On Wings Of Silence – Book Tour & Guest Post

I love author guest posts, and today’s guest post from Dede Fox, author of On Wings of Silence: Mexico ’68 does not disappoint. In it, she shares her advice for emerging writers. Big fun! Learn more about her book, written beautifully in verse and based on/inspired by the 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre, and enter our giveaway to win a copy of the book and more!
Thanks to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and the author for letting me join in this tour; this post may contain affiliate links as well.

ON WINGS OF SILENCE:
Mexico ’68
by
DEDE FOX

Genre:  Historical / Novel in Verse / Literary Fiction
Publisher: Lamar University Literary Press
Date of Publication: April 2, 2019
Number of Pages: 196

Scroll down for the giveaway!

On Wings of Silence is the story of seventeen-year-old Diana Green, who travels from Texas to Mexico City searching for adventure, freedom, and romance. She finds all three. 

Then Diana’s first love Guillermo vanishes during the revolutionary chaos prior to the ’68 Olympics. Heartbroken, she searches for the truth about his disappearance. As police track, threaten, and abuse those who ask questions, she refuses to be silenced and risks becoming one of the missing.

Based on real events, On Wings of Silence uses historical details to bring to life the horror of the Tlatelolco Massacre, presented through the eyes of a young woman readers will care about and admire.

“This incredible story…is told in a masterful way that engages the reader with its protagonist and the other characters from the start. They are authentic. We know people like them and we care what happens to them. In Fox’s clear voice, mystery, romance and suspense build steadily to the end. Pitched toward young adult readers, this is a good read for any age.” — Dianne Logan

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On Wings of Silence: Mexico '68

ADVICE TO EMERGING WRITERS: RUN INTO THE WIND

By Dede Fox

In 2005 I was home alone during Christmas vacation and wasn’t sure how to amuse myself as a party of one. Then an article in The Woodlands Villager encouraged the community to submit to Swirl, the literary magazine of Lone Star College-Montgomery. That was the invitation I needed.

Due to illnesses, deaths, and divorce, I had recently slipped into the role of family keeper-of-the-memories. In spite of the losses, however, I had experienced times of intense joy, a possible topic for a first submission and one that might attract an editor’s eye.

HERE AND NOW

When happiness comes my way
I savor every drop
swirling it in a crystal goblet,
sniffing its fragrance
before drinking deeply.
I lick my lips
not wanting
to lose
any of
its sweetness,
clinging
to its memory
for
as long
as
I
can.

Those forty-six words served as a catalyst for a new journey. Accepted by Swirl, the simple, visual poem led to a reading where I learned about creative writing classes at Lone Star College and InPrint Houston, as well as free programs offered by the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council. Through poetry, I also met a new circle of esteemed friends. 

All of this happened at the right time. With a 50/50 chance that the Alzheimer’s gene lurks in my DNA, I welcomed opportunities to capture memories and emotions in print. I wrote and wrote, surprised by the harvest of over three hundred poems. Soon regional and national anthologies were accepting my poetry. “Chapultepec Park,” my first submission to the Austin International Poetry Festival, won the 2008 Christina Sergeyevna Award, and I was twice a juried poet at Houston Poetry Fest.

Before my poetry epiphany, I was a children’s novelist. In 1998 TCU Press had published The Treasure in the Tiny Blue Tin, a YA historical fiction, but many publishers had rejected my subsequent novel manuscripts, some in the final editorial round.

I told myself that working on poetry would improve my novels and build my craft, especially since some of my prose lacked the subtility implicit in poems, but the truth was I fell for the immediate reinforcement, the intoxicating connection with a roomful of people during poetry readings and the comradery with fellow poets. Two poetry collections followed: Confessions of a Jewish Texan and Postcards Home. My memories had found their homes, and in 2017, I became Poet Laureate of Montgomery County, Texas.

My involvement with the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council led me to a new network of writers and broadened learning opportunities. Thanks to those connections, I continue to be a Work in Process. Never-ever did I expect to become the NEA/DOJ Writer in Residence at Bryan Federal Prison Camp for Women, but this is my fourth year teaching Creative Writing there and assembling the inmates’ outstanding anthology, Unshackled Minds. 

I also write with oncology and hematology patients at Texas Children’s Hospital. The poets at Writers in the Schools-Houston and the Periwinkle Foundation introduced me to this program. With young writers at the hospital, I’ve learned more about celebrating and appreciating each moment. Writers in the Schools-Houston requests that its artists wear shirts to the hospital that label us as poets. I wear that uniform with pride. 

It’s a special joy to experience the publication of On Wings of Silence, a novel in verse, a combination of my favorite genres in a story I was meant to tell. Lamar University Literary Press published it, and I’m honored to join their team of outstanding authors.

More than book contracts, however, a recent special request filled me with gratitude and left me speechless. A friend entering hospice care, one who battled cancer with grace for seventeen years, asked to add one of my poems to her funeral program:

DENOUEMENT

Let me blaze into darkness
Like a candle,
Blue flame consuming white.

Let my blackened wick glow, 
A sapphire bird with an orange beak,
Or my final light halo a molten core

Let me trail undulating ribbons of smoke,
Curling, forked, dancing into the void,
Filling emptiness with grace.

Fifty words, nine lines, three sentences which, thank God, comforted her.

My writing experiences have brought me the greatest joy. My advice to emerging writers? When writing opportunities dangle, grab their kite strings, hold tight, and RUN into the wind.

Dede Fox is the 2017-2022 Poet Laureate of Montgomery, Texas. Since 2016, she has been the NEA/DOJ Artist-in-Residence at the Bryan Federal Prison Camp for Women, where she teaches creative writing. Through Houston’s Writers in the Schools, Dede also writes with hematology and oncology patients at Texas Children’s Hospital.

The Treasure in the Tiny Blue Tin, Dede’s first novel, was listed in the 2010 Best Jewish Books for Children and Teens. Her poetry books include Confessions of a Jewish Texan and Postcards Home. Dede’s poem “Chapultepec Park: September 25, 1968,” the catalyst for this novel, won the Christina Sergeyevna Award at the Austin International Poetry Festival.

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GIVEAWAY!

GRAND PRIZE: Signed Copy + Tee Shirt + $10 Starbucks Gift Card
SECOND PRIZE: Signed Copy of the Book
MAY 9-19, 2019
(U.S. Only)

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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

5/9/19 Guest Post That’s What She’s Reading
5/10/19 Review All the Ups and Downs
5/11/19 Excerpt Book Fidelity
5/12/19 Playlist StoreyBook Reviews
5/13/19 Review Forgotten Winds
5/14/19 Excerpt The Love of a Bibliophile
5/15/19 Guest Post Momma on the Rocks
5/16/19 Review Hall Ways Blog
5/17/19 Afterword Max Knight
5/18/19 Review Reading by Moonlight
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Comments

  1. Okay, I just cried. What an amazing journey this author has had, and that last poem… I’m blubbering. Thanks for the post.

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