* By a Texas Author;
* About Texas / with a Texas Setting; or
* By Texas Publishers.
I'll be doing this as a part of the Lone Star Book Blog Tours Team. I am excited about it, and here is why.
I've noticed over a number of years that Texas seems to be pushed further and further from our national literary scene. If I only obtained my book recommendations from the New York publishing scene and those that support it, I'm not even sure I would know there was much more to America than the come of age NYC story, with the occasional fiction or nonfiction current hip offering, the last Oprah pick, the last mega star memoir or biography, and the attempt to chase last year's big book.
If I sound a bit bitter about this, I am.
I love my country, and all those types of books I just mentioned, but I also think we Texans are not done exploring ourselves, and the world is also not done with us. But if we all can't find the material, if we don't know it is out there, then we have all lost out. Our voices are not heard and are disregarded. We then become completely invisible to ourselves and to others.
It seems that the mega literary scene answer to this is that they can't sell our books. And yet, this year, with same book after same book being offered and touted by those folks, there isn't a national break out best seller.
Hmmm. I wonder why.
I have also noticed that, for a while now, just about the only thing it is alright to be racist and bigoted about is the South. This is disappointing at best.
And the West? It is just forgotten, or its history ignored and rewritten. We should resist this; we must fight this. If we rewrite our histories, if we ignore them, then we have a chance of repeating our failures instead of growing from them. We have a chance of not understanding our victories, and then we can't carry those "can do" moments with us.
Take this example: I recently was excited to pick up a non fiction book about the persons who were influential in making American a shore to shore country. But, the above thought was already planted in my head, so I checked out the index before purchasing it, just in case.
Would you believe that Sam Houston isn't even mentioned?
Unbelievable. I'm not quite sure how NY/California think they got connected, but I am without a doubt that without Sam Houston, they would never have been. He was not a fluke. He was the real deal. His life experiences created him for the Texas moment, and for the US expansion moment. Texans, it is wrong to forget him or discount him, and we should not sit back and let it happen.
And that is just one example.
So, I have noticed this, but didn't know what to do about it other than to make a big effort to find books that speak to me and my fellow Texans, even while I am also reading the "popular" darlings.
That is when Twitter somehow connected me with Lone Star Literary group, who run the Lone Star Book Blog Tours Team.
I checked them out and really liked what I saw. They are dedicated to helping the world know that Texas does still have literary offerings. They are dedicated to connecting Texas readers and writers with the publishing scene and all that goes with it. I definitely want to be a part of that.
My first official blog with the tour won't be until October. But they are already re-broadening my horizons back home, so I've started sharing the material that I am seeing. It's good stuff, books that I think you all will be interested in reading and seeing, probably even more so than the ones I work so hard to bring to you. Through these books, we will be able to connect to our own experiences, and know that we are not alone.
So that is why I am so excited about it.
Here is a link to my new friend Kristine Hall's blog that shows what is currently on tour. Also you can check out the new blogs I am following that I found through this group.
The tours offer both freebies and information. Take advantage of those offerings because entering is a breeze, and you just might win one. Even if you don't, you may end up deciding you can't live without purchasing that book, which will make me glad that together we've supported the literary scene of our great State. (Be sure to tell me if you read anything you end up loving!)
Our Texas is worth it.