Latest from the Blog

Surprise Release!!!!!!

Surprise!!!!!!!! I’m elated to shat that I’ve just released Low-Fat Love: 10th Anniversary Edition as the first title from Paper Stars Press, my own imprint. The novel has beenLFL3 Front Cover JPG thoroughly revised, including a brand-new ending that I absolutely love. One of my all-time sheroes, Laurel Richardson, has generously written a foreword. This release is both a reclaiming of my work and a tribute to the many readers around the world who have been affected by the novel.

Here’s the afterword I wrote for this special edition:

I’ve always had an ambiguous relationship with Low-Fat Love. It was my debut novel. There was so much I had yet to learn about writing fiction. In addition, I released it with an indie publisher who offered no peer review, editorial feedback, copy editing, or assistance writing the back cover copy. I was even saddled with the production costs. Today, I would call that kind of publisher a vanity press, regardless of how they try to present themselves. Eventually, that press was sold to a much larger publishing house with a more than 300-year history, and they rereleased Low-Fat Love in a compilation of my novels. Sadly, many of the same issues persisted—no peer review, editorial feedback, copy editing, or marketing assistance. Given my inexperience and lack of guidance, I was on my own with this book. I’ve always looked back and wished I could have done a better job. Despite its flaws and thanks to a hard-working publicist I hired, support from my friends and colleagues, and word of mouth, it was well-read and embraced by readers in ways I could not have anticipated. People saw themselves reflected in the pages. Many readers sent me emails, direct messages, or sought me out at book events to tell me how much the novel meant to them, how it resonated, and how they carried the story and message with them. Many even pulled me close to whisper their own stories of low-fat love.

Now with more than a dozen published works of fiction, my writing style has evolved. In that respect, Low-Fat Love remains one of a kind in my back catalogue, something that I will likely never repeat. However, as the tenth anniversary of the original releasePL w LFL screenshot trimmed approached, I reflected on the heartfelt stories that readers have shared with me over the years on a range of personal topics, including body image struggles, toxic relationships, depression, addiction, and even suicide. I decided to revisit this story once more and finally do it right. The pages in this book are my do-over. In addition to professional copy editing, I’ve made substantive revisions throughout the text and written an entirely new ending. The truth is that I’ve always been disappointed by the original ending. I had something compelling in mind but wasn’t quite able to achieve it. I simply wasn’t able to do better at the time. I hope the new ending brings greater satisfaction to readers, as it does for me. My intent was not to alter the ultimate message of the story, but rather, to crystallize it. I fought hard to get back the legal rights to this novel, not from one, but from two publishers; I not only sought the copyright, but also the right to release new editions. I’m thankful to finally put out the version I always wanted to release. While I did make improvements with each new edition, it’s only now that I can fully see my vision through. From the front cover to the final words, this is my definitive version of Low-Fat Love. Whether you’re a returning or new reader, I hope you enjoy it. The style I employ and the topics I explore in my novels these days are a world away from this book, but I’m profoundly grateful I’ve had the chance to go back, revisit this story, and set things right. All these years later, this book still taps into something real for me and reminds me never to settle because we are possibilities. I hope it does the same for you.

Here are some reviews:

Low-Fat Love proves the astonishing talent that Leavy possesses as both a writer and social commentator. Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Girls meets Sex and the City, but all with Leavy’s raw honesty and clever wit. This is one of my favorite books with a message I can’t shake.” – U. Melissa Anyiwo, Ph.D., editor of Gender Warriors

“Witty, humorous, and smart. The true beauty and power of this novel is reflected in the ways the characters—just like many of us—settle in life and love.” – J. E. Sumerau, Ph.D., author of Via Chicago

“This definitive 10th anniversary edition of Low-Fat Love does not disappoint. The new ending is brilliant. I would run, not stroll, to get a copy for yourself and all the important people in your life. This beautiful and relatable novel offers smart critique of how pop culture’s expectations for intimate relationships often let us down.” – Sandra L. Faulkner, Ph.D., author of Real Women Run

Please pick up a paperback or e-book on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Low-Fat-Love-Anniversary-Patricia-Leavy/dp/0578891883

Thank you boundlessly for your support. I can’t wait to share what’s coming next…

Love and light,
Patricia

 

Constellations is out!!!!

