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Monday, May 07, 2012


Dawn Novotny, author of RagDoll Redeemed, launches her book tour

& book giveaway contest!

We all face obstacles in our lives. Some days it seems just too tough to go on, battling against our problems. The memoir RagDoll Redeemed: Growing Up in the Shadow of Marilyn Monroe will be an inspiration to everyone who reads it, no matter what demons they face in their own life. RagDoll Redeemed is the story of Dawn Novotny’s triumph over the problems that seemed destined to conquer her.

Early on, Dawn learned that her body could get her things she wanted . . . not luxuries like diamond rings or fancy clothes but simple things we all take for granted like food and safety. As the years passed, Dawn began a search for that thing all teenage girls want more than anything: love. She thought she found it with Joe DiMaggio Jr. but quickly learned that, like all the other men in her life, he was just interested in a trade. If she would fulfill his Marilyn fantasies, he would give her safety. RagDoll Redeemed is the story of Dawn’s realization that she would have to provide her own safety and her long journey to discover what love truly was.

Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing LLC (January 12, 2012)
Genre: Memoir
ISBN-10: 1457506173
ISBN-13: 978-1457506178
Twitter Hashtag: #Novotny

RagDoll Redeemed: Growing Up in the Shadow of Marilyn Monroe is available in paperback at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Dog Ear Publishing, and your local independent bookstore.

Book Giveaway Contest: If you would like to win a copy of RagDoll Redeemed: Growing Up in the Shadow of Marilyn Monroe, please leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered in the random drawing. The giveaway contest closes this Thursday, May 10 at 11:59 PM PST. For an extra entry, link to this post on Twitter with the hashtag #Novotny, then come back and leave us a link to your tweet. We will announce the winner the following day--Friday, May 11. Good luck!

About the Author:

So many words describe Dawn Novotny: clinician, teacher, author, workshop leader, wife, mother, stepmother, grandmother, recovering addict, breast cancer survivor, reader, swing dancer, and snorkeler. But what she is most proud of is her ability to “thrive.” She thrived in the face of poverty, abuse, and addiction to finally become the woman she is today. She wrote her memoir to encourage other women to look past their difficulties to what is possible, to the women they should be.

Find the author online:


Twitter: @DawnNovotny

---------Interview by Jodi Webb

WOW: Memoir is such an intensely personal type of writing. What made you begin to write Ragdoll Redeemed? Did it start as a journal?

Dawn: Ragdoll Redeemed: Growing Up In The Shadow of Marilyn Monroe was never intended to be a memoir. The first written stories about my childhood were in the third person. It would have been way too scary to talk about myself in the first person back then.

My colleague and I wanted to write about the psycho-spiritual intensive workshops that we held around the country. We offered our personal stories to illustrate the therapeutic model that we utilized during these workshops. Our efforts never got off of the ground.

A few years later, I wanted to learn sentence structure and grammar; especially the use of tenses. So I signed up for a writing class with Linda Joy Myers, president of National Association of Memoir Writers and author of Becoming Whole: Writing Your Healing Story. I submitted my early stories because that was all that I had to offer at that time. I remained in her class for the next 3-4 years. Guided by Linda joy and nestled within the safety net of the writing group, Ragdoll Redeemed was born. We still laugh about my original intended goal, tenses, don't you know, LOL. No one could have imagined a book was emerging, least of all me.

WOW: How did you address the issue of how people—either those portrayed in your memoir or who might have different memories of those portrayed in your memoir—might react to your memoir?

Dawn: Most of the people in my memoir have passed away so that wasn't too much of a concern in terms of portraying others in a negative light.

WOW: What type of reactions did you get—either from those portrayed or simply from readers? Angry, sympathetic, appreciative?

Dawn: The book is quite new so the reactions thus far have mostly been appreciative. Women have identified with some of the more shameful aspects of my story. I am still in shock that I revealed some of things that I revealed! Their comments have helped me to calm down a little.

Fortunately, my husband and children are proud of me. First, that I survived my past and second that I even wrote the book knowing that writing is quite a challenge for me. My older brother held only vague memories of our past, so the reading and remembering were the hardest on him.

