July 4, 2006


Happy fourth, American Peepages. I sent some candy and toiletries and copies of gods in Alabama to our troops overseas. I inscribed the books, "To a soldier, from a soldier's daughter." I sent gods instead of Between because I think gods has more dirty parts, and as we all know, those soldiers, they like the dirty parts.

OH! SHAME UPON ME! To slander our troops so! I take it back, about the dirty parts. I aimed my care packages at an ARMY unit, high minded gentlemen all, I am certain. Not SAILORS. It's the NAVY guys you have to watch out for. *nods vigorously*

ANYWAY. I hope all your boys and girls are safe at home this fourth, and that your family's rockets red glare is all fireworks. If you have a kid deployed, you are in my prayers.

I realized ONCE AGAIN that I am blessed with SUCH good friends. Julie and Amy-Go came by my house and left champagne and flowers on the doorstep and rang the bell and ran away, because Between, Georgia OFFICIALLY RELEASED yesterday. I missed it --- I already was thinking of the book as OUT because I had gone by two local bookstores who asked me to come sign store stock. My agent called to say CONGRATS and I didn't know WHY he was congratulating me. If you think this seems hideously cavalier and ungrateful, let me remind you that I have a DATE problem. I did not even know it was JULY, much less the third, yesterday. Pathetic. Like, it was a big deal that this year I remembered my mother's birthday EVEN THOUGH no one in my family remembered to call me up and remind me that JUNE had happened when I wasn't looking. This was UNPRECEDENTED and I made it very clear that it would never be repeated. SOMEONE HAS TO TELL ME WHEN JUNE IS, LORDY.

I say LORDY now all the time. Like when I was writing Between some of that vocabulary got all over me. I especially picked up little FRETT pet expressions, maybe because most of the Crabtree ones were not FIT to say in front of my children. Or most grown-ups. Now with TOG-WISS I have a character who is a LORDY say-er, and I am a Lordy-sayer for the duration, too.


INVITE THE ONE: If you have read or are reading or plan to read Between (since it is officially out and all, and since I have heard rumors that you can't go to heaven after you die if you do not) you should know B and N is hosting an ONLINE BOOK CLUB discussion of it in August. You can go ahead and sign up now, and B and N will remind you when it's ready to start. We'll be chatting and stuff, and a thing that I think is REALLY NEAT about it, that never happens anywhere else, is that Caryn, my amazing editor, has written most of the coarse materials, even though it SAYS I did. Caryn is....it's hard to explain the relationship with your editor, and the proprietary and involved relationship an editor has with your book. it is ESPECIALLY hard to explain it in a non-selfconscious manner when said editor SOMETIMES READS YOUR BLOG. But I am going to try anyway, because this thing where she did most of the coarse materials is SO cool.

EVERY NOW AND AGAIN, not often, but enough to stand out, I run into this weird attitude from writers who are trying to break into the business, and they ask questions about how I react when my editor wants to ruin my perfect book with her intrusive editoriness or whatnot....it's not like that. Your editor is your in house warrior. With the possible exception of your agent, she is the person who MOST wants your book to succeed, to be the best it can be. It's not ADVERSARIAL, it's a partnership. She makes my books better. WE LIKE THAT ABOUT HER. The times when she hasn't gotten what I was doing are, coincidentally I am SURE *cough*, the EXACT times that I come to realize I have done it well enough. She makes me go back and do it BETTER, and we are both interested in finding the narrative path to the best possible book. There are days when I want to take her to eat crab in a chichi seafood restaurant and make dog eyebrows at her and say, "You make me want to be a better man."

At any rate, what I am saying is, she's all over these books I write, a silent presence who never gets an OVERT word in edgewise as I am the front man on tour with my name on the cover and hers only in the acknowledgments, but this B and N thing has been structured mostly by HER, and I just think it will be NIFTY AS ALL GET OUT to approach the book she edited as opposed to strictly the book I wrote.

You can only do that here. Come play with us!

Or, if that doesn't float your Armada, here is INVITE THE TWO:

Let's you and me (and Scott, and I am trying to make Mir come) take a ship to Mexico. Seriously. You HAVE to come or a buncha of NON FTK REGS are going to CLOT UP THE BOAT. I can't have that. I plan to lounge in a deck chair and Have Serious Discussions About Literature, and you should be a part of this plan. (And here, if you did not intuitively understand that "Have Serious Discussions About Literature" was code for "drink a Mojito the size of a labrador retriever" then you probably should not click this link.)

Posted by joshilyn at July 4, 2006 10:50 AM

Finished Between, Georgia last night :-) LOVED IT!!

Posted by: SuziQ at July 4, 2006 11:48 AM

Of course you meant COURSE and not COARSE?

That cruise is so VERY COOL. I must be on it. Sans baby so I can drink, LOL.

Posted by: Heather Cook at July 4, 2006 11:51 AM

I finished it last night, TOO! Oh lordy, lady, but you are talented. I loved gods in Alabama, but Between just UNDID me in the way that only great books do. I sat on the floor after I finished it leaking tears and clutching the book to my chest. Thanks for (seriously) one of my favorite reads, ever.

