Asheville, NC   Sunday, May 28, 2006   12:19 AM
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CITIZEN-TIMES.com: Asheville Citizen-Times  Voice of the Mountains
by Susan Reinhardt, COLUMNIST
published May 28, 2006 12:15 am

Authors these days have all but become traveling salesmen to get word out about their books.

The days of swanky publicists shuttling writers about in limos and sticking their pampered selves up in five-star hotels is over for most.

Unless we are Dan Brown, Stephen King or J.K. Rowling and one of my all-time favorites, David Sedaris, those with first books or who havent made the best-seller lists are still carting books in their trunks and setting up shop hither and yon.

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I met a woman at the Erma Bombeck Writers Conference in Ohio who called herself a Recovering Hussy. Naturally, we bonded like Gorilla Glue and paper. This curly-haired wild woman even rides a unicycle and has a huge love for dancing (clothed) on tables.

Cincinattis DC Stanfa is author of The Art of Table Dancing: Escapades of an Irreverent Woman, which was published by an Ohio house that pretty much requires her to pull her own stunts to hawk the book.

Its a good thing she still has some hussy left in her, even though her beau is a big-time law enforcement dude.

DC, a 46-year-old woman with a teenage daughter, is drawing upon her love of beaches and madcap adventures, rekindling that spunk that used to get her in trouble. Shes created a sales gimmick Id NEVER have the nerve to pull off unless completely drunk, which isnt proper according to my Mamas standards. DC says shell dance sober or for a margarita or two, it matters not. She doesnt have to be tanked to step up on a bar or table and groove to surf music or reggae tunes.

Shes fun, shameless and while not pitching the media, works a full-time job selling corrugated boxes. I cant really picture her doing this.

In her spare time, she travels the country on her own dime and does this beach party/book-signing tour.

Im a beach fanatic, she said, adding her book includes more than seven chapters set at various beaches. The antics in her book pale in comparison to the stunts she pulls for publicity, not lewd or lascivious dancing but in a sundress, leis, big hair and her vivacious ways.

With the summer season getting under way, she is planning to draw crowds as she moseys up and down the country with her sass, sundress, books and outlandish personality.

Next summer, Im going to get in car and drive up and down different beaches, just anywhere, she said. For now, Im mostly doing restaurants. But I can easily become a traveling beach party.

The book features stories ranging from her run-ins with the nuns at parochial school to driving a car at 13 and sideswiping three others and a truck. It also includes an appearance on the Jerry Springer Show and a revenge on a boyfriend one will never forget.

While it may sound as if shes nothing but a showoff, this is far from the truth. Stanfa is fun-loving, caring and is donating a portion of her book proceeds to Women Writing for a Change Foundation, www.womenwriting.org

These days, she tries her best to stay fairly tame, which is a good thing since her boyfriend is the police chief of Covington, Ky.

Asked what shes spent so far on her own publicity, and she breathes deeply and lets out a loud groan.

Around $15,000!

Thats going way over the top. But thats DCs way, wide-open and full throttle.

This is the opinion of Susan Reinhardt. Reach her at 232-5844 or

sreinhardt@CITIZEN-TIMES.com.

Contact Susan Reinhardt at 828-232-5844 or via e-mail at sreinhardt@CITIZEN-TIMES.com.