WOW: What is the most difficult part of memoir writing: anticipating others’ reactions, choosing what aspects to include or leave out, opening up your personal life and feelings to the public, or something else? What about memoir writing is rewarding?

Dawn: By far, the most difficult part of memoir writing was anticipating other's reactions. I have always held to the notion that if one remains small, one is less of a target to hit. And, I feared that I would make a fool of myself.

Another challenge was choosing what aspects to include or omit, which turned out to be a rather arbitrary process. The best part of memoir writing is that it slows down the details of your story which accesses a different part of one's psyche. Healing then occurs on multiple levels especially if you are being witnessed in a writing group.

WOW: The saying goes, "We all have a book in us." Do you think we all have a memoir in us, perhaps not for publication, but just a memoir that needs to be written?

Dawn: I believe absolutely that everyone has an inner memoir waiting to be written. I would suggest that you just write your story, then decide if you want to publish it. I would not have had the courage to have kept on writing if I thought that people would actual see my story.

WOW: If you had to sum up why you wrote Ragdoll Redeemed in one sentence, what would you say?

Dawn: I would sum up why I wrote Ragdoll Redeemed this way; therapy, friends, and 12-step programs healed the big black spiders in my mind; writing a memoir swept clean the lingering spider webs.

WOW: Do you have any favorite memoirs or memoir writers?

Dawn: Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle, Sue William Silverman, Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, and all of Mary Karr's books.

WOW: What can we expect next from you?

Dawn: I will soon have two free e-books (compilations of my blogs) ready to read. One is called The Hungry Ghost of Addiction Took Our Daughter. The other is called Snippets of Marilyn and Me.

WOW: We look forward to it!

---------Blog Tour Dates

Wednesday, May 9 @ Laurie Here
Don't miss a review of Dawn Novotny's memoir RagDoll Redeemed: Growing Up in the Shadow of Marilyn Monroe.

Wednesday, May 16 @ Women's Memoirs
Memoirist Dawn Novotny writes about how we can save family history with our storytelling. Share your favorite family story today!

Friday, May 18 @ National Association of Memoir Writers
Learn about healing through writing from Dawn Novotny, author of the memoir RagDoll Redeemed.

Monday, May 21 @ Me and Reading
Learn about how Dawn Novotny, author of the memoir RagDoll Redeemed, weathered the ups and downs of life, married into baseball royalty, and finally discovered the real Dawn.

Friday, May 25 @ Women's Memoirs
Dawn Novotny, author of RagDoll Redeemed, returns to Women's Memoirs to share some tips on how she marketed her memoir.

Wednesday, May 30 @ All Things Audry
Dawn Novotny shares 5 “Must Haves” if Diagnosed with Breast Cancer. You can also learn more about her memoir RagDoll Redeemed from today's review.

Monday, June 4 @ Kritter's Ramblings
Don't miss a review of Dawn Novotny's memoir about discovering your true self after years of other people telling you who they thought you should be!

Wednesday, June 6 @ I Was Just Thinking...
Memoir writing can change your thoughts about yourself...learn more from memoir writer Dawn Novotny. 

Thursday, June 7 @ Cmash Loves to Read
Forgiveness. Why is it so important to a healthy life? Find out and enter to win one of TWO COPIES of Dawn Novotny's memoir RagDoll Redeemed.

Friday, June 8 @ Memory Writers Network
Learn more about the ill-fated relationship between Dawn Novotny and Joe DiMaggio Jr in her memoir RagDoll Redeemed.

To view all of our touring authors, check out our Events Calendar here.

Get Involved!
If you have a website or blog and would like to host one of our touring authors or schedule a tour of your own, please email Robyn or Jodi at

Book Giveaway Contest: Enter to win a print copy of RagDoll Redeemed: Growing Up in the Shadow of Marilyn Monroe! Here's how you enter:

1. For your first entry, just leave a comment on this post! Just leave Dawn a comment or ask a question to be entered in the random drawing.

2. For an extra entry, link to this post on Twitter with the hashtag #Novotny then come back and leave us a link to your tweet.

