May 2, 2007


Today is the day BETWEEN, GEORGIA officially releases in paperback. I have yet to see it in a bookstore, but after today, it ought to be there. LA LA LA! Have you seen it? I haven’t been inside a bookstore for about a week now, so it may have been on a few shelves before today…Remember, it has a new cover.

<-------- Looks like that now. TELL ME IF YOU SEE IT! You may even want to pick it up and press it into the hands of passing strangers and say, “You are an absolute savage if you don’t read this book.” That’s what I plan to do. Or not.

I have to RUN and drive back to Atlanta for a luncheon and it is an hour later there so I have to leave SOON. I’m at my parent’s house because last night I was in Oneonta, Alabama, at the Other Covered Bridges lit fest and it was, quite frankly, awesome fun…EXCEPT…I told an enormous whopper to Sena Jeter Naslund, the intimidatingly accomplished writer of Abundance and Ahab’s Wife who, in her spare time, solves for Pi and plays world class cello.

Am I kidding? No. She IS broad spectrum brilliant in this well rounded way that baffles me. I can do one or two things remarkably well, and then I am basically incompetent at all of the rest of life. My husband doesn’t have a single spike of focused talent, but he can do just about anything he sets his mind to and is the most competent-at-life human problem solving machine I ever met. I thought those were the two kinds of people.

The Jeters (I pluralize because the third writer who spoke at the fest was her genius brother John who is in an ENGINEER SLASH LITERARY NOVELIST…again with the not kidding) are apparently a here-to-fore undreamed of THIRD type who just run around doing absolutely everything brilliantly.

They are also REALLY nice, which makes me feel even worse about the WHOPPER.

I blame the librarians. They VICIOUSLY and with MALICE had the festival catered. There was a BUFFET OF DOOM that included baked brie, mini beef Wellingtons in darling little puffs of pâté smeared pastry, and Lord help me, FAT DELIGHTFUL CRABCAKES, bursting with fried deliciousness. OH it was the very devil for someone in a BET to see who can get their, um, inner child the cleansiest. SO.

I filled up a plate with raw veggies (no dip as the dip was dairy based) and some fruit. CRUEL DEVIL PEOPLE kept coming up to me making MUNCHY, PLEASED noises and saying, “Oh have you tried the crab cakes? They are succulent! And filled with Crabby goodness. Here, just take a NIBBBLE off the corner of this beef Wellington, or grab a cracker that you can tell just by LOOKING is not whole grain and use it to scoop up gooey brie.” My friend Sara told me that in those situations she tells everyone who offers her food that she is a Vegan, and then they bring her a plate of celery and sawdust and she is too ASHAMED to admit she lied, so she sticks to her Life Plan. I didn’t want to lie because my parents are probably going to MOVE to Oneonta, but I was reaching critical TEMPTEDNESS MASS. I decided desperate times called for rampant dishonesty.

Behind me, someone said, for about the 12th time, “Oh yum, did you try this crab?”
“I AM A VEGAN,” I lied boldly, and turned around and saw it was Sena.
She said, “Oh really?” in a polite, rhetorical way, and I flushed and said, “No. Not really. I’m lying,” and crept away because the writing world is SMALL and sooner or later, she is bound to see me at some lit fest or another hoovering up fistfuls of bacon wrapped shrimps with meat-grease running down my chin. Heh.

At any rate, I did not break. I DID NOT BREAK! And if Beef Wellington can’t break me, I don’t know what can.

Posted by joshilyn at May 2, 2007 7:49 AM

I'm extraordinarily impressed. I would have come up with some sort of rationalization having to do with catered and/or work events not counting, or something like that. Then again, I don't eat shellfish (for right now, while I'm still nursing the kid who broke out with eczema after trying a clam cake) or beef, so I probably would have been munching raw veggies anyway. BUT. I recognize that YOU were tempted, and stood strong, and I cheer you.

