Michael R. French - Author
His first love, adult and young adult fiction, tackles diverse subjects from the world of horse racing to politics, focusing on characters as much as a page-turning plot. His novel, Abingdon's, was a bestseller and a Literary Guild Alternate Selection. His young adult novel, Pursuit, was awarded the California Young Reader Medal. He has also co-written two screenplays for Amazon Prime.
Receiving his Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University, he focused on creative writing and studied under Wallace Stegner. He received a Master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He later served in the United States Army before marrying Patricia Goodkind, an educator and entrepreneur, and starting a family. Working under his wife, Patricia, ten years ago they created a non-profit foundation, Dollar4Schools, which continues helping support Santa Fe public schools and its teachers.
An avid trekker and traveler to developing countries, French loves diving and snorkeling, and for the last decade began studying endangered marine and land mammals. He believes climate change is currently the world’s greatest long-term problem.
He and Patricia divide their time between Santa Barbara, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Book Santa Fe
Book Santa Fe is a project we created simply to express our appreciation of all things book related in Santa Fe New Mexico and elsewhere. It resides on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. We feature book related posts featuring Santa Fe authors, bookstores, readers, book lovers, and of course the authors and publishers we work with.
We are constantly finding new ways to promote books and and writers/authors in Santa Fe and New Mexico.
Check It Out
Thank you to all our author clients! You make our world a far more interesting place!
Having & Creating Objects
We all have certain objects we own that have more meaning than other objects in our lives. A favorite sweater, a household item given to us by a family member, our cell phone, a beloved book, can all be touchstones that anchor us to a sense of connectedness in our life.
It’s always been this way for us. Museums are great places to see objects that are revered and held in high esteem for a multitude of reasons. They are anchors to the past and learning as well as examples of what we have valued throughout time.
Even our pets often have objects that are beloved. Certain objects are just important.
And then there is art…
Many of the objects created by artists are one of a kind. They are unique and have an expressive quality that you either appreciate or not. They differ from the favorite sweater you chose off the rack or ordered online. Unless the sweater was made for you it’s simply one of a multitude of sweaters being worn by many. Sure you can individualize some of these objects like your phone to some extent but still it’s a phone like thousands of others around you.
Creating a piece of art brings something into the world that literally didn’t exist before it was created. It’s almost a magical act of creation. It’s exciting!
Here’s a caveat… Art has a very long history. What we do now is influenced by that history. We almost can’t escape that fact. For a few fantastic examples check out the previous post by Mari, “Visiting the Moderna Museet in Stockholm - and Other Museums We Can't Stop Talking About” However, that doesn’t change the fact that when we create something new and different we truly have brought something new into the world.
"Original thought is like original sin: both happened before
you were born to people you could not have possibly met."
Art for me is a part-time endeavor. It satisfies the creative urge that often calls to me.
Here are a few examples of recent work with obvious artistic shout outs to those who came before.
Things Cubed - A series that continues to grow.
We provide marketing and publicity for authors and their books. It’s a fascinating endeavor that provides us a chance to work with smart, creative, individuals who are dedicated to a noble profession.. It also gives us a chance to read some great books before they enter the market.
Throughout time, writers like artists, have been the chroniclers of history and all aspects of society and civilizations. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction they have provided a way to objectively see our world. They teach us new perspectives and ideas through the lenses of their books. They challenge us to seek within ourselves the attitudes and implications that their characters bring to life. Simply put, they make us think about ourselves.
If the book is non-fiction we are brought along for the ride with actual living and breathing people, places, and times. We get to glimpse the perspectives of people who have experienced things we may never have imagined. We walk in their shoes and see what they saw. We are challenged with the question of what would I do? How would I react? What decision would I make?
Unlike films, books force us to construct internal visions of the people, places, and situations they depict. The description of a house may be detailed but we build the total picture in our minds of what that house looks like. We personalize our experience with the writer and sometimes that connection can be magical. If you are a book lover you know exactly what this means. It can be like finding a friend and finding a place where you too fit in and feel comfortable. Or, like the character you feel the discomfort that they feel. Empathy is a powerful emotional connection.
Writing a book is hard work. It takes dedication and a great degree of creativity. It also takes a willingness to put yourself and your work out there to an unknown audience who can respond in a multitude of ways online or otherwise. We are finding that most authors are happy to have your response whether it’s positive or negative or somewhere in between. All that dedication to the craft of writing makes them pretty resilient.
Obviously we love books and we know they make a real difference in our lives. It’s our distinct pleasure to present a few of the authors and books we work with.
On Promoting Creativity
The New Art of Promotion
(Excerpt from a piece we did for the book “True Acting Tips” by Larry Silverberg)
If people don’t know about you, you won’t be found. If people can’t find you, you won’t be contacted. Simple truths. Let’s put you in that empty chair!
As most consumers know, a sea change has occurred in how we communicate and how we must promote what we do if we expect to succeed. While the phone and letters are still valid forms of communication, they require an extra effort that many busy recipients don’t have time for and relegate to the circular file. What they make time for is the web. Whether it’s email, search, or social media, that’s where contact now occurs. With this change, even traditional outlets of promotion using print ads struggled to adapt to digital consumption of what they have to say. They know they must evolve. Demographics for that consumption clearly show that if you want to be seen and heard by a very large part of potential audiences the place to start is online. Whether you are a company creating widgets or an actor performing drama, welcome to the new boat. We are all in it together.
As an artist you want your efforts to be seen. In the past others often controlled how you were seen. That, too, has changed. As a creative individual, you can now promote your own work in ways that are powerful and reach a worldwide audience. You can shape and control the presentation of your efforts. You can reach out and develop an audience. Chances are, if you create it, there is an audience out there for it. What does it take to do this? Time, effort, and access to basic computer technology are all that is necessary to begin.
Ah, time! If only we had more of it. Our good friend, the artist Steve Muhs has this to say about promoting his work: “I know I need to do it, but I don’t want to stop working to do it. If I don’t, though, then who am I making the art for? Who will see it?” His concern and his questions are valid. Like a lot of creative people, for him time is an issue. His work is demanding and requires a great deal of attention, and yet it still must be seen in order to be experienced and appreciated. He also adds that it “feels odd” to promote himself and his work. Our response is this: If you owned a company that produced a good product, would you be hesitant to promote it? Of course you wouldn’t. If you don’t do it who will? As an artist/actor you are essentially running your own business. It, like other businesses, must be marketed. And like other businesses, it has competition. However as an actor the products you produce are unique because they are creative expressions from within you. Martha Graham, the dancer, had this to say about creative expression: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.” Finding an outlet for others to see and hear your unique talent is essential, so the time and effort are worthwhile. Whether you do it yourself or find an individual or organization to help, the online resources are out there.
At Artotems Co. we think artistic endeavor is a vital part of our lives. We make it a point to promote the creative efforts of many. To learn more about what we do go here.
Works by Steve Muhs
True Acting Tips by Larry Silverberg
True Acting Tips leads stage and screen actors on a journey of passion, intimacy, and personal investment. This isn't to say that there will not be heavy demands and a high cost, but ultimately, this book is designed to offer the clarity and encouragement to become an actor who makes a difference in the lives of the audience members. "True Acting" is not a reproduction of anything that has come before and True Acting Tips is not a book concerned primarily with the technical demands of acting. Instead, it is an in-depth examination and invitation to see and experience acting as a momentous burst of creation new, surprising, and deeply human. It includes inspirational quotes, more than 200 acting tips, and images that reveal a powerful philosophy to assist in the most difficult moments.
Available on Amazon here.
Sharing our creative efforts, work and travel.