at pharmaceutical companies or own and operate retail stores, any ideas you can think of to help get the word out, please let me know.
This is more than just a business to me. My mother-in-law died a little over a year ago. Walking through the hospital hallways and seeing both children and adults stricken by cancer and various other diseases made me realize that I had to do more with my life than just write novels about unhappy women. My hope is that these books will help dispel fear and enable better dialogue between family members, doctors, and friends. In truth, there is no explaining the inexplicable. My mother-in-law was a vibrant, loving, devoted mother and grandmother. Is Cancer Contagious? couldn't explain her death, but it certainly would have made it easier to answer some of the complicated questions my children asked.
Please know that while Is It Contagious? is set up as a business, a substantial percentage of each sale goes to a like-minded charity.
So if you have any ideas please send them my way. Thanks for taking the time to read this and for always being so supportive of me.
Stay tuned, THIS OTHER LIFE has sold to Algonquin, my beloved publisher and I am busy writing it now. My 11th novel CRUEL BEAUTIFUL WORLD is an Indie Next Pick. IS THIS TOMORROW was an May Indie Pick. I'm also the New York Times bestselling author of PICTURES OF YOU, a San Francisco Chronicle Lit Pick, a Costco "Pennie's Pick." a NAIBA bestseller and on the Best Books of 2011 List from San Francisco Chronicle, Providence Journal, Kirkus Reviews and Bookmarks Magazine. I'm the recipient of a New York Foundation of the Arts Grant in Fiction. I was a 2013 finalist in the Sundance Screenwriting Lab and a finalist in the Nickelodeon Screenwriting Fellowship, four of my novels were optioned for screen, and I talked my way into writing the script for two of them. My essay, HIgh Infidelity, has been optioned for film. I'm a book critic for The San Francisco Chronicle and People Magazine. I teach novel writing for UCLA Extension Writers' Program, and Stanford online, do private fiction editing, and I am a professional namer! I live with my husband, writer/editor Jeff Tamarkin and we beam with pride about our son, an actor/filmmaker in college. Visit me at http://www.carolineleavitt.com.