MidWest Mixed Community Spotlight: Sherry Quan Lee

The MidWest Mixed Community Spotlight Series features local artists, educators, and leaders reflecting on their Mixed or Transracial identities.
Sherry Quan Lee
Author of Chinese Black Bird, How to Write a Suicide Note: serial essays that saved a woman’s life, Love Imagined: a mixed raced memoir (Minnesota Book Award Finalist); and editor How Dare We Write: a multicultural creative writing discourse; forthcoming 2019 And You Can Love Me: a story for everyone who loves someone with ASD-all LHP/Modern History publications.
Oh So Wild and Oh So Beautiful
I am Sherry Quan Lee, formerly known, in my 30s, as A Little Mixed Up which is also the title of my book of poems published in 1982. Today I am 70 years old and still writing about my mixed-race identity. I believe identity is defined by intersectionality and is ever changing. In other words, who I am is more than race (which is a social construct). It is culture: family, home, environment, education, economics, gender, sexuality-oh so many things. I don’t like labels because labels confine us. Perhaps that is why I write. Narrative offers discovery for both the writer and the reader. Narrative allows more than a singular perspective. Instead it relies on descriptive detail and introspection.

Sweta Srivastava Vikram – Voice of the Year 2018!

Modern History Press is proud to announce that its latest fiction title Louisiana Catch by author and speaker Sweta Srivastava Vikram has been nominated for a Voices of the Year (VOTY) Award at BlogHer.- Sweta S. Vikram's 'Louisiana Catch' Nominated for Voices of the Year Award

With its Women-Inspiring-Women mission, BlogHer is a women-centered movement of both the written and the spoken word by women from different walks of life. They honor women of extraordinary talent and inspirational potential at their annual BlogHer18 Creators Summit, taking place this year on the evening of August 8th at Pier 17 in New York City.

Sweta Srivastava Vikram’s previous books with Modern History Press have attracted attention for their female-empowerment themes. Her novel Louisiana Catch features an abuse survivor, Ahana, who is on a run from her dark past and finds an emotional sanctuary in an online support group.

How the Author Sees Her Work

What was the writing experience of this novel like?

There were some parts in Louisiana Catch that were easy and fun to write, especially the rapport between Ahana and Rohan Brady. But the part about marital rape and cat fishing were definitely emotionally draining and such strong reminders of the darkness in our society.

And how do you relate to the main character?

Ahana, the female protagonist, is very different from me. Yes, we are both South Asian women who are well educated and have strong careers. But Ahana is inherently dependent on others for emotional well-being and decision making and she is an introvert, quite the opposite of me. But we both do have a common agenda: raise awareness and join the fight to end violence against women.

Editorial Opinion from Modern History Press

Victor Volkman, Senior Editor at Modern History Press, opined:

Louisiana Catch is a remarkable book on several fronts. Foremost, bringing the extremely difficult topic of recovery from marital rape to the mainstream conversation in America makes this book significant. It also excels at portraying Ahana as someone who happens to work in New York but was born in New Delhi: that she can be an immigrant, without being defined by that as her sole relevant characteristic is an important message for the readers of 2018. Last, it is the tale of a modern woman struggling mid-career whose number one priority is not romance, but love happens anyways despite her hard-earned wariness of the male sex.”


Shaila Abdullah – The Quintessential Author

by Attiya Abbass

Shaila Abdullah
Shaila Abdullah

In conversation with the award-winning author and brains behind books like Saffron Dreams, Beyond the Cayenne Wall, My Friend Suhana, A Manual for Marco and Rani in Search of A Rainbow

It is a success of a writer if their inscriptions prepossess a power to impact even one life. For Shaila Abdullah, it’s a stream of successes, in five published books.

It was not easy reaching my interviewee for the conversation about to be unfolded. Shaila remains busy as a bee and only months later could she find the time to tend to a persistent journalist.    Read the full interview here….!

