Dancing Between the Raindrops by Lisa Braxton: Blog Tour & Giveaway

Monday, April 29, 2024
Dancing Between the Raindrops by Lisa Braxton
This is a book for readers who enjoy reading personal essays and learning about the African American experience. This is also a book for those who are grieving or suffering a loss. 

"Dancing Between the Raindrops is a heartfelt homage to Braxton's parents in the wake of their passing. She touches the soul of every adult child's mourning in ways poignant, nostalgic, aching, and funny with a clever patchwork of writing styles. A must-read!"

--E. Dolores Johnson, author of Say I'm Dead, A Family Memoir of Race, Secrets and Love

"With photographs, letters, music, and other archival materials, Braxton constructs a daughter's loving portrait of her parents while fulfilling and honoring her mother's missed opportunities and dreams of writing. The memoir time travels to a past that grieves those who are gone while not being afraid to tell the parts about how antiBlack racism and white supremacy imposed itself, limiting and constraining people's lives. And yet, the fact that this powerful book exists is evidence of how love, creativity, stories, and the human spirit triumphs and overcomes. Read this book! You will be better for it."

--Grace Talusan, author of The Body Papers: A Memoir

Before we interview the author here's a bit more about the book:

Dancing Between the Raindrops: A Daughter’s Reflections on Love and Loss, is a powerful meditation on grief, a deeply personal mosaic of a daughter’s remembrances of beautiful, challenging and heartbreaking moments of life with her family. It speaks to anyone who has lost a loved one and is trying to navigate the world without them while coming to terms with complicated emotions.

Lisa Braxton’s parents died within two years of each other—her mother from ovarian cancer, her father from prostate cancer. While caring for her mother she was stunned to find out that she, herself, had a life-threatening illness—breast cancer.

In this intimate, lyrical memoir-in-essays, Lisa Braxton takes us to the core of her loss and extends a lifeline of comfort to anyone who needs to be reminded that in their grief they are not alone.

PUBLISHER: Sea Crow Press
ISBN-13: 978-1961864085
Print Length: 158 pages

You can purchase a copy of the book on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org. Make sure to add it to your Good Reads list.

About the Author, Lisa Braxton

Lisa Braxton is the author of the novel, The Talking Drum, winner of a 2021 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards Gold Medal, overall winner of Shelf Unbound book review magazine’s 2020 Independently Published Book Award, and winner of a 2020 Outstanding Literary Award from the National Association of Black Journalists and a Finalist for the International Book Awards. She is also an Emmy-nominated former television journalist, an essayist, and short story writer. 

She is on the executive board of the Writers Room of Boston and a writing instructor at Grub Street Boston, and currently serves as President of the Greater Boston Section of the National Council of Negro Women and is a member of the Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

You can find her online at:

Twitter/X: @Lisaannbraxton  OR @LisaReidbraxton 
Instagram: @lisabraxton6186 

--- Interview by Jodi M. Webb

WOW: Congratulations on Dancing Between the Raindrops! I love that your memoir is a combination of many different types of writing: poetry, press releases, news scripts, letters as well as more traditional memoir writing. What made you decide to include so many varieties of writing?

Lisa: My memoir explores family. The joys, the sweet reminiscences, and sorrow in the face of illness and loss. These are weighty topics. I want the reader to stay with me as I describe my journey with my parents until they passed away. By using different forms, such as a crossword puzzle, and press releases I was able to add some tasteful humor and give a lighter touch to tough topics. In spite of the overarching theme of grief, readers have told me they were touched by my stories and some of the situations I focused on made them laugh out loud.

WOW: I’m a failed journaler so I always ask memoir authors: Do you keep a journal?

Lisa: I don’t keep a journal. I never have. But as my journalism career came to a conclusion, I began to write creatively, crafting short stories and essays. I had success getting much of my writing published in literary magazines and anthologies. When my mother and father’s health began to fail dramatically—my father from dementia and Parkinson’s disease and my mother from ovarian cancer—I reflected on my childhood, what they were like when they were young parents and full of energy, rites of passage in my life and theirs. The writing was cathartic. After they both had died, I enrolled in some classes on writing about grief, which helped me keep up the momentum of my writing on the topic and also helped me deal with the mental exhaustion from my grief.

WOW: I find writing classes invigorating. Tell us about something you gained in your class.

Lisa: In the grief writing classes we were encouraged to experiment with different narrative forms and poetry. I became fascinated by the idea of crafting hermit crab essays, which are a bit like actual hermit crabs in that they are essays that takes on the existing form (as if a shell) of another type of writing. The “Comforter-in-Chief” job description is one example and the two-part news script about the search for my father who had wandered across a highway ramp is another. 

WOW: Your first book was the novel The Talking Drum. What made you decide to write your second book as a memoir?

Lisa: I call myself an accidental memoirist. I had no intention of writing a memoir. In fact, I had been working on my second novel and put it aside when my mother got sick. The memoir evolved organically when I realized that I had dozens upon dozens of pages of essays on the topic of family and grieving. I contacted about a dozen small presses pitching my pages as a chapbook. Within days I got a response from Sea Crow Press, an award-winning woman-run independent publisher based on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Publisher Mary Petiet said that she wasn’t interested in a chapbook, but a full-length book and if I thought I could hand in a manuscript of at least 100 pages, she’d send me a contract. I, of course, said yes. And that’s how my writing became a memoir in essays.

