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Me: Part 2

Us and boysAfter a couple of years in the country, we relocated back to Nashville where I went through two years of high school before another move to Murfreesboro, an hour south of Nashville. During my high school, I got involved in school programs, ranging from sports – basketball, track and swimming – to acting (yes, acting!) and church (I was secretary of our CYO group) and even earned a 100 hour badge as a candystriper volunteering at the local V.A. hospital.

Despite all these activities, the transition to Murfreesboro was tough since I’d left some close, wonderful friends behind during a crucial time in my teenage years to try to gain acceptance in a school where most everyone had grown up together. I processed my feelings in writing and escaped into books even more. In fact, I often got in trouble for reading off-topic in class — even honors English class.

I absolutely loved writing and felt comfortable doing so. So much so, that in college, I frequently wrote other student’s term papers along with my own.  I left school to earn a paycheck, married young and soon had a couple of children and life as a stay at home mom bringing in a little side money as a sportswriter for a local weekly paper and then working as a stringer for another local newspaper.

My tumultuous six-year-marriage ended so I entered the ranks of the 9-5 employed in customer service. A few years later I remarried a wonderful man — my best friend — and continued to work, too busy to write. I returned to school and received a B.A. (cum laude, I might add) in Mass Comm from Middle Tennessee State University. While there, I was writing for the school newspaper and as a stringer with the Tennessean, covering some random stories from a major pollution issue to the cotton crop’s prospects to tragedies such as a young boy dying from diabetes.

After graduating, I moved into a fulltime reporters role with a suburban Nashville daily paper and wrote for a few years longer before deciding a corporate communications job would be more lucrative. I simultaneously joined forces with a friend of my brothers and co-wrote a screenplay and, with my partner’s approval, wrote the subsequent novel based on the story. It gathered dust on a shelf as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan raged on but I’m glad to say became my first published novel, Empty Sky, which was finally published in 2014.

The art came into play this way: My two sons joined different branches of the military and served in Iraq. They both served in the infantry and both were embroiled in some of the worst fighting during our years there. My eldest, a Marine, was in Nasariyah in the beginning of the war which was described as “a Turkey Shoot, with our Marines as the targets.”  My younger son was in the mechanized infantry in Anbar Province where half-ton IEDs were the widow-makers and son-stealers.

I’ll be honest. It unbalanced me for a few years. Not that I became a raging alcoholic or ended up in an institution. Rather, I let anger and outrage over what I perceived as an egregiously ill-advised course of action eat away at me. I was bitter and intense and outspoken and not a pleasant person to be around.

Then I found art.

My sons were stateside and safe and I was able to let down my guard. With a makeshift studio beckoning, I taught myself some basics and took classes and workshops and found a community of fellow artists to paint with.  It was the release I needed and at once my soul felt so much lighter!

Technological advances sent my consulting business the way of travel agencies, and forced me to find steady employment. I did, and have since moved to Florida with my husband. Thankfully, we have a great home with a great studio and separate office where I can paint or write as is my inclination. I decided after finally publishing Empty Sky last year to take a stab at completing the sketch of another story I’d started years ago. Over this past several months I finished it. It is my sweet second novel The Gray Lady of Long Branch and it’s being released August 25.  I hope you’ll consider reading it!

 

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Empty Sky – where to buy it

What the book is about:  Grammy-winning producer Matt Buckley has an enviable career in Nashville and all the material trappings success can buy. His personal life is a mess, however, and the death of his father sets off an existential crisis. A chance meeting with a mysterious stranger who’s just lost his own son inspires Matt to get his act together.

After taking some positive steps forward, Matt meets and falls for April, a struggling Nashville-based musician and single mother of two. Emotionally damaged from a troubled past of her own, April is understandably reluctant, given Matt’s history and reputation, to get too involved. With courage, love and humor, the two manage to work through their personal baggage and trust issues toward a life together and a fairy tale ending… or one would think.

Keywords:  Nashville, Music Industry, romance, life, death, courage, Country Music, songwriter, afterlife, Asheville

Following is a list of the online outlets Four Pillars has identified that are selling Empty Sky.  If your bookseller does not stock it and you’d like a copy, suggest they order it and provide the corresponding ISBN number (paperback or ebook).