Cool on the paperback being out, too. I will keep my eyes open. :)

Posted by: amy at May 2, 2007 8:17 AM

You know Joshilyn, I haven't read the blog for about a week. I have to say the entries of the past few days are just a blast. You're on a roll, lady! I'm going to have to start printing these out.

Posted by: parrotzmom at May 2, 2007 8:31 AM

A lie you say? I'd go with a hunger induced fit of temporary insanity. There's only so much a woman can endure when tempted by the delicious prospect of a perfectly prepared crabcake.

Posted by: Lisa at May 2, 2007 8:34 AM

Yes, at a gathering of writers, first saying you're a vegan and then saying you were lying would totally stand out as odd behavior, because everyone knows that writers are ordinarily such a bland, normal bunch.

(DUDE if you get a minute, call me, and I will tell you why I deserve mountains of crab cakes and all the bacon I can stuff into my gullet.)

Posted by: Mir at May 2, 2007 8:59 AM

The crab cakes would've been a bet-breaker for me. Seriously.

Posted by: DebR at May 2, 2007 9:40 AM

Actually, I picked up a paperback copy Saturday of Between at the Barnes & Nobles at the Summit in Birmingham.

And I'm quite tired today because I stayed up too late reading it last night!

Posted by: Keetha at May 2, 2007 10:24 AM

Okay, I would be lucky if I managed anything half so coherent as a blushing lie if I met Sena Jeter Naslund. I would turn into a blathering fangirl, I'm sure. I have read all of her books -- just finished 'Abundance' recently and wept and wept over it, and couldn't pick up another novel for quite a while because I was so destroyed by its beauty. And 'Ahab's Wife' and 'Four Spirits' both had the same effect on me. I would say that I'm jealous, but see above re: blathering fangirl. It's better if she doesn't know how incoherent I am.

Posted by: Aimee at May 2, 2007 10:41 AM

Bought a copy at Barnes and Nible in Portland, OR.

Posted by: Sue at May 2, 2007 11:05 AM

I bought a copy on Saturday, too, in Hudson, Ohio.

Posted by: Jabberwocky at May 2, 2007 11:07 AM

Now I'm flashing back to the "bagful of crabs" song. Since I have not one ounce of competitiveness and usually don't even grasp why anyone would want to compete, I would not have fought the call of that scrumtiousness for more than 2 or 3 seconds, you are STRONG!

Posted by: Brigitte at May 2, 2007 11:31 AM

You survived a truly heartbreaking experience, and I also cheer you for standing strong. Being able to resist all of that temptation is a talent in and of itself. Go you!!

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 2, 2007 12:13 PM

:::Bowing to The Queen of Willpower:::

I LOVE the term "broad spectrum brilliant", may have to borrow that for my kids (yeah, I'm a bit partial). Usually we call that "scary smart".

BG is next on my reading list, I am giddy with anticipation (even if I am immensely enjoying Eragon). But I have to wait until NEXT YEAR for TGWSS?? ::whimper:: Life is so not fair.

Posted by: Angel at May 2, 2007 1:26 PM

Can I buy an ounce of your will power? I can't do vegan for a day, let alone 7! I also can't fit into last year's jeans.

Posted by: Patti at May 2, 2007 1:39 PM

I purchased paper back Between YESTERDAY (May 1) at my local Barnes & Noble. It's a birthday gift.

Posted by: Catherine at May 2, 2007 2:10 PM

I adore Sena Jeter Naslund (but not as much as I adore YOU, in a purely writerly fashion). I probably would have felt bad about lying to her, too.

Posted by: TrudyJ at May 2, 2007 3:00 PM

You know, I bet she went home and said to all of her friends, "You'll never guess who I met today -JOSHILYN JACKSON! And she's brilliant, and writes amazing books that i love... and she's PRETTY too. Oh so pretty! And I think she might be a closet vegan."

I find it amazing that you are who you are, and yet you still can look around you and see the beauty and brilliance in other people. Many people that have critically acclaimed bestselling books under the figurative belts get the big head. But you? Nah. You just keep on in your own little world, thinking everyone else is terrific, never realizing that for some of us, you are even more terrific that the broad spectrum brilliance of Sena.

