Tuesday, February 26, 2008
A new post! Woo hoo! And a new picture of the Mac, at two weeks. He’s one month old today! How long can I keep myself from calling him Big Mac?
I have been meaning to talk about someone for a few weeks now, an author by the name of Therese Fowler. I mentioned her quickly in one of my other posts, but I have meant to do more and just haven’t. So here is my effort to make up for that. I met Therese briefly at the American Library Association conference in Philadelphia back in January. She signed an advance copy of her book, Souvenir, and I gave her my card. Then she contacted me the next week and we have corresponded a bit since. She is kind and generous and Souvenir has been chosen as a Target Breakout Book, which is wonderful. I read it in two nights, and would have done it in one, except I have this day job for which I have to be attentive and all that. But I have passed on the recommendation to friends, and now pass it on to you. (I would pass on the book, but really, you all should buy it. Come on, people!) Read the book! It’s got a very touching story (without being saccharine; previously noted, I don’t like saccharine) about choices and their consequences, whatever your intentions. Souvenir, by Therese Fowler. Pick it up.
It’s another gray February New York day (this year we’ve been stuck in perpetual November). We did have a great snowstorm last week, but that was wasted; they might have called it a snow day, but the schools were closed already for winter break. I eagerly looked at my work email when I woke up, hoping for a notice of a closed office. Instead they postponed the breakfast meeting by half an hour. What a gift!
Things have been going well. My dear friend Colleen had me come to Massachusetts for President’s Day weekend to talk with her book group, which had read the book. It was a wonderful experience. There were nine women in the room holding my book, who had read it, who had liked it. They really got it, it seemed, and what more can you ask for? We talked about Jennifer, the main character, and her troubles and her personality. I was concerned about this; in the past I had to work, actively, to make her more likeable, less cold. See, it has been important to me that this book mean something, but that it not be cheesy and saccharine, a trap that many “meaningful” books fall into. As a result, sometimes I pulled too far the other way, particularly with my main character. And since it’s a character-driven book, if you hate the main character, what will motivate you to keep reading? So I worked really hard to give her moments of vulnerability, some more self-deprecation, and moments of connection with other people. And the book group generally liked her, and they weren’t turned off by her depression after her husband died because they liked her enough before. Whew.
The women from the group asked a lot about my process, what I was thinking when, and what motivated certain parts. That was a lot of fun to recount. Some of it is on my website, but I can’t go into quite that much detail writing it out, and certainly not about lots of specific parts. It was great fun to answer questions about people, incidents, etc.
I’ve gotten another review that makes me happy, this one from OurGaggleofGirls.com Here’s the link: http://ourgaggleofgirls.com/books/2008/02/19/did-i-expect-angels/. I continue requesting reviews and interviews at various sites, and getting some responses more quickly than others. These sites are deluged with requests, it seems to me, and it’s very nice that they take their time to do it at all. Thank heaven for people who encourage reading.
I finally have a date for my in-store promotion: March 25, at the Barnes and Noble in the Gateway Mall in Salt Lake City. I need now to contact my publicists again to arrange for Utah publicity efforts. I will be doing a lecture/class of some sort at Weber State University in Ogden in mid-April, and hopefully some Sam Weller events and possibly readings in libraries and/or friends’ homes. I am making my parents host at least one (I’ll make the food), and perhaps I can do something at Wisebird, which also stocks the book. We shall see.