My new novel Constellations is out!!!!! To say I love this novel would be an understatement. I reread it many times during the pandemic. There’s so much love inside this little book and it held my hand and wrapped me in the warmest embrace. I hope it does the same for others. Here’s a synopsis:

Constellations follows Tess Lee and Jack Miller after three years of marriage as they navigate the meaning of love and family over a series of holidays. Tess is a wildly successful and world-famous novelist. Her inspirational books explore our innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Jack is a former federal agent. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. Both healing from past trauma, together they have finally built the life they wish to live. What will happen to their blissful union when Jack’s childhood family resurfaces? When Tess and Jack visit the Millers for Christmas, how will insecurity, a sense of missed opportunities, and the need for redemption test their relationship? When a terrible accident threatens everything in an instant, will they learn the true meaning of unconditional love? Their loved ones are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend who calls her Butterfly; the female president of the United States, with whom Tess talks politics and bakes cookies; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau who understands the sacrifices he’s made; Bobby and Gina, their younger friends who never fail to lighten the mood; and the Miller family. Constellations is a novel about family – those into which we’re born and those we create – the human desire to belong and feel connected, the true nature of intimacy, and the power of love to heal and redeem. Written as unfolding action, Constellations is a poignant novel that moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy.

Constellations front coverThis is the third book that follows the epic love story of Tess Lee and Jack Miller, along with their friends. While it can be read as a stand-alone, it’s best read following Shooting Stars and Twinkle. Huge thanks to the incredibly generous reviewers who have called it “beautiful, riveting, enchanting, compelling, and gripping.”

I’m currently doing a virtual book tour to promote Constellations. Huge thanks to the bloggers hosting me! Check out exclusive interviews, excerpts, and giveaways. Tour dates can be found here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2021/02/vbt-constellations-by-patricia-leavy.html

Here are direct links to the first few tour stops:

https://lisahaselton.com/2021/05/26/interview-with-romance-author-patricia-leavy/

http://christineyoungromancewriter.com/2021/05/25/constellations-by-patricia-leavy/

https://alltheupsandowns.blogspot.com/2021/05/virtual-book-tour-and-giveaway.html

http://sadiesspotlight.com/constellations-leavy/

Learn more about Constellations and pick up a copy for yourself and your loved ones on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Constellations-Social-Fictions-Patricia-Leavy/dp/9004461965/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1620193902&sr=8-1

Catch up on the Tess Lee books this summer, as the next installment, Supernova, will be out in early September! As for me, I’m busy with lots of writing projects—fiction and nonfiction. I can’t wait to share what I’m working on.

Love and light,

Patricia

Twinkle is out!!!!

My new novel Twinkle is out! I absolutely love this book. Ultimately, it’s a love letter to love itself in all its forms– it’s a hug, a warm embrace, a giggle, and a cry all in one. To say 9789004447066_pb_cover_cmyk.inddthese characters are near and dear to me would be an understatement. They’ve been the best of friends, keeping me company and reminding me love is a bridge from darkness to light. I hope they do the same for others.

Here’s a synopsis:

Twinkle follows Tess Lee and Jack Miller after two years of marriage. Tess is a wildly successful and world-famous novelist. Her inspirational books explore our innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Jack is a federal agent. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. As they both heal from past trauma, their epic love, fostered by their ability to truly see one another, has brought them true happiness. However, when an anonymous threat is made against Tess’s life, everything changes. Will they learn to lean on each other, or will they fall apart into the darkness? Their friends are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend, who calls her Butterfly; the female president of the United States, who Tess visits regularly to discuss politics and bake cookies; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau, who understands the sacrifices he’s made; and Bobby, Jack’s younger friend, who never fails to lend a calming presence. Twinkle is a novel about the nature of doubt, the struggle to feel worthy of love, the relationship of the small part to the greater whole, and the ways in which love – from lovers, friends, or the art we experience – can help us move from trauma to healing and redemption. Written as unfolding action, Twinkle is a poignant novel that moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy. It can be read entirely for pleasure, selected for book clubs, or used as supplemental reading in a variety of courses in communication, psychology, social work, sociology, or women’s studies/gender studies.

