Yes! I Sold my Novel! Helen of Pasadena coming November 2010!

by Lian on March 26, 2010

I am thrilled to announce that I have sold my first novel. Helen of Pasadena will be published on November 1, 2010 by Prospect Park Books.


You can read the official announcement from Prospect Park Books here.

What’s it about you ask? Here’s a brief synopsis:
Helen Fairchild,  is leading a privileged Pasadena existence: married to a pillar of the community; raising a water polo- playing son destined for the most select high school; volunteering her time on the most fashionable committees. It only bothers Helen a tiny bit the she has never quite fit in with the proper Pasadena crowd or finished that graduate degree in Classics or had that second baby. The rigid rules of society in Pasadena appeal to Helen, the daughter of Oregon “fiber artists,” even if she’ll never be on the inside.  And then along comes a freak accident, killing her philandering husband and leaving Helen broke, out of her “forever”  house, and scrambling to salvage her once-rarefied existence. Enter Dr. Patrick O’Neill, noted archaeologist, excavator of Troy, and wearer of adorable nubby sweaters. A job as Dr. O’Neill’s research assistant is the lifeline Helen needs to re-invent herself professionally, personally, and romantically. Helen’s world widens to include a Hollywood star, a local gossip columnist, an old college nemesis, a high-powered Benefit Chair, an unforgiving admissions director, the best  real state agent in the biz, and, of course, the intriguing Patrick O’Neill.  While uncovering secrets about Ancient Troy alongside her archaeologist, Helen discovers something much more: a new sense of self and a new love.

Thanks to all of you for supporting and encouraging my writing over the last year. Writing a novel was a completely different experience for me. I literally couldn’t have do it without everyone who asked me over the months, “How’s the writing going?” You pushed me to finish. Public humiliation is my favorite form of motivation.

And thanks to Prospect Park Books and Colleen Dunn Bates for her enthusiasm about Helen of Pasadena. After many successful bestsellers in the food and travel guide area, Helen of Pasadena will be Prospect Park Books first novel. So, it’s a new frontier for both me and Colleen. I have no doubt my Helen is in the right hands.

You’ll be hearing lots more from now through November about various aspects of getting the book to market. But, I’ d love to hear your ideas about how I can spread the word about Helen of Pasadena. Prospect Park Books and I will be arranging local Southern California events in November and December. If you are in my area and have an appearance request, send it to me. My publisher will be coordinating the calendar, but I will forward on your e-mails. Write lian at chaos chronicles dot com with all pertinent information: organization or business, date, time, contact info.

In January 2011,  we will be turning out efforts to the rest of the country. As of now, the “national tour” will include cities where I have relatives to stay with and sufficient frequent flier miles to get there!  But that may change in time and circumstance, so if there are any appearance requests for January 2011 and beyond, e-mail me with the dates and information. Group meeting, conferences, speaker series- let me know. I can try my best to make it happen.

And, I know we have many writers, influential bloggers, and avid readers amongst the Chaos Crew, so please feel free to share with me any ideas you may have about spreading the word about Helen of Pasadena. Prospect Park Books and I will breaking out of the traditional book publicity mode. Your input is appreciated.

Finally, if anybody knows Kate Winslet, Helen is made for her. So send Ms. Winslet my way.

For more of the story, listen to this week’s Chaos Chronicles podcast 226. And please check out Prospect Park Books and the companion site Hometown Pasadena.

Thanks again for all the encouragement! Embracing my chaos, Lian

Related posts:

Students of the Classics:

My thoughts on what I learned from studying the Classics: Lian Dolan on Power Ambition and Glory in Forbes Magazine

This list cracks me up! Thanks, Willamette! You factor into the novel. Let’s hope I become the next JK Rowling! Famous Students of the Classics

And a interview I did with my publisher while writing the book:

More from Hometown Pasadena:  profile of Lian



Jen April 8, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Lian…..I am so happy for you. You deserve this! You have worked SO hard. I will be reading this book as soon as it comes out. And if you get a chance to come to Indianapolis that would be great! I would love to meet you. You have definately helped me embrase my chaos!

Karen March 31, 2010 at 7:43 PM

Lian, Congratulations! What a great accomplishment! Your book will be my pick for my book club, here in Minneapolis. You know by the comments that you have lots of fans here who would love to have you come to MN on your book tour. Fall is a great time!! Karen

Dalton March 30, 2010 at 7:49 AM

This is Dalton’s mom now and he just died because I gave him chunky peanut butter instead of creamy and he choked on a peanut. I blame you for this!!!! Expect to hear from my lawyer!!!

