For this month’s book club, we chatted with  award-winning author Joan Dempsey about her book, This Is How It Begins.

Due to some technical difficulties (thanks a lot, Facebook!), we went live from Joan’s Facebook page.

Watch it right HERE.

In this episode, we talked about:

  • Why Joan became a writer
  • The challenge of bridging history with contemporary issues
  • How religion entered into This Is How It Begins
  • Why her book was rejected by agents and how she finally found someone that believed in her and her story
  • How readers can win a signed paperback copy of Joan’s book plus an Amazon gift card.

More about Joan

Winner of the 2017 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers and named by “Poets & Writers” magazine as one of “5 more over 50” writers to watch, Joan Dempsey is the author of the novel, This Is How It Begins, which won a bronze medal for literary fiction in the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) and was shortlisted for the 2018 Lambda Literary Award, the 2017 Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award and the 2018 Sarton Women’s Book Award. Joan received her MFA degree and teaching certificate in creative writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. She lives in New Gloucester, Maine with her partner and their family of animals.

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Enter the giveaway!

Praise for This Is How It Begins

“Beautifully written … an ambitious and moving debut novel.” —LILY KING, award-winning national bestseller of Euphoria
“A remarkable novel … an essential story for our time.” —MATTHEW GOODMAN, New York Times bestselling author of Eighty Days
“A spellbinding novel … a moving adventure …” —DR. EVA FOGELMAN, Pulitzer Prize Nominee for Conscience and Courage: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust
“A riveting story … this striking debut is essential reading for our times.” —JUDITH FRANK, Lambda Literary Award Finalist for All I Love and Know
“… a compelling story that seems to rise out of … current national headlines.” —FRANK O. SMITH, Bellwether Prize finalist for Dream Singer


2017 Independent Publisher Book Award Bronze Winner (literary fiction) 2018 Lambda Literary Award Finalist (gay fiction)
2018 Sarton Women’s Book Award Finalist (contemporary fiction) 2017 Foreword Indies Book of the Year Award Finalist (historical fiction) 2018 American Library Association Literature Title—Over the Rainbow

This episode is sponsored by the BINKA BEAR!

First, I want to disclose that I gifted this sponsorship to my friend Kaitlyn because I believe in the mission of her product SO. HARD. CORE. There was no money exchanged, and I’m happy to make her a sponsor. Because taking away the binkie from my middle child was such a horrific experience that SIX years later, I still want to give back to other moms by helping get through this challenging time.

We’re so happy to support our friend Kaitlyn’s Kickstarter. Kaitlyn Pierce is a mother of two little girls, age 5 and 2. She created a product inspired by the creative way she helped her oldest daughter, Sylvia, kick the challenging pacifier habit for good. The product is called Binka Bear and has grown from an idea to a fully functional product now on Kickstarter. Just before Sylvia turned 3, Kaitlyn began looking for tools or products to help with this transition and found nothing on the market, however, she did discover a fun solution a couple of her friends had tried which inspired the idea that is now Binka Bear. The product launched on Kickstarter on July 6th, so let’s show Kaitlyn some love over at her Kickstarter page.



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Joan Dempsey | LTC Book CLub



We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.