Press releases! As an arts writer for the Times Union, I get a million of them a day. Okay, I’m exaggerating a little. I get 796,321 of them a day, of which I manage to read only 239,547, principally because 431,446 of them get quarantined and classified as spam. And so, inevitably, stuff gets missed. Whenever a publicist asks sheepishly if I mind being approached a second time with a reminder email or a phone call, I reply OH GOD YES PLEASE ALWAYS I BEG OF YOU THANK YOU BLESS YOU. The squeaky wheel gets the grease!, I always add, laughing. They laugh, too. But this is dead serious business, trying to get a journalist’s attention.
Thus it was with unchecked dread, pitched anxiety and no small sense of cosmic ironic payback that I composed a press release pimping myself out for interviews. The reason: A story I told for “The Moth” is being published in a new collection coming in March. Plenty of other (MUCH, MUCH, MUCH BIGGER) names are also included in the collection, including Tig Nataro, Louis CK and John Turturro, and any self-respecting reporter or editor in his or her right mind would naturally seek out an interview with any of those people before ringing up some random regional-arts-writer-cum-suicide-memoirist (AND WHAT A FUN COMBO THAT IS) based in Smalbany, New York.
But what the heck, right? Maybe I could drum up a few more sales for my book (INSERT SHAMELESS LINK TO ‘FIGURING SHIT OUT’ AMAZON PAGE RIGHTY HERE). I mean, maybe not; the thing was published more than two years ago, which might as well be 2,000 in the literary cosmos. (“Hi, would you like a copy of my recent book? The Emperor Tiberius loved it!”) But, ya know. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.
So here goes. With no further ado, I present my first-ever stab at a press release. (And, yes. I sent it.)
Greetings, journalist! I’m one, too, so I know how this works: The chance of your responding to a cold email hovers somewhere between 2 and 5 percent. The chance of your actually writing a story on the topic being pitched is roughly .08 percent. That said. . .
I’m an author and speaker on suicide loss. I’m also one of the 45 folks whose stories for “The Moth Radio Hour” were selected for a new collection coming March 21 from Crown Archetype: The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown. The link: https://themoth.org/ooks/allthesewonders
My story, “The Weight of a Ring,” tells of my navigation through widowhood following the 2011 suicide of my husband, author Christopher D Ringwald. If you’re curious, and you have 11 minutes and 11 seconds to spare, it’s right here: https://themoth.org/stories/the-weight-of-a-ring
If you have a little more time on your hands (not too much more — it’s short), I’d be happy to send you a copy of my book, Figuring Shit Out: Love, Laughter, Suicide and Survival, released in 2014 by Behler Publications. It tells of the rough year following Chris’s death, and it’s a fast, raw read, full of MAJOR EMOTIONAL OUTBURSTS IN ALL CAPS and plentiful foul language. That link: http://amzn.to/2kuY1qi.
And now, to reward you for making it this far, I present several more links:
*My blog, which also features MAJOR EMOTIONAL OUTBURSTS IN ALL CAPS and occasional foul language: figuringshitout.net.
*My TEDx talk, “You’re Still Here: Living After Suicide,” in which I repeatedly exhale loudly: http://bit.ly/2kvQ294.
*An interview with me in Widows & Widowers magazine, in which I discuss the term “shit magnet”: http://bit.ly/2eN7HpB
*Some links to my current work as an arts writer and columnist for the Times Union in Albany, NY: http://bit.ly/2jh2KXn
*Finally, the Amazon page for my late husband, who wrote authoritative, erudite, poetic books on faith and addiction: http://amzn.to/2jzend3
Aaaaaand that’s about it. If you’re interested in my book, just let me know, and I’ll mail or email you one at warp speed. I am also available for interviews, be they short and sweet or long and prolix. I am capable of either.
Thank you for reading my email to the end! We both survived! Good luck clearing the thickets of your inbox, and may you have a lovely day.