Dawn Novotny, author of RagDoll Redeemed, launches her book tour
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)
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:
---------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. http://namw.org
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. http://bellewoodfarm.blogspot.com/
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.