Posted by: Aimee at July 4, 2006 11:56 AM

Just finished Between and it was FANTASTIC! I'll bet the cruise is a total blast. What a fun idea! I'll just have to sit home and enjoy it vicariously when you come back and blog about it.

Posted by: Ellen at July 4, 2006 12:05 PM

Aimee called me last night to rave and RAVE about 'Between.' I just gave a copy to my friend for her 40th because I loaned her my copy of 'gods' and OH! she loved it so. I have to say I was coveting my present to her... 'Between Georgia', a two disc special edition DVD of 'To Kill A Mockingbird' and a big honkin' bottle of good champagne.

My husband was chastising me because the book store only had one copy so I was cracking her copy open just the teensiest bit so I could read it before I gave it to her without it looking all used and everything. I need to hit the bookstore again today and get my very own copy.

I can't wait to tell my book club that we have apparently been 'Having Serious Discussions About Literature' all along... How exciting for us!

Posted by: Laura at July 4, 2006 12:10 PM

Ah, I can't go on the crusie. Bummer days.... but I did sign up for the bookclub...wow, I finally made it to university....

Posted by: Cele at July 4, 2006 12:30 PM

Hey, Joss -- did you hear that someone just registered a new movie title called "Snakes on a Ship"?? Maybe for Scott we can can find robot snakes.

I'm going on the "Author on a Ship" Cruise --- so can't wait!!!!

Posted by: Patricia at July 4, 2006 12:52 PM

Nuts. I want to go on a cruise. I want to "discuss literature". (Drink lemonade. Hey, I'm underage!)Unfortunately, this irishGal has NO MONEY. And anyway, I'd probably have to fly over just to get to the ship, and you know, that kind of defeats the purpose.
Doesn't it?
Oh er, I'm raving.

Posted by: irishGal at July 4, 2006 12:58 PM

Neither hell nor high water will keep me off that boat...but I am disappointed that you are sober enough to blog this morning. That champagne was intended to be drunk, you know! ;)

Posted by: Amy-Go at July 4, 2006 1:01 PM

Aww, no ship or Serious Discussions About Literature in my future (well at least no SDAL on a BOAT) but I will go to University with y'all. :)

There will need to be pictures, I'm thinking... of everyone seriously discussing how not to fall off their deck chairs after all that literature!

Posted by: dragonfly at July 4, 2006 1:54 PM

DUDE-- Labrajitos? Maybe I can take out a new credit card under an assumed name and sign up for a leetle yachting with youse all????

OH, I am still on the verge of weeping ever time I even THINK of BETWEEN... a la Holly Hunter every morning in BROADCAST NEWS.

Posted by: Cornelia Read at July 4, 2006 2:11 PM

Oh, my! I may just have to do this cruise. Because: A)I've never been on a cruise. B)I've never been to Cozumel. C)The departure site is within unrefueled cruising range of my persoanl shuttlecraft. D)I could then chide you for waiting till a Serious Discussion About Literature during a Cruise To Mexico was offered before you would come to TEXAS. *ahem* My humble thanks to the Warner folks. And You.

Posted by: David at July 4, 2006 3:54 PM

I signed up for BNU.

The boat thing is seriously tempting me. I think I will have a talk with the man about that tomorrow.

Posted by: DebR at July 4, 2006 10:15 PM

Woo woo..hubby didn't say no about the cruise thing.......He didn't say yes..BUT HE DIDN'T SAY NO either!
I so want to go!

Posted by: kim at July 4, 2006 10:36 PM

Dude, they misspelled coarse on the B&N site. Someone should send them an email. Sheesh.

Posted by: FibrousTuber at July 4, 2006 11:17 PM

Oh wow ... I would love to go on that cruise so much I'd be willing to sell my children to pay for it. Only, I don't think I'd get enough for them.

Posted by: TrudyJ at July 5, 2006 3:34 AM

I finished Between on Sunday and absolutely loved it. Good lord but I was all but on the edge of my seats and just about cried and laughed out loud and I hardly ever laugh out loud when I read a book.

Please, please tell me there is more story coming about that family. oh please, oh please.

Posted by: Deb at July 5, 2006 6:52 AM

I already told you that if I sell the children, I will have the time and the money to join you. I'm working on it. ;)

Posted by: Mir at July 5, 2006 7:50 AM

Mir, if you find a good site that pays well for cute kids, let me know!

Posted by: TrudyJ at July 5, 2006 9:58 AM

Things to do today list:

1. Sign up for August Book discussion thingy.
2. Ensure that paycheck has been deposited.
3. Go to bookstore and purchase "Between, Georgia"
4. Follow cruise linky thing and sign up.
5. Go ahead and pay for it, as it's payday and all.
6. Contact relatives who will allow my child and myself to live with them since I will not be paying rent this month since I will have spent all available money on book, cruise, gas and chocolate.
7. Go to Galleria and purchase cocktail dress for cruise.

Posted by: Angela at July 5, 2006 1:40 PM