Rita Papazian's Blog

Name: Rita Papazian

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Book Signings & Talks

Lots of exciting news about my book, "Remembering Fairfield: Historic Places, Famous People. Barnes & Noble in Westport has invited me to speak and sign books on Thursday, September 6 at 7 p.m. Thanks to the bookstore's Community Relations Manager Trish Tierney for inviting me to come to talk about my book. It is especially exciting for me to be a guest speaker at the bookstore where I have covered so many other authors, i.e. Martha Stewart and Anna Quindlen, among others.
Also, The History Press has arranged for me to do a book signing at Fairfield Borders on Saturday, September 15 at 2 p.m. Again, this is exciting for me since I've been covering so many authors at this store in downtown Fairfield. I don't think I'll draw the 400 people that Julie Andrews attracted the day I covered her. But, you never know.
I am very appreciative of the Fairfield Public Library and to Deputy Librarian Karen Ronald who invited me to give a Book Talk on Saturday, October 13 at 3 p.m. at the library. Karen has also invited me to participate in the Writers Conference at the library on December 1. Tentatively, I am scheduled to give a workshop on Memoir Writing, a strong interest of mine. I've given workshops and talks about the art of memoir writing, especially my experience interviewing the late Jack DiScala of Norwalk. His memories growing up in Italy and immigrating to this country were captured in my first book, "Gioacchino: Memoir of An Italian Immigrant."
The other day I dropped by the Fairfield Woods Library and noticed a display case of Fairfield history books. Although I know the town's library system has ordered copies of my book, I quickly went to my car, grabbed a copy of "Remembering Fairfield" and asked the reference librarian to add my book to the display. He very nicely obliged. It's the little things that people do that are so appreciated.
I am very excited to see my book on display at both Borders and Barnes & Noble. It is a real thrill. It is also selling at the Pantry and I want to give a shout out of appreciation to the owners of the Pantry who have the book beautifully displayed near the check out counter. It is local merchants, like the Pantry, that understand how important it is to support local creative endeavors.
Incidentally, the book is also available at the Fairfield Woman's Exchange in Southport, Fairfield Staitioners and the Fairfield Gallery right now.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Big News for "Remembering Fairfield"

I must say, after self-publishing my first book, "Gioacchimo: Memoir of An Italian Immigrant," it is exciting to have my second book published by a legitimate publisher, The History Press. The company has a great support staff for my book in terms of marketing, promotion and sales.
I'm scheduled for a book signing at Barnes & Noble in Westport on Thursday, September 6 and at Fairfield Borders on Saturday, September 15.
Also, on Sunday, September 16 I will be selling my book at the Fairfield Citizen News media table at the Fairfield Museum and History Center's big event celebrating the opening of the Fairfield Historical Society's new facility on the Fairfield Town Green.
Yesterday, General Electric emailed requesting 24 copies of "Remember Fairfield: Historic Places, Famous People," and "with my signature." How exciting is that! I had to go back to my bookshelf of autographed books to see how authors sign their books.
In my collection, three authors wrote something in addition to their name. Chris Lemmon (son of Jack Lemmon) wrote "With my very best wishes." Catherine Goldhammer wrote "With best wishes" and Jonathan Alter wrote "With warmest regards." Jane Fond signed her name with a little heart drawn. Al Franken signed his name with "love." The rest just signed their name on the title page: Martha Stewart, Tina Brown, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David McCullough, John McCain, Brooke Shield, Sebastian Unger and Joan Didion, who addressed her signing with "For Rita."

Friday, July 07, 2006

Just the beginning……….

My earliest attraction to newspapers was when I was ten years old. My father would bring the New York World Telegram from Manhattan to our home in Yonkers, NY. I would get on the floor in the living room and flip the pages to the crimes stories. My fascination with crime has never waned.

Although I never realized my dream to be a crime reporter for the New York Daily News, my 30-plus year writing career, mainly as a community newspaper journalist in Connecticut, has given me opportunity write about crime.

Twenty-five years ago I turned a local crime story about a rape into an article for a national magazine, Woman’s World. Back then, it was pretty newsworthy for the victim to be hypnotized to give a better description of the assailant. Sure enough, the artist’s sketch led to the ultimate arrest of the suspect. Then there was the car theft that led to a very well publicized dog-napping when it was discovered that the car, left idling momentarily at the Westport Railroad Station, was stolen with a prized dog inside. Following weeks of worry, the story ended happily when through massive publicity the dog was found in a pound in Queens, NY, but not after an arduous journey throughout the New York boroughs when the car thief tried to unload the pooch.

Then, there was the story about the female prostitute, whose body was found in the waters of a prestigious Fairfield County boat club. Turned out she lived in a neighboring city, but we never learned why her body was floating in the protected dock waters.

If it’s not crime that has grabbed my lust for news, it’s celebrity, and nothing was more exciting than the time President Bill Clinton came to Westport after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. After leaving the tony restaurant where he spoke at a fundraiser, he walked across the street to the waiting enthusiastic crowd. As he walked passed the crowd, shaking hands, he stopped in front of a young woman. He pointed to her chest as she opened her raincoat to show off her…T-shirt, which read: I never slept with Bill Clinton. Yes, the former president can certainly take a joke. He grinned from ear-to-ear.

My reporting assignments continue to satisfy my thirst for celebrity. I covered Princess Anne, in Greenwich, Martha Stewart, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Don Imus, Phil Donohue, Marlo Thomas, among others in Westport; and also Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Sr., and Lillian Carter in Fairfield.

Currently, in Madison, I have a book beat, reporting on the latest books by authors who do book-signings at R. J. Booksellers, an acclaimed independent bookstore. I’ve reported on David McCullough, Frank McCourt, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Sebastian Junger and Jonathan Unger. Let’s not forget Lorraine Bracco and Jane Fonda, among others.

Between the childhood days reading the New York metropolitan newspapers and reporting on the news and happenings in Connecticut, I’ve spent my adolescent years growing up in Hicksville, Long Island – the home of Billy Joel – and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and a master’s degree in secondary education at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, L.I.

I am immensely proud of the education I received at this university and proud to say that some of its prominent alumni, who also attended during my years there, have included director Francis Ford Coppola, the late actress Madeline Kahn, and singer/actress Lainie Kazan.

Upon graduation, I married my college sweetheart, Norman Papazian, and I opted for a career in teaching, instead of journalism. Following a three-year stint teaching English, I quit the profession to devote full-time to raising our three children, until the wanderlust for journalism attracted me back to an interest that had won my heart in childhood.

I began writing features for the Fairfield-Citizen News. More than 30 years later, I am still writing for the newspaper and its sister publications, including the Norwalk-Citizen-News, where I’ve been writing a weekly column, one that began at another newspaper 20 years earlier. During the past 30-plus years, my articles have been published in many newspapers and magazines.