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Susanna Solomon

Paris Beckons: A Short Story/Memoir Collection

July 6, 2023
4 PM PDT | 5 PM MDT | 6 PM CDT | 7 PM EDT

“Evocative and personal, heart-wrenching and illuminating, Susanna Solomon’s Paris Beckons showcases 34 stories revealing what lies beneath our deepest fears and memories. Poignant and for those with pasts that refuse to remain buried.” Cara Black, author of the Aimée LeDuc mystery series.

When I turned 60, I dreamt of Paris where I went as a child as a tourist with my parents. I kept saying, next year I’ll go to Paris, next year and next, until I finally went, alone, and wandering the cafes and quais and museums, I was surprised to find my mother standing next to me at the quais, holding my hand and my father admonishing me at the Picasso Museum. They seemed real even though I had lost them some time ago. At Place Des Vosges, where I watched children play, I remembered being there with my parents and brothers, while chasing a red rubber ball, hearing my brothers laugh beside me, and my parents none too pleased I ended up in head first in one of the fountains.

Senses and places and smells and the sounds of the City pulled me into long ago sometimes painful memories, coupled with doses of magical realism. My questions were, what if? And why? Why would a teddy bear end up next to a typewriter in a stationary store? What was his story? Wouldn’t my father – who loved Degas’ little dancer at the Musée D’Orsay, be happy if I brought her home? When she wiggled her toes in her ballet shoes I was captivated and had to free her.

Each story has a life of its own, and all the stories make up a cohesive whole up to the climax where our hero …. Need I say more …. Runs into her own self at seventeen. And then what can she say? A mystery to be revealed …

What members may learn from my presentation:

  • Trust yourself. I never know what I’m going to write about until I start. At first I know it’s the worst I’ve ever done, but keep at it, soon I let fly, writing by hand faster than I can spell, until my hour is up.
  • Take writing classes. I have been in a critique group for over twenty years and even so, I write stories they don’t like. Doesn’t matter. You can’t edit what is not on paper. Keep at it.
  • I don’t write daily but would like to. Be nice to yourself. If you can’t do it today, do your best tomorrow. It’s easier the more often you do it. Annie Dillard once wrote, and I do not quote her directly, Writing is like taming lions, if you do it daily they behave, if you don’t, they tend to want to eat you. It’s true.
  • Be free. Write about something coming alive, a tiny chocolate person, a teddy bear, a flood that could not happen. Create a world which brings you, and eventually the reader, on a journey that even you don’t understand. Set your interior critic in a chair elsewhere. Give your characters interesting names. Listen to people talk in cafes and steal their lines.
  • Keep Going.

On Publishing
My first collection of short stories, Point Reyes Sheriff’s Calls, was written on contract with a publisher which was a fluke. For More Point Reyes Sheriff’s Calls, I used a self-publisher, Lucky Bat Books, out of Nevada. For my novel, Montana Rhapsody, I used She Writes Press. I sent out more than 60 queries for the novel.

At 73, I decided to forgo the query frustration and just publish Paris Beckons. I used Lucky Bat Books and cover design by She Writes Press.

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I’ve wanted to be a writer longer than I can remember. As a child of the 50’s, I was not allowed to express anger or despair, so I took to writing in journals and hiding my emotions in my desk. In my twenties, I had wanted to be a writer, and wrote freelance for small local newspapers, until my marriage fell apart and I had to re-order my life.

I went back to school and became an electrical engineer. It took six and a half years, but once I got a job, I asked my husband move out. Because of my career choice, I was able to support myself and my children well into college.

Working in an all-male field, which I had pursued, led to some challenges I did not expect. I had a hard time my first fifteen years as a consulting electrical engineer. Then I opened my own business and for twenty-two years was a big success. With my children grown and out of the house, I again had time to write.

Website: susannasolomon.com
Facebook: Susanna Solomon
Paris Beckons: https://www.amazon.com/Paris-Beckons-Short-Story-Collection/dp/1943588996
Point Reyes Sheriff’s Calls: https://www.amazon.com/Point-Reyes-Sheriffs-Calls-collection/dp/1943588732
More Point Reyes Sheriff’s Calls: https://www.amazon.com/More-Point-Reyes-Sheriffs-Calls/dp/1943588341

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