Early readers have been enormously generous calling Twinkle “a must-read, captivating, stunning, filled with beauty, and contemporary literature at its very best.” My heart is full. Please, pick up a copy today for yourself and consider Twinkle has a gift for your loved ones—it’s message that we are all worthy of love is something I hope people pass along.

Publisher’s website for the Book: https://brill.com/view/title/59481

To Buy the Book on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Twinkle-Social-Fictions-Patricia-Leavy/dp/9004447067/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=patricia+leavy&qid=1606837805&s=books&sr=1-5

As for what’s next, while the pandemic has been enormously challenging in many ways, from a creative point of view, it’s been a surprisingly rich time. I’ve been writing novel after novel—all love stories, because we could all use a little more coziness and connection. Looking forward to releasing them one at a time. For now, back to my creative writing hole.

Love and light,

Patricia

Awards and Media!!!

The 2020 American Fiction Awards have been announced and I’m absolutely elated to share that Film won in the category of “Inspirational Fiction” and Candy Floss Collection (3 novels) won in the category “Anthologies.” Film was also honored as a finalist for the International Book Awards in the category of “Inspirational Fiction.” I’m proud of these books and truly humbled by this incredible, unexpected recognition. These books cap off a decade of my fiction writing, before turning to a new style and genre, in the Tess Lee and Jack Miller serial. I’ve also been told I’m the first novelist to win back-to-back American Fiction Awards for Inspirational Fiction (2019 for Spark, 2020 for Film). I’ve always simply written what will hold my hand. If my work has done that for others, I’m truly touched. I’ve loved writing more than anything since I was a little girl. Spending my days in imaginary worlds is a dream come true. This recognition, well, it’s icing on the cake. I’m grateful beyond words.

I also want to thank those book bloggers and online media platforms who have helped spread the word about my latest novel, Shooting Stars, during a time when in-person book events have not been possible. The first novel in the Tess Lee and Jack Miller serial, this little book came from the deepest part of my soul. I love it more than I can possibly say. Wandering Educators called Shooting Stars, “one of the most important books you’ll ever read.” Here are a few of my online interviews and book spotlights:

We Are the Real Deal Interview: http://wearetherealdeal.com/2020/07/05/an-exclusive-interview-with-renowned-novelist-patricia-leavy-about-shooting-stars/

Wandering Educators Interview & Review:  https://www.wanderingeducators.com/best/stories/read-this-inspiration-why-shooting-stars-most-important-books

The Sociological Cinema Interview: https://www.thesociologicalcinema.com/blog/how-one-sociologist-is-using-fiction-to-address-trauma-healing-and-interpersonal-relationships-an-interview-with-dr-patricia-leavy

Chick Lit Central Book Spotlight: http://www.chicklitcentral.com/2020/08/spotlight-shooting-stars.html

Roses are Blue Book Spotlight: https://rosesareblue.net/2020/07/16/book-spotlight-shooting-stars-by-patricia-leavy/

Just Contemporary Romance Book Spotlight: http://www.justcontemporaryromance.com/2020/09/shooting-stars.html 

Heartfelt thanks to early readers. Your kind notes have meant more to me than I could ever say. Many of you have said you read it in one sitting because you couldn’t put it down, that it moved you deeply, and that you can’t stop thinking about it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Shooting Stars came to me in a bolt and embraced me in the warmest of hugs. Of all my books, it’s the only one I sit down to read myself when I want to feel some of that warmth. It’s a love letter to love. Love heals.

These past months have been enormously difficult as we all try to navigate this pandemic. Like most, I’ve had tremendous personal and professional challenges. All my speaking events and book signings for 2020 and at least half of 2021 have been cancelled. It’s been an incredibly challenging time to release books, especially ones that I hold so dear. I’m profoundly grateful to those in the media who have tried to help spread the word, to early readers for their generous support, and to the awards committees that have bestowed such lovely honors on my work. We all still face many challenges ahead. I’m getting through it the best I can by crawling into a creative writing hole. I feel called to create and I look forward to sharing what comes from these times.

Love and light,

Patricia

Shooting Stars is out!!!!!

