Author’s tale: a dream and a day job

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 7/19/23

Kara Tatelbaum will be giving a reading from her book, “Putting My Heels Down: A Memoir of Having a Dream and a Day Job,” that will include a Q&A session and signing copies for sale …

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Author’s tale: a dream and a day job


Kara Tatelbaum will be giving a reading from her book, “Putting My Heels Down: A Memoir of Having a Dream and a Day Job,” that will include a Q&A session and signing copies for sale on Thursday, July 20th at 7pm at the Marlboro Free Library, 1251 Rte 9W, Marlboro.

Tatelbaum’s book was published by Motina Books on April 29, 2021. Since then she has been giving a number of readings and book signing events, “all over, at bookstores, at the New York Public Library in Manhattan and in the Bronx and I have been touring college dance programs.”

Kara has recently concluded a slew of appearances: at the American Dance Festival at Duke University in North Carolina (one of the oldest in the country and for Kara a ‘magical place’); the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia; Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY; and New York University in Manhattan. “So I’ve been very busy traveling with the book,” adding that she is often invited to book signing/speaking engagements upon the recommendation of someone who has read her book, but ultimately she is responsible for setting up these engagements herself.

Kara offered a short synopsis of her journey.

“I think that we all have dreams and goals that we want to accomplish in our lives and we have things that hold us back and those things can be unique to who we are, in whatever it is that we want to pursue,” she said. “I think we can all relate to having a goal, having a dream and have it not quite work out the way we wanted it to or the way we expected it to.”

Kara said fortuitous things happen, “when we widen our vision and widen our goals, the chance of us getting those goals increases. That’s really what my book is about...getting a tunnel vision idea about who I was as a dancer and not opening up my lens and widening my vision to everything else that I am and could be.”

Kara touched upon the Q&A session at her events, noting that people at library events often ask about the nuts and bolts of how she got published.

“It took me 10 years to publish my book, and people are always interested in hearing my journey of publication,” she said. “I think we all have a story and at a reading people start to think about their own stories and their own journeys and maybe their interest is piqued about what it would be like to write it down.”

Kara pointed out that the dance world that she grew up in, has a sense of urgency and immediacy about it while the book publishing world moves at a very slow pace, “but the good news is that a book lasts forever and a dance does not.” She emphasized that even with a book deal in hand the actual publication may be a year or more in the future.

“With that right there, you have to be patient,” she said. “The journey just to get that book deal, signing an agent, finding a publisher, finding the market for your book is just very time-consuming, not even counting all of the time it took you to write the book.”

After becoming a certified wellness and resilience coach, Kara has been thinking of a possible fitting coda to her book, something along the lines of ‘Putting Your Heels Down “where I approach this book as a coach, asking questions and giving exercises for the reader to start to widen their own vision for themselves.”

Kara has been traveling more than she ever imagined to book signing events and her memoir has been adopted by a number of book clubs, a Brainy Book Club pick and a ballet book club pick.

Kara said she is looking forward to the Marlboro Library event.

“I’m excited to see some familiar faces that I know in the community and meet some new people,” she said.

For more information about Kara, go to