U.S. Links:

The following are stores selling the paperback book in the United States:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, alibris, Books-a-Million, Chegg, other book retailers (ISBN: 9780985709341)

The ebook edition can be downloaded here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks,  Kobo, Google Play (ISBN: 978-0-9857093-6-5) 

U.K. Links

Foyles, Oxford Bookshop(London), Amazon UK

Australia:

Buy Empty Sky through Angus & Robertson

France:

In France, the ebook is available through FNAC

Other countries:

Empty Sky is also available through Amazon outlets in other respective countries (i.e. CA, DE, JP, etc.)  and through other major bookstores.

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Empty Sky – Debut Novel released TODAY!

Empty Sky novel by Maura Satchell about Nashville, romance, bereavement, country music, angels and the courage to love.
Empty Sky novel by Maura Satchell about Nashville, romance, bereavement, country music, angels and the courage to love.

I wrote about this back in May, and the original plan called for release by Labor Day. Alas, we were delayed.  The good news is, the book is being released today! September 26!  And by all outlets, I mean the following:

Paperback retailers (both brick and mortar, and online).  The book is available through nearly 40,000 bookstores, including independents and chain stores. It’s pretty exciting to think about that!

Publisher’s (and mine) Important note:  If you wish to purchase Empty Sky in paperback edition and your retailer doesn’t carry it, you can request it by the ISBN: 978-0985709341 .  Alternatively, you can reach out to the publisher, Four Pillars Media Group.

If you get a chance to read Empty Sky, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the book! Leave your comments below (and in reviews on online booksellers’ sites too!):

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Empty Sky book release update

So, we’re getting closer to a firm release date.  It looks like late August when all is said and done.  In time, I hope, for Labor Day reading opportunities for folks lucky enough to take some time off then. I’m hoping readers will head to the beach for a beach vacation with my book in tow! Or trek to a cabin in the mountains, armed with some good reads, including Empty Sky.  Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Whatever the case, Empty Sky looks like it will be available in paperback form in late August. We are working on a book release locally, as well as book-signing events in Nashville and Asheville too, since both of those locations are front and center in this book.  Nothing is firm yet, though, so stay tuned!

The front cover of the novel Empty Sky by Maura Satchell
The front cover of the novel Empty Sky by Maura Satchell
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So in addition to painting… I write

Empty Sky novel front cover
Cover for the fictional novel “Empty Sky” scheduled for release in late July, 2014. The cover image uses one of my paintings.

I’ve been writing all my life.  My first poem, about bears, was at age five and all through childhood, teen years, and in adulthood, I’ve written poems to process my feelings.  I later delved into stories and fiction.  In college, I’d write term papers for others and loved taking on such assignments of my own.  I majored in Mass Comm and worked as a reporter covering local, national and even international stories at times.  I loved being in the thick of it, but didn’t appreciate the paycheck and eventually sold my soul to corporate America after a time, lured by the security and extra zero’s in one’s paycheck.

In 2004, I co-wrote a screenplay “Empty Sky” with a fine Nashvillian named Paul Lopes.  We tried, unsuccessfully to market it and with Paul’s full approval, I took the story and crafted a novel out of it.  The 3oo-plus page fictional work sat gathering dust until late last year when Four Pillars Media Group came knocking.

We’re in the final stages of bringing this book to press and I am so excited!  It’s like emerging from a long slumber to actually hold the paperback proof copy in my hands, finally!  It is in post-editing now and is slated for release in July!  In case you are wondering what it’s about, here’s the synopsis from the back of the book:

“Grammy winning producer Matt Buckley has an enviable career in Nashville and all the material trappings success can buy. But his personal life is a mess and the death of his father sends him into self-destructive freefall. A chance meeting with a stranger who’s just lost his own son inspires Matt to get his act together.

 After taking some positive steps forward, Matt meets and falls for April, a struggling musician and single mother of two. Emotionally damaged from a troubled past of her own, April is understandably reluctant, given Matt’s history and reputation. But with courage, love and humor, the two manage to work through their personal baggage and trust issues toward a life together and a fairy tale ending… or one would think.”

In case the cover looks familiar, it incorporates one of my own paintings!  I wasn’t sure, but now that I’ve held it in my hands, yeah, I think it works!  More importantly, in testing it out on others, they like it too!