Short Fuse Podcast #40: Inviting Readers into a Brightly Lit Room
By Elizabeth Howard
Lauren Cerand, a writer and celebrated arts and literary publicist, shares her insights into bringing readers into “a brightly lit room.” Book sales are up, but indie bookstores are struggling. Lauren suggests ways to promote new titles, particularly those published by independent presses or written by emerging authors. She reflects on how bookstores, through bold new thinking, can become the cultural magnets in communities across the country.
Lauren Cerand is a writer and arts and literary publicist with twenty years of experience running her own thriving global communications consultancy, based in New York and driven by an intensive personal focus on each client’s needs and desires, a vast network of relationships, and unparalleled expertise and creative ingenuity.
Recent and current clients for strategic public relations campaigns and representation in 2021 include the authors Darien Hsu Gee, Charles Vidich, Jasmin Kaur, Arisa White, John Donohue, Melissa Scholes-Young, Kia Corthron, Jai Chakrabarti, Joy Castro, and the international independent publishers House of Anansi Press and Sandorf Passage.
In July 2019, Lauren took a sabbatical year to immerse herself in the study of jewelry design and creation full-time in Florence, Italy, and learn more about the Italian language and way of life. Her writing while there was published in April 2020 in Dining in Place, the online food and culture magazine based in Melbourne, and shortlisted for the 2020 Mollie Salisbury Cup memoir writing competition, administered by the Garden Museum in London. She also wrote about her life with Toscano for a December 2020 feature at Girls and Their Cats.
You can listen to podcast interviews recorded since September 2020 with Tranquility du Jour (”A Creative Leap”), Finding Favorites with Leah Jones (”Making Jewelry in Italy with Lauren Cerand”), and Lost Ladies of Lit (”Princess Marthe Bibesco –– The Green Parrot”).
In April 2021, she was interviewed by Publishers Weekly about “Bookishness,” and was the inaugural guest on Rachel Syme’s Instagram Live show, Running on Fumes. Her remembrance of her friend, publisher Giancarlo DiTrapano, was published online at Literary Hub and in print in the spring/summer issue of Northwest Review.
Lauren serves on the advisory committee for Film Forum and the advisory board for Turtle Point Press in New York, and is a member of the City University Club in London. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University, a certificate in Jewelry Design & Marketing from Pratt Institute, and completed the first year of the two-year BFA program at Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School in Firenze.
The music for this episode is from Karthik Nair. He is a music producer attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and creating music under the alias “Ashgreen.” Karthik produces electronic music that explores the idea of imagining a space or moment through music. In this piece named “Forest Plucks,” Karthik paints the sonic landscape of a surreal forest captured in the dead of night.
Photo: Girls and Their Cats. Web design: Bud Parr. Music: Forest Plucks by Karthnik Nair. All Rights Reserved.
Show Contributors: Kyle Lee, Producer
Elizabeth Howard has never had boundaries between her life, work, art, and writing. Experience, sense of place, and exploration define the choices she makes, seeking collaboration, flexibility, and spontaneity. She is an author, journalist, and creative director. Elizabeth has organized programming around the arts and social issues for organizations in the United States and internationally.