My new novel Shooting Stars is out! To say this was an unexpected project and a gift, would be an understatement. I’d like to share how this love story came to be. This fall through spring I had a creative burst like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. A novel came to me in a complete, immersive way I can only describe as spiritual. I didn’t speak to anyone, respond to emails, and I hardly slept. Ten days later, the novel was drafted. It was the most joyful, engaging, and cathartic experience of my life. I didn’t know what to do with myself, so after a day passed, I began writing again. Fourteen days later, the second novel was drafted. Fast forward, there are now five in total. They’re unlike anything I’ve done before. It’s a love story that came straight from the deepest part of my soul. Really, it’s a love letter to love itself, in all its forms. Each book takes place a year after the last and explores love and another topic. The first novel, called Shooting Stars, explores love and healing. I’ve never been more excited to share something. These characters have embraced me in the warmest hug I’ve ever felt. I hope they do the same for others.Shooting Stars front cover

Here’s a synopsis:

Tess Lee is a novelist. Her inspirational books explore people’s innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Despite her extraordinary success, she’s been unable to find personal happiness. Jack Miller is a federal agent. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. He’s dedicated everything to his job, leaving nothing for himself. The night Tess and Jack meet, their connection is palpable. She examines the scars on his body and says, “I’ve never seen anyone whose outsides match my insides.” The two embark on an epic love story that asks the questions: What happens when people truly see each other? Can unconditional love change the way we see ourselves? Their friends are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend who mysteriously calls her Butterfly; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau who understands the sacrifices he’s made; and Bobby, Jack’s younger friend who never fails to lighten the mood. Shooting Stars is a novel about walking through our past traumas, moving from darkness to light, and the ways in which love – from lovers, friends, or the art we experience – heals us. Written as unfolding action, Shooting Stars is a poignant novel that moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy.

My heart is filled from the praise we’ve been receiving. Early reviewers have called Shooting Stars “beautiful,” “resonant,” “haunting,” “one of the grandest love stories of all time,” and “Leavy’s most powerful work to date.” One reviewer wrote, “The deepest cuts came from Leavy’s frankly audacious creation of space for trauma processing and healing.”

I’m in love with these characters and the message of this novel. Now, more than ever, we need to feel closeness and connection. That’s what these characters have brought me and I hope they do the same for others. Please pick up a copy at amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Shooting-Stars-Social-Fictions-Patricia/dp/900443934X/ref=pd_ybh_a_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=5MDG6QRJT5CWD73XQVQR

As for what’s next, I have two nonfiction releases later this summer: the second edition of The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research and the third edition of Method Meets Art. As for fiction, there are four more novels in the Tess Lee and Jack Miller serial. I’ve loved following these characters on their journey and I hope you do too. I’ll let you know all about the second release when I’m able to. Until then, back to my writing hole… who knows what I’ll come up with next.

Love and light,
Patricia

Candy Floss Collection!!!!!

I’m absolutely delighted to share my latest release, a long-time in the making. Candy Floss Collection is a set of three previously released novels: Low-Fat Love, Blue, and Film. Together these novels create an overarching message about what it truly means to live a “big life” and the kinds of relationships we need with others and ourselves along the way. This is not a traditional trilogy. I view this collection as installation art. In this collection, we follow each female protagonist and cast of offbeat characters as they search for love, friendship, and a sense of self. The characters must learn to mind the gap between their lives as they are and as they wish them to be, to chase their dreams even as they stumble on their insecurities, and to never settle for low-fat love. Along the way, characters are imaged in the glow of television and movie screens, their own stories shaped and illuminated by the stories in pop culture. Set in contemporary New York and Los Angeles, with special tributes to 1980s pop culture, each novel questions and celebrates the ever-changing cultural landscape against which we live our stories, frame by frame. There are many messages in this collection, but the overarching statement is: we are possibilities.9789004428256_pb_cover_cmyk.indd

I put this collection out for both old and new readers. The novels have each been revised and there’s a new preface and afterword. Beyond those revisions and additions, there are nuances in each novel that are signposted in the others—so you see more, when you read them as a collection. Moreover, there is a larger story and message—an arc— that is only revealed when all three are experienced chronologically. Putting out this book completes a work, a decade of writing, and a lifetime of thinking about certain themes. I’m very grateful my publisher, Brill/Sense, allowed me the opportunity to present my full artistic vision. It’s rare for authors. When you think about it, other artists do this all the time. For example, musicians often put out different versions of their work, whether it’s new recordings, live recordings, cover songs, or boxsets or other “greatest hits” compilations. We accept that a song with good bones can be interpreted in different ways. This is true for every art form, fiction included. I’ve rewritten or retooled my fiction before. For example, this collection actually includes the third published version of Low-Fat Love, and each one is different. I think it’s easier for us to accept with music perhaps because of its ephemeral nature. Fiction is printed in black ink, but the possibilities are endless.