Posted by: dee at May 2, 2007 3:18 PM

Hey, Cornelia Read is saying good things about you and TGWSS over on Naked Authors (
Kudos on your willpower. Beef Wellington? I couldn't have done it.

Posted by: Deborah P at May 2, 2007 3:36 PM

Totally, completely understandable whopper. You have willpower of steel, nay, of kyptonite.

O, and when you're off the Life Plan and want to attend one of those conferences where they serve up fistfuls of bacon-wrapped goodies, call me please!

Posted by: Edgy Mama at May 2, 2007 3:48 PM

I bought the paperback version of Between on April 28th at a Barnes and Noble in Wichita, Ks. It looked exactly like the one pictured. By the way, I finished it last night and loved it!!!! I had to read quickly near the end to find out how everything turned out, now I can go back and read it more slowly and savor every delicious morsel!

Posted by: Linda Barker at May 2, 2007 4:54 PM

I was in the Target, or Tar-zhe as we say in Johns Creek, Georgia. I saw it very promently displayed, and fortunately for you, unfortunately for others, there was only ONE copy left. How delightful for you! I however had my copy, which is making the rounds with my friends and will be returned to the beach house, where it will live all summer. I will re-read it in Summer splendor during my stay in June!

I am over-run with author envy, to the point I might even tell people I AM a novelist-which by the way, is a bigger whopper that your VEGAN thing coming and going!

Posted by: gin at May 2, 2007 5:12 PM

Having survived the Buffet of Doom, you'll just have to celebrate getting all clean, shiny & radiant inside & out by finding a Buffet of Holy Reward somewhere and, well, personally I'd fall face first into it.

Clearly you're well stocked with the whole-grain moral fiber anyway, not being able to sustain that little "whopper"! (It seemed like a pretty benign fiction to me, actually.) Good for you!!

Posted by: Lulu at May 2, 2007 5:30 PM

OH MY LORD! I bow to you, I lie at your feet. I am overwhelmed by your goody-ness. I would have lied like a dog and said, I was raised by she wolves and that my body demanded I have carbs by the 10,000's...mama moving to town or not. I would have said,"What mama? I was raised by wolves!" UNCHRISTIAN LIKE WOLVES TOO
dang, I hang my head in shame, you are too good.

Posted by: Desi at May 2, 2007 5:38 PM

Found it today at the Borders bookstore in Vacaville, CA...they had 4 copies, now they have 3 :)

Posted by: Thumper at May 2, 2007 6:22 PM

Happy release day, whoodie! Remember I have to get the hardback from you for my mom.

Posted by: Karen Abbott at May 2, 2007 7:14 PM

Hi Joshilyn,
It was a thrill to meet you at the book signing in Canton last weekend! My Mom is reading Between, Georgia and loving it.

Posted by: Carolyn at May 2, 2007 7:32 PM

Way, way, way inspirational. . .'cause I'd dropped like a rock for less than wonderfully prepared food. . .say, a Shipley's donut. . .but ONLY Shipley's NOT Krispy Kreme or Dunkin.

Posted by: Roxanne at May 2, 2007 8:26 PM

We've had it for a week at the shop, and Tammy put a bright sign in the window with a copy of the cover letting eveyone know it's here. If I remember - hordes of Swedish authors tomorrow, I might be sieve-brained - I'll take a picture of it and send it along to you.

And yes, it's been selling nicely!

You resisted crabcakes and Beef Wellington? You shine above us mere mortals! I'd've grabbed the crabcake platter and hidden in the corner, stuffing my face and growling like a rabid chipmunk at anyone who tried to take them away from me. You have willpower I didn't think real people were capable of! You have SUPER-MODEL willpower - without the yucky stuff they use! Good job, Peach!

Posted by: Fran at May 2, 2007 10:44 PM