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Dear Readers,

How to Kiss Like a Movie Star is a memoir-in-essays that, I hope, speaks to everyone who has dreamt of becoming something, then navigated the labyrinth of victories and challenges in order to get there. It’s about struggling to match your outside to the inside, even if the inner femme fatale is difficult to see behind a body that inspires directors to think, "Prison Guard." It’s about being grabbed, catcalled, and felt up by my childhood singing teacher, and the difficulty of finding my voice, as a result. About fighting to be seen and heard in a home where much was unspoken. About stepping through the ropes, into the ring, to take back my power, KO’ing breast cancer with boxing gloves, then being cast out by the teacher who showed me how to survive. It’s about travelling across the world to India’s Festival of Holi, to finally get my color back.

My draft manuscript was chosen to advance in the 2016 Launch Pad Manuscript Competition, with an eye toward publication, representation, and perhaps a film or TV option.

After an extended detour into the cancer machine, and the benediction of being declared cancer-free, I am overjoyed to be back at work, and making good on promises made to sponsors and benefactors before the dark spot on my mammogram. This is the next step. It’s time for my book to be in readers’ hands, at last.

Many thanks to you, friends and readers, known and not-yet-known.

Leslie