Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Conversation with Solveig Eggerz, Author of the Novel Seal Woman

The complete transcript is now available of my podcast conversation with Solveig Eggerz about Seal Woman, her vividly poetic historical novel of Iceland. I highly recommend her novel, and am heartened to see that since our conversation, Seal Woman has been reissued in a handsome new edition from Unbridled Books.

A couple of quotes from the conversation:

"Iceland is really just the setting. For me, there's this particular phenomenon that's going on and it could have occurred anywhere, really. It's the notion of carrying within you everything that has happened to you in the past, and bringing it into a new environment, and then having to deal with your daily life while being haunted by everything that you're carrying around inside of you. Now, since publishing this here and doing a lot of book talks here in this country, I have sort of learned what the story is about in psychological terms because people have told me that they, too, have experienced this notion of carrying something around inside you. I have people telling me how they carry Iowa inside themselves all their lives, even though they never were in Iowa, but their mothers were."
"[W]riting a novel is way more important than publishing a novel. [Laughs] I'm working on a third novel now and just solving the riddle of how these characters interact and how this is all going to work out, that is my big task. Publishing?... I don't think people should be writing with publishing in mind. If you only have publishing in mind, then you're going to be losing a lot of the experience of really producing something that you are happy with yourself. The gap between these two is huge." 

You can also listen in anytime to the podcast of this conversation here. 

> More podcasts and transcripts from my Conversations with Other Writers are hereThe latest in this occasional series is my conversation with historian M.M. McAllen about her magnifcent narrative history of 1860s Mexico, Maximilian and Carlota. A transcript of that podcast will be available shortly. Other podcasts in this series include conversations with Rose Mary Salum, Sergio Troncoso, Sara Mansfield Taber, Michael K. Schuessler, and Edward Swift.

Meanwhile, I am working on podcast #21 in the projected 24 podcast series, Marfa Mondays
, exploring Marfa, Texas and environs, which is apropos of my book in-progress about the Trans-Pecos. Listen in to any one or all of those 20 "Marfa Mondays" podcasts here

P.S. My every-other-monthly-ish newsletter with updates on podcasts, publications and upcoming workshops is going out to subscribers soon. I welcome you to sign up here. It's an automatic opt-in /opt-out anytime via, and yes, it is free.

> Your comments are always welcome. Write to me here.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Madam Mayo's Top Posts in (Yes) 2013

Stay tuned for Marfa Mondays podcast #21, it's almost ready. (And listen in anytime to the 20 posted so far on either podomatic or iTunes here.

Back on December 28, I posted the top posts for 2015 and on January 18, the top posts for 2014. Herewith, with tops posts for 2013, I continue to work my way backwards.

(2013 was heavy on posts about Francisco I. Madero and Spiritism, the subject of my book, Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution, which was published in 2014. In 2015 and 2016 you will find relatively more posts on Far West Texas, the US-Mexico border, and Texas in general-- Far West Texas being the subject of my work in-progress.)

December 30, 2013

December 18, 2013

November 11, 2013

September 25, 2013

September 11, 2013

August 19, 2013

August 12, 2013

July 22, 213

May 20, 2013

April 29, 2013

April 8, 2013

March 13, 2013

March 6, 2013

February 4, 2013

February 1, 2013

>Your comments are always welcome. Write to me here.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Madam Mayo's Top Posts in (Yes) 2014

Belatedly it has occurred to me that it would be a fine thing to offer a list of each year's posts of material original to this blog. Back on December 28, I posted the top posts for 2015. Herewith, I continue to work my way backwards. 
[2014: The year my new writing
assistant reported for work.]

I note that 2014 was heavy on posts related to my book, Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution, which came out that year. (In 2015 and this year, 2016, you will find relatively more posts on Far West Texas, the US-Mexico border, and Texas in general, apropos of my book in-progress.) 

I also note that in 2014 I posted fewer guest-blogs; that fashion was beginning to fade.

December 15, 2014

November 21, 2014

November 17, 2014

November 10, 2014

November 8, 2014

October 21, 2014

October 13, 2014

January 28, 2014

The Future of Bookstores
January 9, 2014

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Podcasting for Writers: To Commit or Not (Or Vaguely?)

(This is a guest-blog for Women Writing the West.)

Now that I'm working on my 54th podcast, I'll admit, I love podcasting almost as much as writing. Starting back in 2009 I've podcasted many of my lectures, readings, and other events for my books, plus I created and continue to host two podcast series, "Marfa Mondays" and "Conversations with Other Writers." It remains just as awesome to me now as it was with my first podcast that, whether rich or struggling, famous or new, we writers can project our voices instantly all over the world, while making them available to listeners at any time.

But first, what is a podcast? I often say it's an online radio show. But the truth is, it's a much wilder bouquet of possibilities.