Please pick up a copy at Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/9004428259?pf_rd_p=ab873d20-a0ca-439b-ac45-cd78f07a84d8&pf_rd_r=K5KPT9TX7MA9N0QTGZZ9

For me, this collection puts an exclamation point on a decade of my work. I’m so excited to share it in this special format. And I can’t wait for what’s next. Stay tuned… and thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming along with me on this journey.

Love and light,
Patricia

Handbook Release & More!

After seven years of labor, I’m delighted to announce the release of The Oxford Handbook of Methods for Public Scholarship. This is a one-of-a-kind collection for students, professors, and researchers across the disciplines who are looking to make their research accessible to audiences outside of the academy. I extend my profound gratitude to the incredible contributors for generously sharing their expertise and wisdom. This handbook is a stand-out because of them. I’m also grateful to Oxford University Press for their continued support and for pushing the bounds with this publication. As always, heartfelt thanks to the world’s best assistant, Shalen Lowell, who has labored on this for many long years.
OUP handbook pub methods

Here’s what reviewers have said:

“…this handbook demonstrates how the power of research and scholarship can be held in the hands of many rather than in those of a select few.” — Joe Salvatore, Clinical Associate Professor of Educational Theatre, New York University Steinhardt

“This handbook contributes greatly to the growing movement to make research relevant, accessible, and useful.” — Rosemary Reilly, Professor, Applied Human Sciences, Concordia University

“Editor Patricia Leavy assembles some of the most notable writers in public scholarship for this authoritative collection… This important handbook comes at a critical time when academia must embed itself deeply in the local and global communities it serves to collaboratively create positive social transformation.” — Johnny Saldaña, Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University

“Patricia Leavy has done it again — created a research methods work of importance and relevance and authenticity, with acuity and a keen sense of just what is needed for the field, in this case the field of public scholarship. This is the first comprehensive overview of public scholarship methods — something which Leavy has always pioneered, most particularly with her recent beautifully crafted work of social fiction and tenacious and inclusive leadership” — Alexandra Lasczik, Associate Professor, School of Education, Southern Cross University

Please pick up a copy of the handbook for personal use (it’s an awesome reference), ask your library to buy a copy, and/or consider it for course adoption. Please use promo code ASPROMP8 at the Oxford University Press website for 30% off:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-oxford-handbook-of-methods-for-public-scholarship-9780190274481?q=patricia%20leavy&lang=en&cc=us

The handbook is also available at Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Oxford-Handbook-Methods-Public-Scholarship/dp/0190274484/ref=sr_1_3?qid=1571690636&refinements=p_27%3APatricia+Leavy&s=books&sr=1-3&text=Patricia+Leavy

spark-cover
As this new nonfiction work is released, I’m in the middle of two special fiction releases. As you know, Spark was released in March. I’ve had a wonderful time at book talks and signings and virtually joining classes and book clubs. If you’re a professor adopting Spark as a required text and you’d like me to Skype into your class, please email me. I’m more than happy to do so pending scheduling. Likewise, I want to thank the many colleges and universities considering Spark as a part of campus-wide reading programs. That’s an honor beyond words. Of course if Spark is selected, I’d be honored to visit your campus in-person or virtually, if we can work out the scheduling and logistics. I’m forever grateful to the world-class team at Guilford Press for all they have done to help get this book out into the world. And I have some lovely news. I’m elated to share that Spark won the American Fiction Award for Inspirational Fiction and was an honored finalist in the category of Adventure Fiction. I’m humbled beyond words. I’m deeply moved readers have found Spark inspirational, which was my fondest hope. I’m also stunned and thrilled to share that Spark also won the Living Now Book Award gold medal for adventure fiction. I’m just floored by all of this incredible recognition. I’m truly grateful beyond words.

