Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Q&A & GIVEAWAY with Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer author of The Little-Gate Crasher

1.     What kind of subjects do you write about?

My work focuses on spirituality, parenting, disability and wellness…I write memoir and nonfiction. I am so pleased to share the release of The Little Gate Crasher,  a memoir of my truly extraordinary Great Uncle, Mace Bugen. My other recent books include The Creative Jewish Wedding Book and The Kitchen Classroom. I’m a featured blogger for WHYY Philly Parenting and I write for and edit The New Normal: Blogging Disability. I’m now blogging on Medium, too.

2.     How do you balance between writing and book promotion?

It’s hard to devote yourself to writing AND promoting your book! Over the last two years, I’ve spent more time on writing articles and doing events for The Little Gate Crasher.  At the end of 2018, I’m going to start carving out writing time to start a new book. For me, it’s been important to recognize that I couldn’t start a new book while promoting one.

3.     Have you had a favorite book promotion event? What was special about it?

I have really enjoyed all of my events but some of the most special ones have been for senior citizens groups. I love that they recognize all of the celebrity photos in the book and get to reminisce with me!

Like many writers who are in immersed in the writing of a book, I didn’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about a marketing and promotion plan while I was working on my latest book, The Little Gate-Crasher. Writing this book — a memoir of my Great-Uncle Moishe “Mace” Bugen who was born in 1915, was diagnosed as a dwarf and though he ultimately grew to be 43 inches tall, became a force of nature in his professional and personal life — was a labor of love.
Uncle Mace was known for an unusual hobby — over 30 years, he would overcome the limitations of his size to stage photos of himself with some of the biggest celebrities, athletes and politicians of his day — from Mohammed Ali to Ella Fitzgerald, Richard Nixon to Joe Dimaggio and so many more. His celebrity photo albums would go to my maternal Grandmother when Mace died and then to my Mom. “These should really be in a book,” my Mom would say when we looked at them together. Mace’s life story — along with the photos — deserved to be known beyond our family and the community where he lived and I went to work crafting his story which became “The Little Gate-Crasher.”

Over the last few months, I’ve visited lots of retirements homes, Hadassah groups and senior education programs. I’ve been met at everyone with enthusiasm and eagerness. After I leave, I usually get an email within a week from someone whose friend was at the book event and who invites me to come to her group.

4.     How do you find time to write?

For me, waking up early before my kids get up has been essential to keeping my writing practice going strong. I recently wrote a blog about my discipline and passion—if writing is something that you need to do, you just have to find the time wherever you can in your life. I often scrawl down notes for a story or draft out a rough outline when the idea comes to mind—I may be in the middle of a non-writing-related task but if I can just jot those notes down, I’ll generally remember when I have time to sit down at the computer later and start writing.

5.     How can people purchase the book and get in touch with you?
The Little Gate-Crasher is available on amazon and I love to connect with readers on twitter (@gabkaplanmayer) and facebook. You can also reach me via my website www.gabriellekaplanmayer.com

The Little Gate-Crasher
Mace Bugen might have been an achondroplastic dwarf, 43 inches tall with an average size head and torso set on small, twisted legs—but that didn’t mean he was an idiot or a pushover. In truth, he was smarter than most; over the years, he learned to effectively turn what society in those days called a handicap into a powerful tool he could use to his advantage.
“When I was a kid,” he once said, “I’d ask myself, Why is that guy on the football team? Why can’t I be on the team? Why didn’t God give me the height so I could be the hero?”
“Then at some point I figured it out: I gotta do something special to let ’em know I’m me.”
In The Little Gate Crasher: The Life And Photos Of Mace BugenI remember my amazing great-Uncle Mace Bugen through his journey as a first-generation Jewish-American kid in working class Philipsburg, NJ to becoming the first celebrity selfie-artist—way ahead of his time.
Featuring vintage photos of Mace with his exploits, The Little Gate Crasher captures three decades of American pop culture, seen through the unique lens of Mace and his gate-crashing exploits.
Underneath his antics, we meet a complex man who continually defies others expectations and meets life on his own terms. Mace becomes a successful businessman and devoted son to his aging parents. But in his gate-crashing antics, we best get to see Mace’s unique combination of guile, cunning and sense of entitlement, which he used to engineer photos of himself with some of the biggest celebrities of his day. If people were going to stare at him all of his life, he would give them something to see.
The Little Gate Crasher features over 50 vintage photos of Mace with celebrities, athletes and politicians, including Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Muhammed Ali, Richard Nixon, Jane Russel, Joe DiMaggio and more.

Author Bio – Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is an experienced educator, author and speaker. At Jewish Learning Venture, she works as Director of Whole Community Inclusion and leads disability awareness programs for the Philadelphia Jewish community. Her most recent book The Little Gate Crasher, a memoir of her Great-Uncle, who overcame society’s prejudices about dwarfism to lead a remarkable life, was one of the national book selections for 2017 Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month. Gabby writes for and edits The New York Jewish Week’s The New Normal: Blogging Disability and is also a featured Philly parenting blogger for WHYY’s newsworks. Gabby holds a B.F.A. in theatre and creative writing from Emerson College and an M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. 

Social Media Links –
Giveaway to Win a paperback copy of The Little Gate-Crasher (Open to US & Canada only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  *Terms and Conditions –USA / Canada entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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