Carolyn Porter | Carolyn Porter: Blog
Learn more about the book "Marcel's Letters" and the font P22 Marcel Script, which is based on the handwriting of conscripted WWII laborer Marcel Heuzé
Carolyn Porter, Marcel Heuzé, Marcel's Letters, Graphic Design, Font Design, P22 Marcel Script
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Q & A with Mamta Chaudhry, author of Haunting Paris

When an author writes a book proposal, they often invent profiles of prospective readers; the purpose is to help a publisher envision what type of reader might buy that book. When I first heard about Mamta Chaudhry’s forthcoming novel, HAUNTING PARIS, it felt as if my picture should have been used in her book proposal. The book checks off just about every topic I could ask for: Paris? Check. An old, handwritten letter? Check. WWII? Check! A compelling history-mystery? CHECK!

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Book Marketing: What Worked (So Far)

Last week I had a conversation with a friend whose book, Crackerjack Bands and Hometown Boosters: The Story of a Minnesota Music Man, is coming out in July. She’s at the point in the process where the writing is done, the book is in production, and she’s facing the daunting next step: launching her book. She asked great questions about marketing: What worked? What didn’t? What seemed to be the best investment of time and money? Her questions were smart and on-point, though I would expect nothing less since her background is as a journalist.

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May 14/15, 1942: “…my greatest ambition is to get home to you…”

10-page handwritten letter written by love-lorn British soldier stationed in Sudan, May 1942

Letter 52

Wednesday, 13th May, 1942
1887416 Sgt. Leigh AA, RE
Transportation
Headquarters
Sudan

My Darling Sweetheart,

How long it is since I last wrote you. I don’t know but it is longer than it should have been. I am extremely sorry to keep you of all people waiting but I am sure you must know and realise that I have an excellent reason, so please forgive me darling. I must confess that I have been frightfully busy and working hard in the intense heat produces a tiredness which hinders all attempts to write but the smallest of letters. Since my precious you are worth far more to me than a few scrappy lines I just wait my opportunity. READ MORE

Handwriting Writing Prompt

Undated envelope with beautiful handwriting expressing disappointment (subject of disappointment unknown)

I found this delightful, mystery-filled handwriting sample on eBay for just a few dollars. I love the loopy handwriting, the flourished initial letters, and the extra-long cross bars on the t’s. Most of all, I love the sternness of the note. I’m dying to know what was so unworthy! The note was written on the front of the envelope; unfortunately the envelope doesn’t include any other clues.

It struck me as a fantastic writing prompt. What do you think was such a failure and that was so “untrustworthy” that it required courage to send? Do tell!

April 1, 1944: Furlough is coming near

Handwritten WWII postcard, written in French, with hand-drawn fish basket and Lily of the Valley

Lafond–La Rochelle
April 1, 1944

Dear Mom,

Yesterday there was beautiful sunshine and today, for April Fish, we have grey weather and fine rain. Tomorrow night Gaston will take the train, and after tomorrow noon he will go see you for sure. It seems to me you come back at noon or 12:30.READ MORE

“What’s the name of your new dog?”

I’ve met with enough book clubs to anticipate the questions readers have about Marcel’s Letters: A Font and the Search for One Man’s Fate. One question that has come up time and time again is, “what’s the name of your new dog?”

A woman at a book club in Stillwater has been the only one to ask the harder question: “why didn’t you tell us his name?” The book included so much detail, she explained, the absence of his name seemed unusual. She didn’t believe it was an oversight. When I learned the woman was a judge, her question made more sense. She may often ponder motives behind people’s actions.

So, I thought it was time to tell you why I didn’t include Watson’s name in the book.READ MORE