The giveaway contest closes Thursday, May 10 at 11:59 PM PST. We will announce the winner in the comments section of this post the following day--Friday, May 11, and if we have the winner's email from the comments section, we will also notify them via email.

Good luck!

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Anonymous dawn novotny (author of Ragdoll Redemed) said...

Just wanted to give a shout out to WOW.

Thanks you for all of your help during the preparations for this blog tour. And a special thanks to Jodi for your magnificent guidance and support during this process, especially during the times when I was lost, stuck or scared.

This is my first book and first blog tour and sometimes, I didn't know which end was up. Jodi turned me toward the right side every time.

Best, Dawn

5:57 AM  
Blogger Nancy Hinchliff said...

Dawn, I am a memoir writer and am always interested in why another writer has undertaken this very personal and sometimes painful journey, as well as the process that brought the book to fruition. I love your title...very intriguing. Your interview has certainly piqued my interest. I'd love to read how you were healed and found the process of writing therapeutic.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Rita A. said...

This sounds like a wonderful book to read and share with friends.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous dawn novotny said...

Hi Nancy,

Thank you for your comments. Now, I will pop over to your site and learn a bit about you.

Best, dawn

12:07 PM  
Blogger Margo Dill said...

Dawn, I love the title and subtitle of your memoir. Did you get a hand in choosing those?


12:31 PM  
Blogger Krysten said...

What a great idea for a book. I always found Marilyn to be such a vulnerable, sensitive soul and would love to read this.

12:46 PM  
Blogger RILEKAT said...

This book sounds like a great and thoughtful read. I myself am going through a rough time right now and this book may help me with some insight into my problems.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Hi Dawn,

Congratulations on your debut memoir! I just ordered RagDoll Redeemed from Amazon and can't wait to read it. :) Amazon said it was currently out of stock (hopefully that equals great book sales!), but I had a credit there so I will have to wait until it gets restocked.

I can personally relate to some of the topics you cover in your book... How wonderful to hear that Linda Joy Myers helped shape your story. I look forward to checking out your blog as well. It looks like a wealth of information.


1:56 PM  
Anonymous dawn novotny said...

Hi Margo,

You asked if I had a hand in choosing the title and sub-title. Yes, I choose both as they are part of my story.

Thank you. dawn

3:27 PM  
Anonymous dawn novonty said...

Hi Krysten,

Thank you for commenting. I am not sure if the book is currently available through Amazon but it is through the publisher. If you go to my blog site, and click on the book cover in the side bar, you will be able to order it immediately. Thank you for your interest.

Best, dawn

3:38 PM  
Anonymous dawn novotny said...


So sorry for your current rough times, reading how others have gotten through similar things has certainly been inspirational for me. Perhaps there will be parts in the book where you can relate. I hope so and good luck.

Warmly, dawn

3:50 PM  
Anonymous dawn novotny said...

Hi Angela,

Thank you for ordering my book and the good wishes. Ragdoll Redeemed, would never have come to fruition without Linda Joy. Sounds like we have a common admiration for a very special mentor.

Warm Regards, dawn

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Linda Joy Myers said...

Congratulations Dawn on having given birth to your beautiful book! All your life you have pushed beyond your fears and past to be the glowing bright star you are today! I'm happy for you.
Linda Joy

7:52 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

What's the most remarkable memoir you've ever read?

allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

6:43 AM  
Blogger Paige said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win, it looks like a book i would love to read!

7:33 AM  
Blogger Lana Bradstream said...

Sounds like a great read. I love Marilyn!


8:01 AM  
Blogger WOW! said...

Happy Friday!

Thank you for your comments. We held a random drawing via for Dawn Novotny's memoir, RagDoll Redeemed: Growing Up in the Shadow of Marilyn Monroe, and the winner is ... Paige! Congratulations!

Please contact us at with your mailing address and we will forward it to Dawn for you. I see your email on your profile, so we will follow up with an email.

To everyone else: please check out the rest of the stops on this tour for more giveaways and inspiration from Dawn. Happy reading and writing! :)

11:32 AM  

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