Celebrating the First Year Anniversary of “Aprils and Decembers”

Happy One Year Anniversary to my little book 💍

It took 6 years to write.
And 2 years to edit.

I waited 3 months for it to be picked up by a little Texas publisher…one who made me a real-life published author on December (of course!) 10th, 2015, which in itself was a huge, painful anniversary. Then in a moment, everything changed.

What came next gave me just slightly more than 15 minutes of fame, but what I hope will be a lifetime of literary circulation. Books, after all, are forever.

This book has given me more strength and self esteem than any other one thing I’ve ever done for myself.

And it continues to make me a bit of money. Imagine that.

Who woulda thought….

…that my little story about bring-you-to-your-knees pain, and intimate love, and beautiful sons, and confident daughters, and true beauty, and unavoidable ugliness, and crippling weakness, and then soaring strength would turn into a story that so many people told me was just like reading their own.

Ben hasn’t read it. Won’t. He doesn’t read books. Sadly. And he definitely gets that from his dad. But maybe one day he will think it’s awesome….rather than just ‘kinda cool”…

…that his mom published a little book about her life called Aprils and Decembers, and dedicated it to him. Anyway.

XOXOXO,

DQ

 

The Wordsmith

wordsmith
(noun) word·smith \ˈwərd-ˌsmith\
Definition: a person who works with words; a skillful writer

Alternative (my) definition: a person who seeks out and will not settle for anything less than the *perfect* word

When we grow up with siblings, we learn the unfortunate necessity of doing equally for every child. No one should get more ice cream or better Christmas presents, more extravagant birthday parties or nicer clothes, certainly not fancier sporting equipment or techier technology than her brothers or sisters, and uneven distribution of anything can turn a home into a house of utter mayhem. I remember the burden placed on my parents in having two girls a mere fifteen months apart. Everything was a metaphorical scorecard and no kindness for that other child ever went unnoticed or untallied. Read more

My Book Signing for “Aprils and Decembers”!

PC: Tina Lovett Photography, 2016

On January 23rd, I was honored to be the Guest Author at our local Barnes and Noble store where the turnout for my book signing for “Aprils and Decembers” was one of the most successful in the store’s history. I am so grateful to everyone! Family, friends, fans, readers, coworkers and newcomers showed up to support my writing. I am truly overwhelmed.

For all the love and support you’ve shown me, thank you.

XO, DQ

Photos from my book signing:

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What’s Coming Up?

When a writer like myself finally finds her groove, the projects pile up in my imagination like a week’s worth of laundry!

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I can’t wait for you to get your hands on my next book. I am honored to be collaborating with a true American hero as he and I march through the last one hundred years of American history as we tell the story of his extraordinary life. He is a bona fide Forrest Gump. Capt. Allen Brady painstakingly detailed his experiences on a  series of legal pads and he and I have worked together tirelessly to bring those handwritten notes to life. You will be inspired, you will be humbled and you will be amazed and honored to know that there are still some Great Men in the world. “Where Do We Get Such Men” by Capt. Allen C. Brady (USN-R) is slated to be finished by Summer 2017! Read more

As Featured on www.michellecolonjohnson.com !

There Is Something Bigger Than We Can See In This World:How I Met Author Dawn Quarles

So, You Want to Write a Book? Part 2. My Story.

April and Decembers by Dawn QuarlesI have a queasy stomach tonight, sort of like butterflies, you could say. At the moment, I have the kind of nerves that perhaps anyone might get when their whole world is about to completely change.

My first book comes out tomorrow. I’ve been pretty much forced against my will to promote it and solid sales have been the goal of my publisher more so than myself. But we can all take heart; tomorrow it’s done. The nerves will go away and much like a wedding that took months of planning, in a poof! the whole thing will be over. I am as ready as you are, believe me. See, my book is a memoir. Private stuff. Sentimental stuff. Personal stuff. Painful stuff. Read more

So, You Want to Write a Book? Part 1

 

Really? Are you SURE?”

I am always shocked at how many people say, “I need to write a book.” It wasn’t something I became acutely aware of until I’d actually done that thing myself. It was hard! So now when people so flippantly throw that out there I say, “Ok then, because if you’re serious, start writing. I want to help you do it.”

Once I was really, genuinely serious about the commitment to pound out a novel, the FIRST thing I did was to find someone who had already done it, all the way through to the end, and then I got them to shoot straight with me. Read more

Sneak Peek at My Forthcoming Memoir, Aprils and Decembers

Today I’m thrilled to share a sneak peek at my forthcoming memoir, Aprils and Decembersavailable on December 10, 2015 from Black Rose Writing!

A drawing by Ben.

A drawing by Ben.

Excerpt from Aprils and Decembers, a Memoir by Dawn Quarles

And so it was for four days. That pep rally I’d given myself on my drive home from Troy’s house, the one about being strong for Tate, wasn’t playing out the way it was supposed to. I did not eat, or bathe, or function like a person should, especially one who has a child who’s grieving and dogs to feed and friends who just want to know you’re okay. I did nothing except move from bed to bathroom and back to bed, my old fallback habits when my life absolutely and completely crippled me. My mother cared for Tate, fed him, entertained him, and distracted him, just like she had when I left Troy the year before, because I just couldn’t do any of it. I was useless, again, save for one thing: lying with him in bed on those nights talking about his dad. I knew that arrangements were being made for Troy’s funeral but I was left completely out of it, as I expected to be. I resurrected myself in brief chunks of time to make phone calls to the insurance companies and to answer lingering questions about Troy’s personal affairs and accounts to employers and others not personally involved in his death. Oddly, many of the folks I had to deal with regarding Troy’s business treated me as if I were still his wife and when that happened, things moved smoothly, thank God. Read more

I’m Sorry, Mr. Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway 1899-1961

A couple of years ago, I set a goal for myself to start reading the American classics. It made me feel smarter to think I might one day know how to namedrop all of our most famous literary icons with real authority. I wanted to know all about the ones about whom my friends say, “Oh my God! He’s my favorite author!”

I especially wanted to fall in love with Ernest Hemingway. I’d saved myself for him, for after I finished writing my own book and was no longer in the middle of any other novels. I wanted to give him my undivided attention because everything I’d read about him pointed towards adoration. I anticipated a long, sexy summer reading about falling in love during the Spanish American War, bullfights in Spain and cafes in Paris, and salty men repairing fishing nets…all being ideas that made me swoon in romantic anticipation. I bought six of his most famous works and downloaded them all at once. Satisfaction was 100% guaranteed. A perfect collection of beach books, right? I nestled in. Read more

Dear Teacher

PC: Instagram @monicabondurant

Dear Teacher,

I am writing this love letter to a specific handful of very busy men and women I know. Wondering if I mean you? Read on.

You folks that I work alongside, all of you who talked for weeks about the coming end of the school year and how “it will be soooooo nice not to have to get up and ‘do anything’ every day! Oh my GOD!”  

But I see you. You haven’t stopped moving since the last period bell rang two weeks ago. You are still going 100 mph in twenty directions and your summer vacation is already two weeks old. There are only nine weeks left and you are still, technically, working. Why? Read more