20190604_113610
As for what’s next, I’m releasing a new novel—something very special to me—in a matter of days. I’ve never released two novels so close together, but these just poured out of me. My forthcoming release, Film, follows three women who moved to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams and carries undertones of #MeToo. With a tribute to popular culture, set against the backdrop of Tinseltown, Film celebrates how the art we make and consume can shape our stories, scene by scene. Reviewers are calling Film “a tour de force” “gorgeous” “a love letter to popular culture” “a feminist fist bump” and “Leavy’s bravest novel.” More very soon…

Thank you for your support on this journey. It means the world to me.
Love and light,
Patricia

Spring/Summer Round-Up

It’s been an incredible few months since the release of Spark. Now that things have calmed down I’d like to take a moment to thank you all. I’m enormously grateful to everyone who has picked up a copy, said a kind word, interviewed me about the book, or hosted me at their bookstore. Here’s a snippet of a review from Wandering Educators.

“One of the best books I’ve ever read, Patricia Leavy’s Spark is, you guessed it, a story that you can’t put down, so plan on staying up until you finish… I won’t give away the ending, but I will say this: READ THIS BOOK. You’ll think about it for the rest of your life…it’s that good.”

Yeah, that made me blush. Here are some highlights from my Spark journey.

As someone most comfortable at home in sweats writing away, I rarely do AERA 1
public book events, but I had fun doing a couple in support of Spark.
Thank you to Barnes & Noble and Burgundy Books for hosting me and huge
heartfelt thanks to everyone who stopped by! I also loved chatting with
friends, colleagues, and new readers at the American Educational Research
Association Conference in Toronto. Thank you, Guilford Press for hosting
a wonderful book signing!
BN 1
BN 3
BUrgundy 2

I’m also thrilled to know folks are using Spark in book clubs and professors are adopting it as required reading in a host of courses. If you’re using Spark in one of these capacities and you’d like me to Skype into your book club meeting or class for a Q&A, please message me on Facebook. I’m happy to virtually join groups when scheduling permits.

I’ve been privileged to have the chance to talk and write about Spark in different forums. This novel was a labor of love and also a special project, one that can’t be replicated, and I’ve enjoyed explaining the inspiration. Here are some blogs, interviews, and podcasts.

Interview with We Are the Real Deal: http://wearetherealdeal.com/2019/03/02/patricia-leavy-on-her-ground-breaking-novel-spark/
Interview with the Salzburg Global Seminar: https://www.salzburgglobal.org/news/latest-news/article/this-is-how-salzburg-global-sparked-a-new-novel.html
Interview with The Sociological Review: https://www.thesociologicalreview.com/literary-sociology-an-interview-with-dr-patricia-leavy-about-her-new-release-spark/
Interview with the Sociological Cinema: https://www.thesociologicalcinema.com/blog/sociologists-new-novel-teaches-research-methods-and-critical-thinking
Interview with Wandering Educators: https://www.wanderingeducators.com/best/stories/read-this-inspiration-joy-life-patricia-leavy-spark
Interview with So Fi Zine: https://sofizine.com/extra-content/feature-interview-patricia-leavy/
Podcast with New Books Network: https://newbooksnetwork.com/patricia-leavy-spark-the-guilford-press-2019/
Blog for Mogul “What’s My Spark”: https://onmogul.com/stories/what-s-my-spark-a-visual-tour-of-my-office-and-the-objects-that-inspire-me
Blog for Mogul “Sparking Critical Thinking through Fiction”: https://onmogul.com/stories/sparking-critical-thinking-through-fiction

Finally, I’m overjoyed for the recognition this little novel has received. Spark was honored as an award-winning finalist by the International Book Awards in the categories Best New Fiction and Inspirational Fiction. I’m truly humbled. Spark has also been nominated for five American Fiction Awards… waiting for the results to be announced. I share all of this recognition with the incredible team at Guilford Press.

If you haven’t read Spark yet, Guilford Press is happy to offer 20% off and free shipping to folks in the US/Canada. Use promo code 7FSPARK here: https://www.guilford.com/books/Spark/Patricia-Leavy/9781462538157

As for what’s next…

I’m looking forward to the American Sociological Association Conference in NYC. For those attending, please stop by for a chat or to pick up a signed book. I’ll be doing a signing for Spark and my other Guilford Press titles from 10:30-11:30 Sunday August 11th at Booth #329. I’ll be doing a signing for Privilege Through the Looking-Glass and my other Brill/Sense titles from 10:30-11:30 Monday August 12th at Booth123.

