How to be a friend of CLEFT HEART this Holiday season.

I published Cleft Heart in 2014, and since then thousands of readers and fans have enjoyed the book and showed great support through various social media updates and more.

This holiday season, it’d be fantastic if you could use Twitter, Facebook , LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.—and even blog posts— to further support the book and get it into the hands of cleft kids, their parents, and their caregivers.

A simple way to do this is to order the book thru Amazon or Barnes & Noble and have it sent to your family’s care providers (doctors, dentists, speech therapists, etc.) for them to forward to cleft-affected people.

An additional way to befriend Cleft Heart.  

A good other way to help is to Like and follow Cleft Heart on its Facebook Page, which has been run for years by my dog, Monte Blue, the Anti-Bully Warrior! I’m helping him segue the FB Page to cover a related book I’m writing about discrimination and injustice.

Lastly, tell your friends about Cleft Heart because every kid deserves a pleasing smile, face, and future if they’re been born with a cleft or clefts.

And grab a few copies of the book while you’re online shopping for gifts to your friends and loved ones this holiday season.

Q&A about the inside story re the publication of Cleft Heart.

As a way to say Thank You to those of you who’ve supported Cleft Heart in the past, here’s a rerun of some of the Q & A between myself and others during  interviews and book tours in the months after publication.

cleft heart book cover

1. Why now? What made you decide to write Cleft Heart

I finally got some time off from being a professor and decided to have another go at aspects of being a cleft-afflicted person. During a sabbatical decades ago I wrote a screenplay about a young man with a repaired cleft trying to be a news anchor (a fantasy of mine during the Walter Cronkite golden age of news broadcasting).

The screenplay went nowhere even though Sherry Lansing’s studio expressed interest. Called “Stop, Look, and Listen,” it died when my agent, Bertha Klausner, died. The grande dame of New York literary agents, she had Upton Sinclair and Eleanor Roosevelt as clients.

I wrote Cleft Heart mostly to show people with facial differences that they can rise above, that normal is a state of mind, that you’re only as “normal” as you feel. And, too, I wrote it because I found out no cleft had ever written about the cleft palate experience before. Zounds! Can you imagine?

2. How have your old friends from the Ivy League accepted Cleft Heart? Did they realize the insecurities with which you dealt?

My Ivy friends who’ve read the book have liked, and even loved, it. They feel Cleft Heart captures the sights, sounds and tone of our times in college and grad school.

Of my Ivy friends, I’m most in touch with my Yale classmates , who are male ‘cuz the college didn’t go coed till after I graduated. Some of these guys didn’t realize I’d felt so insecure back in the day. (They are often “old school” males whose competitiveness then, and even now, make them oblivious/insensitive to such things/feelings.)

Some guys, closer to me at the time, knew of my insecurities and struggles. And some, gays in touch with their feelings, have revealed that they felt imprisoned by their own insecurities back then, frightened and seemingly alone “in the closet” in the ‘60s.

3. What part of Cleft Heart makes you the most proud?

I’m proudest when I hear from readers about how my literary voice changes, gets more complex as I get older in the book. I worked at that…and at keeping the story moving along.

4. Do you have a favorite sentence, favorite paragraph or chapter, or a favorite point you make?

My favorite sentence is: “A taller version of Winston Churchill, he growled softly at me in German.” I do like another long sentence about drunken classmates which ends with “preferring froth and foam to Freud and Faulkner.”

I like the adventure of “The Long Way Home” chapter.


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To learn about CLEFT HEART: Chasing Normal, click the Amazon or Barnes & Noble buttons in the margins. Or click the image of the book cover. My coming-of-age memoir has intertwining love stories, mystery, tragedy, and triumph.

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