Monday, December 7, 2009

Coming out later in life

Remember the blog party last summer? (The only correct answers is, "YES!") Remember Susan Gabriel? Remember Seeking Sara Summers? Links below, if you don't.

If my memory serves me right, Ellen DeGeneres was the first celebrity I remember who came out and was accepted by everyone, the public and the Hollywood gang. It was no big deal to me, she was still funny and generally her humor is intellectual. I tend to prefer intellectual humor/humour to slap-stick, so I was and am still a fan of hers.

Long ago, a friend -- a nun, to be more specific -- took me to lunch and came out. I have to admit, I probably didn't give her the response she was expecting. She said she was gay and leaving the convent. She was a great nun, so my mind was racing with, "What? You're leaving the convent?!!!" You know those guys are celibate, (well the nuns are more than the priests, it seems), so what did it matter which gender she preferred as a partner. Right?

She might as well have said, "I'm gay, so I'm giving up chocolate!" I totally missed reacting to the gay part of the conversation. Giving up chocolate? She was leaving the convent? Well anyway, she did. She left the convent, not the chocolate thing.

Last week Meredith Baxter, 62, came out. I watched the interview video. It was sweet and I felt for her as it was obvious she is a private person and that personal stuff on TV was difficult. Bless.

So from there Susan Gabriel was one writer the press located to interview on the topic of late awareness of sexual preference. In Susan's book, Seeking Sara Summers, by accident Sara discovers the solution to her dud marriage. She has done all the expected things, expectations she shared, like marrying her childhood sweetheart, raising a family, becoming a teacher in her hometown high school, but breast cancer pushes her to ask, "Is this all there is?" Sara's life wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. See the link to my review of Seeking Sara Summers, below.

As far as marketing goes, this topic with Meredith Baxter is pie from the sky for Susan. As a fellow writer, I wish her well. Buy her book, Seeking Sara Summers, if you want to understand this topic better.

I guarantee each of us know someone who is going to say..."I'm gay and I'm giving up chocolate." So be ready to pay attention and understand.

To be fair to guy celebs let me mention George Takei from the Original StarTrek and David Hyde Pierce from Frasier. There. Done.

Interviews of Susan Gabriel:
Susan at the world's most awesome book blog party:
Book review of Seeking Sara Summers:
Susan Gabriel:

I forgot to say, there was no compensation for this post.


  1. Nadine, you are so dear to mention my book again on your blog. I deeply and completely appreciate it.

    This whole marketing-your-book process is fascinating to me (when it's not exhausting).

    I've been at this for over a year now and I've studied what works and what doesn't. "I've thown a lot of stuff against the wall," as Anne, my life partner and live-in business coach would say.

    I follow my Google Analytics and track traffic to my author website as well as my "day job" website(, as well as study my blog statistics, Amazon stats, Kindle stats, etc. All that to say, that this process of how to sell books still remains mostly a mystery to me.

    When this latest opportunity arose to try to get a little attention for my book, I didn't hesitate. I followed the wave of media attention that Meredith Baxter was getting. I made a lot of posts on blogs (probably over 100) and was approached about this interview. Then after the article went out all over Canada, I posted everywhere I could find it. This has taken hours and hours, even days.

    Have I sold a lot of books? More than a usual week, for sure, but nothing really to write home about. Who knows what the ultimate results will be. If nothing else, I've planted a lot of seeds.

    For all of you out there who are marketing your books, I know what it's like and I wish you luck, opportunity and perseverence.

    All the best,

    P.S. This will probably not surprise any of you, but Nadine was GREAT while this was all going on. I emailed her about the interview and she sent me lots of encouragement to "go for it." So thanks again, dear Nadine.

  2. Blush. You're welcome, Susan. That is the only way I know to make this crazy writing gig work, to support each other. I'm lousy at marketing my books and I have great traffic stats and SEO, just not very good about saying, "Hey buy my book!" LOL

  3. If you were to ask me the one thing that seems to have worked better than anything else (regarding marketing my book), I think it's been to post on blogs (roughly related about writing and/or the subject of my novel) and making genuine, sincere, hopefully helpful, comments. People respond to authenticity and sincerity.

    BTW, I don't know how to say, "Hey, buy my book!" either. :)

  4. I hope I didn't misrepresent Seeking Sara Summers. It is much more than about a gay relationship. It is about the usual questions we have at her age. It is about friendships, relationships, and honesty in both...and with ourselves. It is about transitions of any kind that matter. It is a well written book and boy, if you like Tuscany, Seeking Sara Summers will take you there too.

  5. Relationships are hard no matter what gender preference you choose. I so admire those who choose to be with the one they love despite the hardships.
    By the way, I think it's David Hyde Pierce you meant from Frasier, not Kelsey Grammar. David came out recently when the whole Prop 8 debacle happened [that still steams me - I hope it gets overturned].

  6. Corrected. Thanks Joy. Yes, it steams me too. I think it is a matter of equal rights under the law.