Instrumental: Mindfulness. A Path Toward Healthier Creativity and Balance

by Sweta Vikram

Sweta Srivastava Vikram
Sweta Srivastava Vikram

Creativity takes vulnerability. Creativity takes courage. Creativity takes honesty. As Brené Brown so eloquently says, “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

While the process of writing and sharing, our stories can be empowering, the in-between process can turn us writers into wrecks. Writing can sometimes mean opening certain doors from your past you had sealed shut. It can feel like picking on the scabs of a wound until it starts to bleed again. Sometimes, writing can introduce us to the inhumanity and darkness in the world.   Read the rest of the story…

U.P. Publishers & Authors Association Holds 21st Annual Conference:

For Immediate Release
Contact: Tyler Tichelaar
(906) 226-1543

U.P. Publishers & Authors Association Holds 21st Annual Conference:

Publishing & Book Marketing Industry to Be Explored

Historic Landmark Hotel is the site of the 2018 meeting

MARQUETTE, MI (April 15, 2018)  -In its constant commitment to informing regional authors and publishers of the latest changes in the publishing world and offering effective marketing and writing strategies, the Upper Peninsula Publishers & Authors Association (UPPAA) will hold its 21st Annual Conference on Saturday, June 2 in Marquette at the Landmark Inn from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

As always, this year’s conference will cover a variety of topics relevant to writing, publishing, and marketing, and it will be of interest to beginning writers as well as seasoned, published authors.

This year’s keynote speaker is Steve Lehto, an attorney and writer whose family is from the Copper Country. Lehto has written several books about Michigan and automotive history among other topics. His books Death’s Door: The Truth Behind Michigan’s Largest Mass Murder, Michigan’s Columbus: The Life of Douglass Houghton, Chrysler’s Turbine Car: The Rise and Fall of Detroit’s Coolest Creation, and Preston Tucker and His Battle to Build the Car of Tomorrow were all named Michigan Notable Books by the Library of Michigan. Along with the dozen or so books he has written, he writes frequently for others such as Mopar Action magazine and Road and Track.com.

In his keynote speech, titled “From Unagented Queries to a Dozen Books With Five Different Publishers,” Lehto will discuss how he went from being an unpublished author to having a dozen books published by four different publishers (and picked up an agent along the way). Highlights of his talk will include how he writes, where his book ideas have come from, how to tell good ideas from bad, how he sold his first books without an agent, and how it happened to be that Jay Leno wrote the forewords to two of his books.

Other sessions to be held are “Children’s Book Industry 101: Terms, Conventions, How It Works, and How We Get Paid” by Carrie Pearson, “Open a Vein: The Art of Memoir in Today’s Culture” by Felicia Schneiderhan, “Life-Altering Surprises, Annoying Sisters, and Running from Danger: Using Various Forms of Conflict to Keep Readers Addicted to Your Novel” by Naomi Rawlings, “The Quest for Your Best: A Poetry Workshop” by Janeen Rastall, “The Gift of Reading: A Book-Binding Workshop” by Susan Rosemurgy, and “How to Write a Mystery in 10 Agonizing Steps” by Vickie Fee. All the speakers are members of UPPAA or authors who live in or write about Upper Michigan.

This year, UPPAA will also present the first Dandelion Cottage Awards for its student short story contest. First place winner Katie McEachern of Negaunee will be present to receive her award for her story “The Attack.” The award includes a medallion, the winner’s name on a traveling school trophy, and a $250 cash prize. Second place will be awarded to Emma Locknane of Gwinn for her story “Welcome to the New Age,” accompanied by a medallion and $100 prize. Third place was a tie. Medallions and prize money of $50 will go to both Anna Laakso of Republic/Michigamme for her story “Elite” and to Sarah Lauzon of Ironwood for “Henry the Kitten.” Honorable Mention is also given to Sierra Hendrickson of Negaunee for her story “Abducted.”

In addition, the second volume of U.P. Reader, UPPAA’s own annual literary anthology featuring works by its members, will be released. Last year’s U.P. Reader was a successful publication that helped spread the word about the organization, raise money for it, and highlight the many writers living in the U.P. This year’s issue is even bigger and better than last year’s.

Finally, there will be a business meeting, a catered lunch buffet, a book collection taken up to support the Alger County Kiwanis’ annual auction, and networking opportunities for anyone wishing to learn more about writing, publishing, and book marketing.

The general public may attend the meeting for a $15 registration fee. UPPAA members attend free of charge. Space is limited, so advanced registration is recommended. Membership details, benefits, and registration are available online at www.uppaa.org. A catered deli lunch is available for $10 per person with advance reservations required. For questions, contact membership secretary Brandy Thomas at uppaa.membership@gmail.com or (509) 675-2487. To register by mail, send a check payable to UPPAA to Brandy Thomas, 140 Youngs Road, Gwinn, MI 49841. Registrations online or by mail must be received no later than May 25.

Established in 1998 to support authors and publishers who live in or write about Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, UPPAA is a Michigan nonprofit association with more than 100 members, many of whose books are featured on the organization’s website at www.uppaa.org. UPPAA welcomes membership and participation from anyone with a UP connection who is interested in writing and publishing books.

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