Bethe Lee Moulton, Abbot Academy Class of ‘66, Discussed “Until Brazil,” Her Self-Published Novel

Bethe Lee Moulton, Abbot Academy Class of ’66, just wanted to record her experiences working in Brazil during the 1980s. But her small vignettes turned into a memoir, what Moulton calls an “autobiographical fiction” novel, which she presented to the Andover community on January 25. Moulton shared several excerpts from the novel to supplement her personal stories of business trips to Brazil. Moulton’s story follows an American woman who travels on business trips to Brazil. While spending time in the country, the woman falls in love but also faces and overcomes gender discrimination in Brazil during the 1980s. Although Moulton based her heroine’s experiences on her own travels in Brazil, she added several elements and events to her story and changed the majority of the characters’ names. A self-published author, Moulton has visited 32 different states and 17 different countries while promoting her novel, which she released on November 1, 2011. The book itself took Moulton ten years to write and just over six months to publish. Moulton said that technology has positively affected the distribution and marketing stages of publishing her book. “Until Brazil” is being sold as both an e-book and as a physical copy. Over 30% of the sales to date are electronic, and Moulton expects that number to increase as word of her book spreads. Moulton noted that she wanted to publish the book quickly after writing it because of the increasingly important role Brazil is playing on a global scale. She realized that if she went through a traditional publishing company, it could have taken years for the book to be published. According to Moulton, the process of self-publishing is “overwhelmingly fun.” While she worked through the publishing process, Moulton states that she made all outside contacts via Skype and the Internet. Moulton’s presentation ended with a short question and answer session. One audience member who had traveled to Brazil himself as a businessman in the 1980s was able to match his story to Moulton’s own personal experiences and noted that “Until Brazil” could act as a “how-to” guide for people traveling to Brazil on business. Two of Moulton’s classmates, Martha Moore and Beverly Daniel, both of Abbot Academy Class of 1966, commented on Moulton’s presentation. Moore, who bought the book at the presentation, said, “I thought [the presentation] was very interesting, and that it was very revealing about Bethe as an author.” Daniel said, “I thought the part about self-publishing was fascinating because it was the first time I heard anyone talk about how to do that.” Djavaneh Bierwirth ’14 was happy she attended the presentation. “Moulton is an extremely interesting person. She has a very exciting story and I am looking forward to reading her book,” she said.