A "podcast" is just an online audio (and, less commonly, video) file. It could be of a deeply probing interview; of a bunch of kids singing "Kumbaya"; or of say, you reading your epic poem about belly dancing in the grocery store. It could be a single file—your reading at your local bookstore on March 17, 2015, or, say, a radio show-style series of interviews with fellow horror novelists, one posted each Saturday upon the toll of midnight. 

There may be an eye-crossing number of ways to categorize these things, but if you're writer thinking about getting started with podcasting, I would suggest that you first clearly identify the level of commitment you are willing to make to your listeners who— lets hope—are going to be eager for your next podcast.

My podcasting assistant checks out the
1. No Commitment 

This would be a single, stand-alone podcast. Such is my first, which is simply a recording I made of my lecture I gave at the Library of Congress back in 2009 about the research behind my novel, The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire.

> Listen in to my lecture for the Library of Congress here.

2. Intentionally Vague Commitment
I call my podcast series "Conversations with Other Writers" an "occasional series" because, as I state on the webpage, I post these "whenever the literary spirits move me and the planets align." Right now, that's about once a year... maybe. By the way, I just posted the eighth podcast in this series, a conversation with historian M.M. McAllen about a mind-blogglingly transnational period in Mexican history.

>Listen in to this Conversation with M.M. McAllen here.

3. Meaningful but Capped Commitment
This would be my "Marfa Mondays Podcasting Project," 24 podcasts to run from January 2012 – December 2013, apropos of my book in-progress on Far West Texas. Not all but most of these are of interviews, and although I have posted 20 so far, my self-imposed deadline of December 2013 did not hold, alas. For reasons too complex to go into here, in the middle of this project, I went and wrote a biography. And that's OK. I may be slow, but with only four more podcasts to go, I'll get there soon enough! 

> Listen in to all 20—so far— of the "Marfa Mondays" podcasts here.

4. High Commitment
This would involve high production values, a regular, strictly respected, and ongoing schedule, and surely necessitate and perhaps even command fees from listeners by way of "memberships." Into this last straight jacket of a category I quake to venture, for I really do love writing more than I love podcasting.

P.S. I'll be giving the mini-workshop on podcasting for writers in English y también un taller en español at the San Miguel Writers Conference this February. Check my workshop schedule here.

+ + + 

C.M. Mayo’s books include Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution, which won the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for History, and the novel The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, named a Library Journal Best Book of 2009. An avid podcaster since 2009, she is also the author of the ebook, Podcasting for Writers & Other Creative Entrepreneurs.

> Your comments are always welcome. Write to me here.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Meanwhile, Over at My Other Blog, Maximilian~Carlota

I am still (whew) working on the next podcast, the 21st of a projected 24, for the Marfa Mondays Podcasting Project, which is apropos of my book in-progress on Far West Texas. (And by the way, as of today, when I finally posted the first one, all the transcripts are now available on-line.) It looks like podcast 21 will be a long one. In the meantime, I invite you-- most especially if you happen to be a Mexican history aficionado--to visit my other blog, Maximilian~Carlota, where I post about the research behind my novel, The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire-- plus tidbits ex-post.

I don't post as frequently there as I do here at "Madam Mayo," but I've been at it for a few years now so researchers of Mexico's Second Empire and the French Intervention will find heaps of both useful and exotically crunchy items in the archives. Herewith a list of the top crunchiest posts to date:

A Conversation with M.M. McAllen about her book, Maximilian and Carlota

P.S. You can also download the curious little gem My Recollections of Maximilian by "Marie de la Fere," edited and introduced by Yours Truly. 

Monday, January 04, 2016


Happy New Year! Just posted: A Conversation with M.M. McAllen, which is number 8 in my occasional podcast series "Conversations with Other Writers" about her magnificent narrative history Maximilian and Carlota: Europe's Last Empire in Mexico, published by Trinity University Press in 2014.

My blurb: 

"A deeply researched book about a period of Mexican history that, while vital for understanding modern Mexico and its relations with the United States and Europe, is of perhaps unparalleled cultural, political, and military complexity for such a short period."

William H. Beezeley, coeditor of The Oxford History of Mexico says:

"A thorough, complete history of Mexico's second empire. The author leaves nothing untouched."

And Luis Alberto Urrea says:

"M.M. McAllen has written an important book that not only reads like a novel of fantastic inventions but is key to understanding the soul of Mexico today."

> Listen in to this podcast any time here.

I'll be posting a complete transcript shortly.

>Visit M.M. McAllen at her website

> Listen in to all the other Conversations with Other Writers and/or read their transcripts here.

Yes, I am still doing the Marfa Mondays Podcasting project, apropos of my book in-progress, World Waiting for a Dream: A Turn in Far West Texas. Stay tuned for podcast #21 in the 24 podcast series.

(includes a note on my panel with M.M. McAllen)

(books, podcasts and more)