Monday, November 24, 2008

More From Heart of Diamonds Virtual Tour

Interviews and reviews highlighted this week's Heart of Diamonds virtual book tour.

The Printed Page
Review Your Book
The Plot - An Interview with Valerie Grey
The Plot - An Excerpt from Heart of Diamonds
The Book Connection
Fiction Scribe

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Successful Search for Library Director

I was pleased to participate this summer in the successful search for a new Executive Director for the Westchester (NY) Library System, a consortium of 38 public libraries where I serve as a trustee.

Appointed was Dr. Terry Kirchner, whose experience spans more than 15 years in various management positions at public and academic libraries. For the last three years, he served as Director for Access Services at Columbia University Libraries. There, he led and coordinated system-wide interaction between activities across 22 campus libraries, launched effective assessment and marketing programs, conducted ongoing strategic planning and implementation, and expanded the campus-wide
interlibrary loan operations.

In his prior position at The New York Public Library, Dr. Kirchner managed numerous public service operations, coordinated interlibrary loan operations across its major research centers and directed the inventory and relocation of over 2 million volumes to an offsite, high-density storage facility.

Skilled in fostering collaborative and cooperative team-based work groups, Dr. Kirchner earned his doctorate in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University. He holds an MBA in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Baruch College and an MLS degree from Rutgers University.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Heart of Diamonds Virtual Book Tour Proceeds

My virtual book tour is proceeding apace, with more stops logged this week:

Book Publishing Secrets
If Books Could Talk
The Writer's Life
Divine Caroline

You'll find posts such as an account of how Heart of Diamonds made it from my scribblings to the bookstore shelves, an examination of my work habits (good and bad), and the inside details on the creative process that produced Heart of Diamonds.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Thursday, November 13, 2008

An Open Letter To NY Governor Paterson

Dear Governor Paterson,

The fiscal abuse of libraries in the state of New York has gone on long enough. I urge you to rescind your proposed 20% cut in library aid for the good of your constituents and the health of our state's economy.

Please remember that New York's libraries don't just have shelves full of books, but provide help with job searches, coach people through career changes, assist new Americans to navigate through our society, help older citizens manage their health care, and provide many, many other essential services to people who need them most. Library usage is skyrocketing right now, putting greater pressure than ever on our facilities. A funding cut as large as you propose will cripple us.

I serve as a trustee of the Westchester Library System, a cooperative that depends heavily on state support to provide the services so necessary to our citizens. As you are working on your budget revisions, I hope you'll keep in mind that there are 523,000 library card holders in Westchester--arguably the largest single group of voters in the county. The sheer number of library users should give you some idea of how important libraries are to the people of New York.

Your proposed cut will take over $400,000 out of the Westchester Library System budget alone. That will have a devastating impact on our ability to provide services to the patrons of the 38 public libraries in Westchester. You might be interested to know that we were planning on a very tight budget year but intended to dip into our meager reserves in order to maintain critical services. A cut of this magnitude would essentially wipe out those reserves, necessitating deep cuts in services.

As a citizen and a library trustee, I can assure you we are prepared to tighten our belt. I plead with you to help us avoid cinching it around the necks of the library users in the county.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Story Of One Refugee

Bloggers UniteThe refugee count keeps climbing in the Democratic Republic of Congo as fighting between the Congolese army and rebel warlord Laurent Nkunda drives more and more people from their homes. Recent tallies by the United Nations add more than 250,000 people to the rolls of displaced persons, bringing the total to over a million.

Numbers are only part of the story, of course. It's highly likely that a huge percentage of these people will eventually become casualties, killed by starvation and disease, dying of despair. I wrote about the plight of refugees in the Congo in this passage from Heart of Diamonds:

"That is Ogastine," Frannie explained quietly. "She was raped by seven men in front of her husband and children. One of them used a plantain to humiliate her even more." Bobby turned the camera on Frannie, who ignored it and kept on talking. "She had to take her children and go live in the hills when her husband kicked her out."

"Why did he do that?" Valierie asked.

"He was sure she had contracted a disease from the men who raped her, so he didn't want anything to do with her anymore. Her children all died in the bush. There were three of them."

As Frannie told Ogastine's story, Valerie felt the anguish draw around her like a dark curtain. She mentally pushed it back so she could focus on Frannie and the story. "How did her children die?" she asked gently.

"I don't know for sure, but probably from what you and I would consider a minor disease. It could have been just a simple infection. Like most of these kids, they were probably under-fed to start with. Weak. That means just about any medical problem becomes life threatening. The massacres and battle get press coverage, but nobody ever reports on how many people die from the real effects of civil war. Disruption of the food supply and lack of medical care kill a lot more people than bullets. More than five million have died in the Congo since 1998. The shame is, almost all of them die from treatable diseases like malaria and diarrhea, aggravated by living in a permanent war zone."
Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Friday, November 7, 2008

Five Stops On The Heart Of Diamonds Tour

Here are five places to read more about Heart of Diamonds, including author interviews, reviews, and selections from my romantic thriller about love, scandal, and death in the Congo.

Beyond The Books
Book Reviews and Author Interviews
The Dark Phantom
The Story Behind The Book
The Library At The End Of The Universe

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Good Morning, America

I woke up proud to be an American today. The election of Barack Obama was a confirmation that we are a good country with good people looking for the right way, not the easy way, to advance our society. I think the choice of Obama was not just the election of the best man but the repudiation of the snarky, snarling, snake-handling, self-dealing bullies who have run this country for the last eight years. It's so nice to look to the White House and see not the glare of hate but a glimmer of hope.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Virtual Book Tour Begins

I'm going around the web this month to talk about Heart of Diamonds and the situation in the Congo. Three of the early stops tell the story behind the story and how I came to write a romantic thriller about blood diamonds. You can read more at Beyond The Books, The 1st Page, and The Story Behind The Book.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the