Words and Cake

Tomorrow is my first official novel reading and book signing for The Silence of Trees.

It’s wonderful to be able to write those words, The Silence of Trees has been so long in the making. I began it while still in the MFA in Writing program at the School of the Art Institute, and it has gone through several radical revisions since I first completed it in 1999. It’s been in the hands of three literary agents, and across more than a few editors’ desks. And now it’s here, in my hands, on my bookshelf, and on the nightstands of the folks who have already purchased it from Amazon.

So tomorrow I will bring boxes of books to the Book Cellar in Chicago, and a two-layered cake adorned with the beautiful cover that was illustrated by the talented Madeline Carol Matz.

To date, the facebook event page lists 69 yes’s and 108 maybe’s. I’m not nervous, but I am humbled and touched at the thought of people coming out to show support for this little book of Ukrainian magic realism.

It’s a labor of love, and the one thing I had always hoped was that it would be published while my grandparents are still alive. And they are, which is remarkable. The Silence of Trees is fiction, but inspired by my grandmothers and grandfathers, who made the journey to America from the Displaced Persons camps after WWII.

Feedback so far has been wonderful, and I’m excited about the other cities and bookstores that I’ll visit as part of my tour, but right now, I’m looking forward to tomorrow–where I’ll be surrounded by dear friends and family.

*pinch me*

All I have ever wanted to do is tell stories. I hope to do it in many different ways over my lifetime, taking my inspiration from folks like Neil Gaiman who do not limit themselves by genre or medium. I believe that the story will dictate the form. One novel is finished and in the revision stage, another two started, some short stories barking for my attention, and maybe a play! (Oh, I have *so* many ideas!) So there will be more parties in the future, to celebrate new stories, and I’m excited to share them with you.

For those of you in Chicago this weekend, you are invited to join us at the Book Cellar, a wonderful bookstore in Lincoln Square where we’ve had the release parties for Conclave: A Journal of Character. We’ll have varenyky/pierogies for you to taste, cake to share, and I hear there may be fabulous cookies. Support the Book Cellar by buying some coffee or wine. I’ll do a little reading, and I’ll sign books. If you purchase a book, you can wait to have your cards read by our very own vorozhka.

If you can’t make it, The Silence of Trees is available on Amazon (paperback and hardcover versions), as well as at WolfswordPress.org, and you should soon be able to order it from an independent bookstore near you.

Thank you for reading and being a part of the magic.

(P.S.  Author photo was taken by the amazing Kyle Cassidy.)

Published by Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu has been making magic with food and words for more than 20 years, incorporating folklore from her Ukrainian heritage with practices that honor the Earth. She’s a writer, content developer, instructor, and mother of three teenagers. Valya is the author of MOTHER CHRISTMAS, THE SILENCE OF TREES, and the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Along with Stephen H. Segal, she is the co-author of FORKING GOOD: An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of The Good Place and GEEK PARENTING: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family (Quirk Books), and co-founder of the Wyrd Words storytelling laboratory. Valya earned her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her poetry and prose have been published in anthologies and magazines that include, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Kenyon Review, Culture, Gargoyle Magazine, Gone Lawn, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium. You can find her on Twitter @valya and on Mastodon.social @valya

2 thoughts on “Words and Cake”

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