Leap into Thanksgiving on Leap Year!

“Local writer Mary R. Arno will be at Octavia Books to discuss THANKSGIVING…”

Octavia_Books_10-09_106Excited to be heading back to New Orleans this week for a Thanksgiving reading and book signing at Octavia Books, located in uptown New Orleans, Louisiana (513 Octavia Street, corner of Laurel)

You can learn more by calling 504-899-READ (7323) or visit the link at http://www.octaviabooks.com/event/mary-r-arno-thanksgiving


Leap Into Thanksgiving!
Monday Feb. 29, 2016
Octavia Books
6 pm., 513 Octavia St., New Orleans


Thanksgiving Book Events Begin in Time for Halloween!

coverI’m excited to be in New Orleans this week for some pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving events, including two live panel appearances and The Dine, Wine and Spirits show!

  • My novel Thanksgiving will debut, a month ahead of its official publication date on Nov. 26, at the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s 2015 Words & Music Literary Arts Festival at the Hotel Monteleone. I’ll be on two panels– “New Orleans Mon Amour: New Fiction” at 9 a.m. Thursday Oct. 29, and “21st Century Selling, Publishing and Promotion” at 8:30 a.m. Saturday Oct. 31.hotel-monteleonejpg-19633ca3ad6a99c1
  • At 10 a.m. Thursday, I’ll be signing copies of Thanksgiving at the Festival’s book mart, Royal Suite A at the Hotel Monteleone. Please come by and say hello.
  • Back when I was at the Times-Picayune, I enjoyed many a glass of wine with Tim McNally and his wife Brenda Maitland. Tim has invited me to talk about Dine-Wine-BannerThanksgiving on The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show on WGSO Radio, 990 AM, from 3-5 p.m. Friday. It’ll be fun to catch up and talk about the wining and dining in the novel. I hope you’ll tune in.

Coming of Age Stories

Coming of age, rite of passage, whatever you want to call it, it’s a legitimate literary genre. My novel Thanksgiving, which will be published by Koehler Books on (wait for it) Nov. 26, 2015, has been classified as “Fiction/Coming of Age” in the listings of the all-important Ingram book supplier.

“Coming of age” wasn’t what I aimed for as I wrote Thanksgiving, but that’s how it turned out. For the record, Thanksgiving began in the middle, in a short story about Emmaline’s brother Harry titled “A Fork in the Road.” When that story had some success, I started building the novel. Where did Harry come from? What was his background? How did he become the likable, low-level grifter that he is? Well, along comes Harry’s sister Emmaline, and her childhood friend Peg, and Peg’s college friend Mimi, and before you know it, they’ve taken over the book. And since Thanksgiving is now about where they all came from, well, that brings us back to where we started.

I guess it’s fitting that Thanksgiving is classified “coming of age,” because when I think about some of my favorite books, that’s what they are. In no particular order, some great coming of age stories:

Canada by Richard Ford. “First, I’ll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later.” That, truly, belongs in the annals of the greatest opening lines of all times. I think it rivals “Call Me Ishmael.”

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. For me, this book proved the value of book clubs. It’s huge and dense, and to call its synopsis noncompelling is to flatter it. But a book club I’d wanted to join was reading it that month, so, oh well, I’ll give them a tryout with this Continue reading