WOW: Can you compare writing a novel and writing a memoir? 

Lisa: Writing a memoir was more emotionally wrenching than writing the novel because the memoir was personal. I was writing about my family and myself. I had to revisit a lot of memories and dig deep into my grieving while polishing the writing, reading sentence after sentence over and over to get everything right, reliving a lot of emotionally tough moments. 

A novel has many challenges, but the characters I created were at a distance because they’re not real. For the novel I had to create a story with a beginning, middle and end, with a narrative arc and with characters who I had created from my imagination and had to create personalities for each that I kept consistent throughout the manuscript. Each is tough in their own way.

WOW: What is one thing you hope people will remember after reading Dancing Between the Raindrops?

Lisa: I hope that readers will remember that they are not alone in their grief, whether it is about a loved one, friend, or pet. Most of us have experienced grief or will experience it in the future. Our responses and reactions to it are our own. Our responses are unique and we should embrace our memories, embrace our grief the way we need to.

WOW: I think that’s a message that will benefit us all. What are you working on now?

Lisa: I’m working on historical fiction. The setting for the novel is Boston, Massachusetts in the mid-1800s. I’m enjoying developing the characters and creating the plot.

WOW: You are a writing chameleon! We never know what we’ll get from you next. I love history and I love Boston so this book sounds like a natural for me.

Dancing Between the Raindrops by Lisa Braxton Blog and Podcast Tour

--- Blog Tour Calendar

April 29th @ The Muffin
Join us at WOW as we celebrate the launch of Lisa Braxton’s memoir Dancing Between the Raindrops. Read an interview with the author and enter for a chance to win a copy of the book.

May 1st @ Beverley Baird
Lisa Braxton, author of the memoir Dancing Between the Raindrops, shares the experience of being an adult orphan.

May 3rd @ A Storybook World
Start the month with a touching memoir. Read more about Lisa Braxton's Dancing Between the Raindrops.

May 3rd @ Beverley Baird
Bev reviews Dancing Between the Raindrops, a memoir by Lisa Braxton.

May 5th @ Choices
How important is it to be part of a writing group? Dancing Between the Raindrops author Lisa Braxton gives her opinion on writing groups.

May 6th @ Anthony Avina
Stop by for a guest post about breast cancer with Lisa Braxton, author of the memoir Dancing Between the Raindrops.

May 8th @ The Shaggy Shepherd
How to answer the question "Do You Have Kids?" with guest post Lisa Braxton, author of the memoir Dancing Between the Raindrops.

May 9th @ Boys' Mom Reads!
Find out how a Boys' Mom feels about the memoir Dancing Between the Raindrops with today's review.

May 13th @ Word Magic
Stop by for a guest post about growing up in the family business by Lisa Braxton, author of the memoir Dancing Between the Raindrops.

May 14th @ What Is That Book About
Looking for a new book for your TBR pile? Stop by for a spotlight on Lisa Braxton's memoir Dancing Between the Raindrops.

May 15th @ From the TBR Pile
Dancing Between the Raindrops author Lisa Braxton will be visiting with a guest post today on lessons learn while getting her MFA.

May 16th @ Fancy That!
Lisa Braxton, author of Dancing Between the Raindrops, is at Fancy That today writing about grieving the death of elderly parents.

May 23rd at Words by Webb
Read a review of Lisa Braxton's Dancing Between the Raindrops today.

May 24th @ World of My Imagination
Enjoy Nicole's review of Dancing Between the Raindrops, a memoir by Lisa Braxton.

--Podcast Tour

Mission Unstoppable
Join Lisa at Mission Unstoppable as she talks about family, health crises and writing a memoir.

Joy Found Here
Lisa talks about her life and memoir Dancing Between the Raindrops at Joy Found Here

The Donna Seebo Show
Don't miss Lisa's upcoming visit in May on The Donna Seebo Show.

Book Lover's Companion
Stop by for Lisa's podcast appearance on Book Lover's Companion on August 23.

***** BOOK GIVEAWAY *****

Enter to win a copy of Dancing Between the Raindrops by Lisa Braxton. Fill out the Rafflecopter form for a chance to win. The giveaway ends May 12th at 11:59 pm CT. We will choose a winner the next day and announce in the widget and also follow up via email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Angela Mackintosh said...

Great interview, Jodi and Lisa! :) Lisa, I love that you wrote your memoir with different types of writing. Grief is so hard to write about and the lyric format works well with the topic. I'm also a huge fan of hermit crab essays. I love the story of how you found your publisher and pitched your book directly to publishers. A lot of writers don't think about doing that and try to find an agent first, which takes a long time, so I think it's a smart idea. :) I just listened to your podcast at Mission Unstoppable and it was fantastic! Wishing you a wonderful tour. :)

Heather Swanson said...

On my reading list a very special story.

Nancy P said...

Sounds wonderful.Congratulations on your book!

AshleyS said...

Will be adding to my reading list.

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