Note to self: Always use Professional Author voice when speaking to the press. From the Fresno Bee:

“Rachel Howard has a habit of raising the intonation of her voice at the end of sentences that don’t contain questions. Her lilt bounces along so merrily that there are moments you might mistake her for a witless mall rat.

Don’t be fooled. Howard is no lightweight. She’s the author of “The Lost Night,” a memoir about the summer night her father was murdered as they slept in their Merced home. She was 10 years old.”

The rest of the story is actually quite complimentary, but registration is required to view. If you already have an account with the Bee or don’t mind signing up for one (free), you can see the whole article here.

The readings in Merced and Fresno, incidentally, were wonderful. In Merced, where I worried people might take me to task for dredging up bad memories, we had a standing room only crowd. People who knew my father in high school came to share their rememberances–and their yearbook photos. Old neighbors of the house where my father was killed came to say they remembered when the murder happened, and that they were keeping me and Bobby in their thoughts at the time. My grandmother came, my mother, my aunt, and Nanette, my dad’s second wife, with her family. Even before anyone had introduced themselves, I could feel a kind and supportive energy from the audience.

Fresno–where I lived after the murder–was less emotionally charged but just as fun. The “good girls” from my years on the Clovis High colorguard were by my side. Special thanks to Heather for playing “interim publicist,” and to the good friends I hadn’t seen in years who stopped by to say hi.

It was all a much richer–and overwhelming experience than I have time to relate today. I’ve got a wall to finish painting yellow, a Chronicle story to write, and an apartment to clean before my in-laws arrive tonight. Oh, and also a reading tonight: 7 p.m. at the SF Ferry Building’s Book Passage. Come on out. I’ll make sure not to talk like a “witless mall rat.”

1 Comment

  • Heather Posted August 11, 2005 4:30 pm

    You are brilliant, and clearly your brilliance was so overwhelming to the Fresno newspaper that they had to try and bring you down a bit. Unsuccessfully!

    I’m so glad you came through Fresno!

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