Dalton March 30, 2010 at 7:19 AM

I am a 45 year old man living with my mother and eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all day. I am 275 lbs. overweight and I need your help. Why don’t you write a book about that!!

Wendy March 30, 2010 at 4:28 AM

So happy for you Lian; I suspect Adelaide Australia will be too far to come with the book launch. Who knows if all goes well we will see you down under one day promoting some venture in the future. Keep letting it rip!!!!!

Lian March 29, 2010 at 7:11 PM

Thanks again, more, still– for all the great comments. I may just leave this post up here forever to soothe my ego! kidding.

Joan– I like what you’re say.

Amy, you crack me up. I have to admit, there is not a lot of “Jewish content.” The setting is kind of a problem in that regard, as a Jewish friend of mine here describes herself as “the only Jew in Pasadena.” (not true, of course… but it goes to show you!). Maybe next book, I’ll include more characters from West LA!

Chpliver– I hope that does coincide with your visit. In the next few months, the publisher will be posting a calendar of events. We’ll update as we add.

Michelle– you crack me up about the casual biking! Of course being a Portlander, you casually bike. And this weekend I was in Santa Monica at my parents, and guess what? LOTS of casual bikers.

a real post on Tuesday, Lian

chpdlivr March 29, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Even though I read all the posts on the blog and on FB, when you said those words “I sold my novel” on the podcast, I got all choked up. Congrats, Lian. I’ve already figured out which girlfriends are getting a copy for Christmas. I’m hoping my November trip to Ojai will coincide with a book even in Pasadena! woo-hoo!!

Joan March 29, 2010 at 7:32 AM

The synopsis reeled me in! Whew! I have to know what happens! So happy for you and I will be buying one! Have fun with the whole experience, tour etc!

Mainer March 29, 2010 at 6:58 AM

I’ve only read the 3 paragraphs of this post so far, Congratulations! Very exciting!

Elizabeth March 29, 2010 at 5:48 AM

I am so SUPER excited! Congratulations, Lian, we are all celebrating for you!

Amy Artman March 28, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Would love to meet you if you make it to the East Coast (New York/New Jersey) on your book tour.
I coordinate an annual book & author event at my synogogue in New Jersey and would invite you….but we don’t have a budget to reimburse tavel expenses…and as fun as your book must be I know the author isn’t Jewish and suspect the book does not have major Jewish content.
Can’t wait to read the book since I like listenting to your podcast!

michelle waite March 28, 2010 at 8:43 AM

Congrats on getting your book published. I am so glad that it is coming out in paperback, since even I could scronge up $14.95. I am joining a newly forming bookgroup. The host changes monthly and they get to choose the book. I might use my power as host to choose your book. When you have your Portland book tour date, I can even volunteer to host and choose your book in a month close to the reading so we can attend the reading together.
I did want to also comment on the exercise post. Here is Portland biking is a very popular outing and I often ride bikes with my kids to the community center for their classes, to the library or to the store for small trips. I like it because it saves money on gas while burning calories. When you talked about the article, I thought that if I just rode my bike for local errands instead of driving, I could easily accomplish 60 minutes per day. I also take ballet once a week and I try to use my dinner prep time to do some bar work in the kitchen. I find that this time of year is good because the garden does not prep and plant itself, so I get some good workouts in the garden as well.

Meg March 28, 2010 at 7:07 AM

Fan-effin-tastic! Can’t wait for the Vroman’s event. Congrats!

Cyndi March 28, 2010 at 6:55 AM

FYI Lian – I read somewhere today that Helen is the Patron Saint of Archeologist – how appropriate!

Darcy March 27, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Can I pre-order now? So happy for you! You have been a shining example of perserverence and fortitude.

Kristin March 27, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Butter and Ritz….I should add that they mix the butter with honey. Does that make it better? LOVE to hear my comments on the podcast. They always seem to come at a time in my run when I really need to hear them. Thanks, Lian.

Pamela March 27, 2010 at 7:36 AM

you should come to marin county, where I work, when you come to San Francisco. It has a northern CA Pasadena vibe. I think it will resonate.

Kathy T March 27, 2010 at 3:28 AM

Way to go! Can’t wait to read your book.

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