I’m also busy as ever with new projects. After 7 years of labor, The Oxford Handbook of Methods for Public Scholarship will come out in September. I also have a very special release coming in late fall, something I love more than I can possibly say… more on that soon. I’m also continually writing, both fiction and nonfiction, with many new projects in the pipeline. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support on this journey! We are possibilities. A spark exists.

Love and light,
Patricia

Spark!!!!!!!!

Spark has been released! I’m absolutely over-the-moon. Honestly, I’ve never been more excited to share my work. This was a special project from the outset. I’d like to share the inspiration behind this novel and what it means to me.

Four years ago I had the experience of a lifetime. I was one of fifty people invited to participate in a seminar on the neuroscience of creativity hosted by the world-renowned Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria. Receiving that invitation was like getting the golden ticket for Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. The several-day seminar occurred at the actual Sound of Music house in Salzburg, an incredible castle over-looking pristine water and snowcapped mountains. I met incredible people. The participants included world-famous neuroscientists, artists, and others from around the globe. To say I felt I felt privileged to be there is an understatement. It was an extraordinary, life-changing experience, personally and professionally. While I was there, the idea for a novel began to take shape. I had long wanted to combine my love of writing fiction with my passion for the research process, but I didn’t know how to do it, or if it was even possible. In Salzburg, I figured it out. After the seminar I spent some time in Vienna which is where I wrote the outline. I put it in a drawer to allow it to stew. When I had met other commitments and felt the time was right, I began writing.

See, what I figured out in Salzburg was that to really work, it would have to be a novel that worked on two levels: one for students and one for general readers. The result is a novel that explores the research process, interdisciplinarity, and critical thinking. Simultaneously, it’s very much a simple adventure story about learning to see differently—ourselves, others, and the world. Although I had the idea four years ago, I wrote most of it over the last two years, and there’s no doubt that changes in the US and abroad influenced me. Spark is a counter-narrative to the divisiveness we’ve experienced. Here’s the official synopsis:

Professor Peyton Wilde has an enviable life teaching sociology at an idyllic liberal arts college—yet she is troubled by a sense of fading inspiration. One day an invitation arrives. Peyton has been selected to attend a luxurious all-expense-paid seminar in Iceland, where participants, billed as some of the greatest thinkers in the world, will be charged with answering one perplexing question. Meeting her diverse teammates—two neuroscientists, a philosopher, a dance teacher, a collage artist, and a farmer—Peyton wonders what she could ever have to contribute. The ensuing journey of discovery will transform the characters’ work, their biases, and themselves. This suspenseful novel shows that the answers you seek can be found in the most unlikely places.

This book was a big leap for me, and for my publisher. This is the first novel Guilford Press has ever published. To say I’m honored they took a chance on this book is an understatement. They were the only spark-coverpublisher I wanted to work with on this book. They did not disappoint. When you hold the book in your hands, you’ll see the incredible love and care they put into it, from the stunning, timeless cover created by Paul Gordon to the beautiful interior design details created by the production team. Working on this book with Guilford was another one of the greatest privileges of my life.

I also want to give a huge shout-out to the incredibly generous reviewers. I’m blown away by the early response to Spark. Here are a few snippets:

“Thought-provoking! Intriguing! Clever! A read that absolutely left me wanting to live in the world that Leavy created–a world of beauty and possibilities.” Robin Patric Clair, PhD, Purdue University

“Who, today, is not wondering, “How will our social and political differences ever get resolved?” In a highly-original and compelling novel, Spark, Patricia Leavy, gently leads us to answers… If I ran the world, I would make this book required reading.” Laurel Richardson, PhD, The Ohio State University

“A thoroughly enjoyable and thoughtful read! Spark is not only a page turner, but also an intellectual treasure that will stick with me.” Christine Sleeter, PhD, California State University, Monterey Bay

