The Gravity of Art

Back in Fall of 2007, I was living in Germany with my family. While we had been having adventures and traveling internationally, I had grown out of touch with my writing and the larger creative world.

I looked around and found a door to that creative world online: I entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. From that contest, I met a  group of talented, dedicated writers, and with editorial support from several of them, I began the literary magazine Conclave: A Journal of Character.

Through this chain of creative people, I also met several LJ friends, among them Trillian Stars ( ) and her now-husband Kyle Cassidy (). When given the chance to attend their wedding party in Philadelphia last Fall, I went and met a new bunch of fabulous, creative people from around the country. Combine that experience with my work on the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame and the unexpected phenomenon of Twitter, and I cannot believe how many talented writers and artists and musicians I have met and reconnected with over the last 3 years. This is just the beginning!

The Gravity of Art

That’s what Kyle Cassidy called it in his blog, and I loved the phrase (Kyle, I hope that you don’t that I’m using it?) It captures the phenomenon so well–when you are engaged and passionate about creating, you become a force of attraction.

I’m wrapping up Conclave and hope to have it printed later this month. I cannot wait to get back to revising the novel I completed last Fall, and I have some decisions to make about The Silence of Trees. I’m excited about the progress of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, and some other projects that Chicago friends are working on in photography, music, video, and theater. There are other top-secret projects in the works. 2010 has such potential!

The Gravity of Art: it’s a powerful thing, an inspiring thing, an exhilarating thing.

The interior of our home is nearly finished. I want Casa del Lobos to be a nexus, a center for the gravity of art, a place frequented by creative people, a place where my kids will grow up seeing people making art, talking about art, living lives of passion and integrity.

Do you know about the Parisian Salons of the 17th century and 18th century? They were gatherings of artists, writers, philosophers, etc. to amuse and educate. The salons were revived in the 1920s in Paris and London. Some of the greatest writers and artists, readers and thinkers of the time met at those salons. Wouldn’t it be something to recreate that kind of time and space set aside for the discussion of art and literature in its many forms?

Casa del Lobos is just waiting for the chance.

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Amazon Semifinalists Launch

Community Creates Literary Site for Networking and Promotion
CHICAGO, Illinois – March 10, 2008 –, an online showcase, network and marketplace for writers, was launched on March 1, 2008. ABNA Books is a place for writers to present their work, keep track of fellow writers’ news and publications, and get the attention of publishers and agents.
What began as a group of entrants and semifinalists in the “Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award” contest, evolved into the Association of Breakthrough Novel Authors on Through the Amazon discussion forum, participating writers grew into a community, working together to improve their writing and promote their books.
Brainchild of semifinalist Valya Dudycz Lupescu, establishes a more permanent home for ABNA writers and their works.
“Several writers and reviewers mentioned that they wanted a way to stay in touch and to find out about the publications of other entrants,” said Lupescu. “ provides us with the place to do that. The general public can also subscribe for a free monthly update about news and publications.”
Selected as a semifinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, Lupescu’s debut novel, The Silence of Trees, gained more than 200 positive reviews from customers and reviewers. Lupescu and her husband, Mark, decided to create ABNA Books to maintain the community started during the contest, while at the same time providing the public with a place to track the manuscripts and publications of this talented group of writers.
“Since the manuscripts in have been pre-screened in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award competition and most have received positive reviews from Publishers Weekly, I can see it as a legitimate source of good literature,” said Enrico Antiporda, author of the Top 100 Semifinalist entry, A Light in the Cane Fields. “I foresee literary agencies and commercial publishers mining the website to add to their catalogue.”
With short synopses, lengthy excerpts, and prior publications, ABNA Books provides agents and editors a snapshot of writers’ projects and potential. The site also provides a place for comments and reviews, so that an author’s following and marketability may be glimpsed.
Patricia O’Sullivan has been an active participant on the Amazon forum since its creation. Her novel, The Hope of Israel, was also selected as one of the Top 100 Finalists. “What arose from this forum of competitors were friendships and writers’ support networks that sustained entrants during five long months of a public review period of their manuscript excerpts,” said O’Sullivan. “One might have thought the culling of entrants would have destroyed the ABNA community of writers. The opposite happened. What began as a contest became a community.”
For more information about ABNA Books please visit


ABNA began as a group of entrants and semifinalists of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Through the forum, they grew into a community of writers working together to improve their writing and promote their books. is the next step in their evolution, a place to maintain that solidarity while promoting their work and perfecting their craft. ABNA Books is an online showcase, network, and marketplace for writers created by Valya Dudycz Lupescu and her husband, Mark Lupescu. It’s a place for writers to present their work, get the attention of publishers and agents, and help each other in the process of publishing and promotion.