About Books New Haven

Me, Sandi Kahn Shelton, thinking about books but not doing what she should be doing, which is writing the one that is due.

Welcome to Books New Haven, a site that I hope will give authors and their readers a chance to get together. I’m a longtime (VERY long time!) Register reporter, as well as the author of seven books–three nonfiction books about parenting and four novels. When I first started writing books, publishers spent a bit of time and even money to get the word out about new books being released. There were stories in newspapers and magazines, spots on the radio, even a few television appearances!

Well, those days, sadly, are gone. Most of my writer friends have had the same experience that I have: with over 200,000 books published in the U.S. last year, most publishers (even enthusiastic ones with lovely publicity departments) simply don’t have the more than 3.5 seconds to devote to letting the world know that a new book has just been launched. They wish us well, but we all know if we’re going to sell more than 12 copies, we are going to have to get the word out ourselves.

This has turned us into bloggers, networkers, twitterers, facebookers, Linked-Inners, Klouters, Pinteresters, and in some cases–I hate to say this–whiners. Trust me: with very few exceptions, we don’t want to whine.  All we want is to hold our heads high and know that somebody besides our Aunt Mary and our mother will see our book. (Oh, and we’d like to get an audience of people who will love us and want to read everything we write from now on until the end of time.)

Which brings us to this blog.

As a Register feature reporter, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished to shine a light on someone’s book but haven’t been able to because–well, there just isn’t much space in the newspaper to do so. Only a very few books actually get mentioned or reviewed.

But being as how we’re all Digital First in the media now, I figured I’d start a blog that would serve as a kind of gathering place for local authors (think: throughout Connecticut) and the people who want to know about them. Click on a link–and presto! There would be news about these authors, their books, their upcoming events, even information about the process of writing for those who might want to try this in their own homes. These days we all want to know EVERYTHING about EVERYONE. (I know. I’m like that, too. Can’t get enough of it!) So here’s a place where writers can talk directly to the readers, and answer their questions in the comments section, and tell nosy fascinated readers like me all about their lives, which pen is their favorite, and how they can’t write a word unless they’re just eaten a grape popsicle, played four games of Spider Solitaire, and managed to get the cat to sit in a certain spot. Whatever! We NEED to know these things.

Hence, this blog. I hope you’ll bookmark it and come back often, tell all your friends on facebook and twitter and all the places you visit.

I’m in touch with lots of area authors who are going to write posts here. But I don’t know everybody, so if you, too, are an author with a book coming out, or if you’d like to write a guest post, or if you’re connected to any book-related event, leave me a message in the comments. Don’t be shy! Self-published authors are welcome here, too.

Let’s face it: we all need all the help we can get.

All best wishes,


6 thoughts on “About Books New Haven

  1. Sandi– Potomac Books just published my latest book — Veterans on Trial: the coming court battles over PTSD. Available at Breakwater Books in Guilford, and Yale Bookstore. Subject — veterans, PTSD, impact on society and the courts. Glad to discuss it sometime….Barry Schaller (Guilford)

  2. Hi Sandi, My debut YA, MY LIFE NEXT DOOR, got published by Penguin-DFYR in June. Speaking at RJ James in Madison this Thursday with a bunch of other YA authors, including Susane Colasanti….Grew up in CT but live in Mass now.

  3. Hi Sandy, I loved your talk last weekend at the CTRWA meeting. So good to hear that other writers share in the struggles and joys of this crazy writer’s life. Incidentally, I just did a review of Huntley’s book, MY LIFE NEXT DOOR, noted above. What a fabulous YA Romance and family drama. Really superb! Kudos to Huntley! I have a new release coming out next week, (Yikes! Already!)

    Waning Moon is Book One in a YA Dystopian trilogy, The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael. I’d love to be featured on your blog whenever you have an opening. I lived most of my life in Enfield, CT., but like Huntley, have transplanted to MA. and now live in the Berkshires. I can’t get away from the old stomping grounds, though. I volunteer at my old public library to teach a writing group for teens once a month. They are a lovely group of girls who are brilliant and continually show me up with their writing talents:-)

  4. Hi Sandi. Thanks so much for doing this blog! My third Baby Boomer mystery, Marriage Can Be Murder, was published this July. And I’m organizing the first-ever SinC (Sisters in Crime) Goes Pink To Fight Breast Cancer, which will be held on October 27 in Westport to benefit the Breast Cancer Survival Center, a Connecticut non-profit that I co-founded back in 1999 after being diagnosed with cancer myself. Five mystery writers will do author presentations, answer questions, maybe even share writing and plotting secrets! Delicious desserts, champagne, and fun! Plus, sign and sell their books, of course! Would love to tell you and your readers more about the books, and the event.

    Susan Santangelo, Old Saybrook

  5. Hi, Sandi–I’m pleased that I discovered your site, and I admire your initiative in starting it.

    I thought I’d post a message about a biography that I’ve written about an African-American who led a remarkable life in Russia and Turkey.

    THE BLACK RUSSIAN tells the story of Frederick Bruce Thomas, who was born in 1872 to former slaves and spent his youth on his family’s farm in Mississippi. After leaving the South and working as a waiter and valet in Chicago and Brooklyn, he went to London in 1894, then traveled throughout Europe, and decided to go to Russia in 1899, all of which was highly unusual for a black American at the time. He chose Moscow as his home and during the next nineteen years renamed himself “Fyodor Fyodorovich Tomas,” married twice, acquired a mistress, took Russian citizenship, and by dint of his talents, hard work, charm, and guile became one of the city’s richest and most famous owners of variety theaters and restaurants. The Bolshevik Revolution ruined him and he barely escaped with his life and family to Turkey in 1919. Starting with just a handful of dollars out of the millions he had lost, Thomas made a second fortune in Constantinople by opening a series of celebrated nightclubs that introduced jazz to Turkey. However, because of the long arm of American racism, the xenophobia of the new Turkish Republic, and his own extravagance, he fell on hard times, was thrown into debtor’s prison and died in Constantinople in 1928.

    Although widely known during his lifetime, Frederick Thomas is now virtually forgotten. The few references to him that have been published during the past eighty years are all brief and often wrong. I researched Frederick Thomas’s life and times exhaustively in archives and libraries throughout the United States, as well as in Russia, France, England, and Turkey, and found a great deal of information about him. My book is forthcoming from Atlantic Monthly Press, an imprint of GROVE/ATLANTIC, in March 2013.

    There is some more information about it, including blurbs and illustrations, on my web site: http://www.valexandrov.com

    All best,

    Vladimir (Hamden, CT)

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