Coming Soon from Finishing Line Press

Maybe you thought I am only interested in cats and books and writing and wine food, but my love of local history was fueled by the vintage photographs (that are now antiques) and glass negatives my grandfather gave me. Many of them are interesting shots of locations and people in actions, but more of them are portraits and Grandpa assigned names for every person he knew. Another thing that reinforced my history interest was that my father was a “collector” of old buildings, especially downtown. He would buy old unloved commercial properties and rent them out, usually to young people who wanted a start in business. Since my mother’s great-grandfather had built some of the old buildings in our city, I came to believe that I was meant to coordinate the family photos and documents and to see where the family fit into our hometown.  I’ve documented some of the information I’ve uncovered on my other blog.

But you know I’m also a poet and writer of the more lyrical sort. So it wasn’t enough for me to write blog posts about people long dead. Where the more typical family history research left off, I wanted to add the power of imaginative research. That’s when I started writing my Kin Types poems. These poems are meant to uncover and reveal the lives of women in my family who are long gone. But they could be women in anybody’s family. That’s what family history really should be: the history of the world as seen through the lives of “regular” individuals. The women in these poems endure difficulties and tragedies: the death of an infant, waiting to hear about the fate of a soldier brother, a clandestine abortion, emotional illness, inability to pursue art, a mysterious death, a horrific fire, and more.

My chapbook also contains two prose pieces–flash nonfiction–and, strangely since all the poems are about women, the viewpoint of both these stories is from two men in my family. They are men who, in some ways, lived the male American immigrant story of the late 19th century. But they also had their own troubles and tragedies, and they too cried out (in my head, at least) to have their stories told.

So it’s super exciting to announce that Finishing Line Press is publishing my book, and the stories of the people who have come before us will be available in poems and lyrical prose. Kin Types will be available for pre-order soon, so stay tuned!

My great-grandmother with Grandpa

circa 1910

(yes, she’s in the book)

61 Comments

Filed under #AmWriting, Book promotion, Books, Creative Nonfiction, Family history, Flash Nonfiction, History, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Publishing, Research and prep for writing, Writing

61 responses to “Coming Soon from Finishing Line Press

  1. Way to go, Luanne~ What a gift for your family (and the world)! I have a novel coming out in April, first in a series. Stay tuned for that news 🙂

    • So excited about your new book, Elaine! Definitely keep me posted!
      I actually have not thought of this as a book for the family. For one thing, most of my family isn’t that interested in dead people and then there are things in the book maybe some will wish weren’t in there ;). Oddly enough it will be my kids who will be most excited about the book, and I am thinking of dedicating it to them, the kin I feel closest to even though there is no consanguineal relation.

  2. Nicely done! I love the title – Kin Types.

  3. Oh my, Luanne! This book sounds wonderful. Congratulations!
    I love that photo.

  4. Wonderful! Congratulations on you book!

  5. That’s wonderful news, Luanne! You’ve written so eloquently about “Kin Types” — I can hardly wait to read it! Congratulations on this new chapbook!

  6. Great stuff! I firmly embrace the concept that history is best told through the stories of the people that lived it–this is a wonderful project! Congratulations, Luanne!

    Pam

    • That’s exactly what I wanted to do: put myself into each individual’s head, heart, life, and environment and see what happened–what story needed to be told. Thanks, Pam!

  7. Congratulations! Can I just say how madly jealous I am that you can even access so much information on your kin? I can’t get further than three generations on any line but one. (And when I say I, I really mean those people in my family that research it.)

    • It’s highly unlikely that your ancestors are unfindable. Even in the case of European Jews whose records were thought to be completely destroyed in the Holocaust, the information is starting to become available. it takes a lot of work and also sometimes money to join certain sites or to access certain databases. Also it’s good to try to find a variety of sources. I really like to access American newspapers through Genealogy Bank, for instance, because you can find articles about your ancestors you didn’t know existed. Not that everything is found through computer searches either. Sometimes it is just out there with no way to find it–YET. Another way I’ve been able to find the most incredible information is through my genealogy blog where people find me and send me stuff! People are so great about sharing! So you need to send better sleuths to get your stuff, and that would be probably be you hahaha.

      • I’m glad you think I’d make a better sleuth 🙂 My uncle belonged to a lot of ancestry organizations and could not get stuff past my grandmother’s mother (his grandmother.) She was Seminole. Sadly, that’s the line I want more of. That, and the search for my Melungeon kin.
        The European lineage is easier to follow…the native stuff, the mysterious stuff, is not.
        In 2002 I spent quite a bit of time on it. I even trudged through cemeteries all over southwest Virginia. Pregnant. Much bramble, many hill. LOL

        • Interesting ancestry there . . Melungeon! Have you searched for blogs or forums where people are researching their ancestors form the same groups? Or Seminole heritage sites/groups? They always have such good advice. There is info out there . . . . Your mission, should you choose to accept it, . . . . One more thing, every year more and more stuff gets available, so even if you had trouble in the past, you might find it easier now or in a couple of years.

          • I do belong to some sites. Yes, I’ve asked in the Seminole ones, recently even. But I hear you on the technological improvement. I should give it another go with great-grandmother’s father…

            I should also mention that The Mister’s former FIL has done one of my lines back to 1890-somethin. He’s impressive, obviously. But the way he can’t find the other stuff is disheartening, too.

            I’ll stay envious of you, but also hopeful, thanks!

  8. This is SO exciting Luanne. Congratulations! xxxx

    • I am so excited to get these babies out in the big world! I want to introduce people to these wonderful women (mainly) hidden away in the dark corners of history.

  9. Bravo! What an important piece of work. To acknowledge those who were not heard and give them a voice is such a great idea. Looking forward to it!

    • Ah, that makes me happy that you are looking forward to it! When I was doing genealogical research I got really irritated that the men were so much easier to “find” than the women. Women are erased from history most often. It’s chilling.

  10. How exciting! It sounds like a wonderful book, and must have been so interesting to research and write. Congratulations!

    • I actually started with the research thinking of the knowledge as the end through that means, but then it eventually became clear that I had an absolute treasure of stories! Thanks, Deborah.

  11. Priceless photo, as I’m sure the others will be.

  12. This sounds like a fabulous project Luanne. It’s so often difficult to reveal the stories of the women in our families, since it is usually the men’s professions that are documented in things like censuses. I can’t wait to read it.

    • It gets so frustrating. Sometimes it’s very difficult to find where the women were born or who their parents were because they become known under their married surnames.

  13. Good for you, Luanne, congratulations!!! And OH, how I love that photo!! It’s precious!

    • That was my grandmother’s favorite photo of her husband and MIL. And there is a poem in the book about my grandmother being a newlywed, living in the home of her MIL :). Thanks, Ellie!

  14. Luanne, I love the play on words for “Kin types!” Your description of your choices you made and what is transpiring sound intriguing! Descriptions often reveal so much about people. 🙂

  15. Wow…congratulations Luanne, how exciting! xoxo

  16. This is exciting! You know I’ll be pushing myself ahead of the line to get a copy 🙂

  17. That is so wonderful! Congratulations!

  18. This will be of interest to me, Luanne. I finally gave in to purchasing books, slowly but will love to own this! I bought one of Diana’s (Myths of the Mirror, Jill’s, and two of Shehanne’s)
    I am so behind in reading and discussing posts! Thank you for your dependable and thoughtful ❤ comments, Luanne.

    • I am really passionate about the subject. Reconstructing the history and hearts of the women who lived before us, is how I think of it. Thank you so much, Robin! xoxo

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