The Accidental Art Thief
By Joan Schweighardt
Release date: May 15th
For a quarter of a century forty-five-year-old Zinc has worked as a caretaker for a wealthy old man, living in a small casita on his ranch in New Mexico. She doesn't make much money, but she has the old man, her dogs, and gorgeous views of the mountains. She is basically a very content recluse who doesn't invest much time thinking about what she might do if her circumstances change. So when the old man dies suddenly, and his daughter all but throws her off the property, Zinc is forced to reinvent herself—and quickly.
With a touch of magical realism and a collection of offbeat characters, The Accidental Art Thief explores the thin line between life and death and the universal forces that connect all things.
Some years ago I started working on a memoir. I was in a writing group with two other women at the time, and the plan was that we would each get something done on our respective projects and take turns reading a portion of our new work at our weekly meetings. My memoir was slow in coming, however, because I had to bat my memories around for a while before I could get them to settle down on paper. Consequently, there were some meetings where I didn’t have anything new to contribute.
To get around this problem, I decided to start working on a novel as well, something light and fun so that I could save my heavy thinking for the memoir. There were restrictions with the memoir, the most stringent of which, of course, was that it had to be true. To counterbalance the effort of digging up the truth, I allowed myself total creative freedom with the novel. I didn’t make an outline. At the end of one chapter, I decided the direction the next would take and went from there. It was great fun for a straightforward writer like me to break out of the mold and dance on the tables, so to speak. It felt like I was writing fluff, good fluff, but fluff nonetheless. But when I was done I realized that some very important themes—honesty, betrayal, isolation, forgiveness, homelessness, self-reliance—had worked their way into the text.
What people are saying:
“Zinc is an engaging, quirky, and utterly unique heroine, instantly likeable, with a hefty mixture of strong intelligence and overwhelming naivety…. While the novel is realistic, there is subtle magic woven in nearly every line, as coincidence and confusion come together into what might be termed the wisdom of time, spirit, and love.”
~ Magdelena Ball, CompulsiveReader.com, author of Sublime Planet, Black Cow, and other titles
“Schweighardt populates her modern-day odyssey through the southwest with fascinating, quirky
characters thrust into a complex (and hilarious) web of emotional turmoil, poignant misperceptions, and downright lies. As laugh-out-loud funny as it is thought provoking.”
~ Julie Mars, author of the memoir A Month of Sundays: Searching for the Spirit and My Sister, and the novels Rust, Anybody Any Minute, and The Secret Keepers
“A sensitive, gripping, artfully rendered novel that kept me reading from the first page to the last.”
~ Faye Rapoport DesPres, author of the memoir-in-essays Message from a Blue Jay
About the author
The Accidental Art Thief is Joan’s fifth novel. Her previous work includes three novels published with The Permanent Press and a historical novel published with Beagle Bay Books in 2003. The historical, called Gudrun’s Tapestry, won Foreword and IPPY awards and was translated into Italian and Russian. Joan is currently completely her sixth novel, another historical.
Title: The Accidental Art Thief
Author: Joan Schweighardt
Author web site: http://www.joanschweighardt.com/
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
*Print ISBN: 978-1-60619-070-8
Format: 6x9 trade paperback; 232 pages; $17.95 USD
Distributors: Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Brodart, Follett, etc.
*eBook ISBN: 978-1-60619-069-2; $6.50 USD
Format: ebook in pdf, ePub, Kindle, Mobi, PRC, etc.
Distributors: Amazon Kindle; Apple iBookstore; BN.com Nook; Kobo Books; OmniLit; etc
Release date: May 15, 2015 ebook; May 15, 2015 print