“This intriguing novel illuminates the blinding force of presumptions–about one’s own capacities, about other people, and, not least, about the ‘requirements’ of legitimate intellectual inquiry. Perhaps more fundamentally, it is about the possibility of transcending oneself, seeing people for who they truly are, and thinking beyond disciplinary silos.” Mark Freeman, PhD, College of the Holy Cross

“This is a sensational book and should be everyone’s freshman read.” Eve Spangler, PhD, Boston College

You can read more reviews as well as a sample chapter here: https://www.guilford.com/books/Spark/Patricia-Leavy/9781462538157

I truly love this book and I’d be so grateful if you’d pick up a copy. Guilford Press is happy to offer 20% off and free shipping in the US/Canada. To take advantage use promo code 7FSPARK at their website: https://www.guilford.com/books/Spark/Patricia-Leavy/9781462538157

Spark is also available at amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Patricia-Leavy/dp/1462538150/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1541533433&sr=1-1&keywords=spark+leavy

As for what’s next, I’m looking forward some spring/summer conference travel as well as a tour of Iceland in September, including a lecture at Iceland University of the Arts. I’m super excited. I’m also busy writing as usual. I’m nearly done with another novel which I hope to release in late fall. I have a few nonfiction projects in the works too. More soon. In the meantime, I hope you’ll give Spark a read and that perhaps it reignites your own spark. I’d like to leave you with the opening words:

a spark exists
within, between, among
and within that spark,
entire worlds of possibility

Love and light,
Patricia

USA Best Book Awards!!!!!

privilege-through-the-looking-glass-cover
I’m absolutely over-the-moon. The 2018 USA Best Book Awards results were announced. Privilege Through the Looking-Glass is the winner in the category anthologies nonfiction. It’s also been honored as a finalist in the categories multicultural nonfiction and education/academic. This honor belongs entirely to the contributors. Their brave, bold, and brilliant writing inspired me and it’s clearly inspiring others. I extend my sincere thanks to the publishing team at Brill/Sense for their continued support of justice-oriented, creative, scholarship. I also have to say that during this particular historical moment, in which social injustice, hate, and intolerance are increasingly commonplace, I’m especially heartened by this recognition. The contributors in this volume show the very human side of issues related to privilege, oppression, and injustice. This is an open-hearted book that helps build a bridge forward. Above all, I think the authors show the importance of compassion and empathy. By shining a light on this book, the awards committee has made a beautiful and much-needed statement about respecting differences.

I can’t believe it, but the good news doesn’t end there. The Handbook of Arts-Based Research is the winner in the category education/academic. It’s also been honored as a finalist in the categories anthologies nonfiction, art, and performing arts. Again, this honor belongs entirely to the contributors. Their creative, innovative, and border-crossing work is changing the research landscape for the better. These folks inspire me beyond words and I know their work inspires countless others. I’m enormously grateful to the publishing team at Guilford Press for their exemplary work on this book, their support of the arts, and their kindness towards me over the many years we have worked together. And again, I have to say, the timing of this award and the category in which we were recognized, is extremely meaningful. At a time when the arts and artists are under attack, this is a most welcome nod. It’s particularly meaningful being selected as the top education/academic book. handbook-arts-based-research-cover

It’s truly an embarrassment of riches and I’m enormously grateful. These books were labors of loved worked on over a period of years. We didn’t do this work for awards and had no expectations. Even after the nominations, we all felt these were underdogs to receive any recognition, let alone all of this. It’s tremendous.

Awards aside, this fall has been a busy time. I’m the November blogger for the National Art Education Association Monthly Mentor Blog. My four short blogs are all about different aspects of arts-based research. You can follow the blog here: https://www.arteducators.org/learn-tools/naea-monthly-mentor

mcgill signingI also delivered a keynote address at McGill University last month at the “Arts as an Agent for Social Change” Symposium. I had an absolutely wonderful time and want to thank the Artful Inquiry Research Group for hosting me and the bookstore staff for running my book signing. I looooved speaking with so many researchers, artists, and students at the book signing. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who waited in line to chat with me, get a book signed, and take a photo. I had a blast and left inspired beyond words. McGill line

As for what’s next, right now I’m busy writing and gearing up for the March 1 release of my novel, Spark. This book is like nothing I’ve done before and I’m completely in love with it. Can’t wait to share more. In the meantime, thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming on this journey with me.

Love and light,
Patricia