March 5, 2008


(Let’s begin with a digression.) The last VIRTUAL SIGNING reminder was confusing—I got a couple of emails about it. SO! To clarify, I meant that it was the last time I would REMIND you about the virtual signing, but of course you can still participate until this Friday, when it happens. Once it happens, you have missed it. Until it happens, you have not. You can go here to get the scoop and participate and see the prizes

Last night was the launch party at Margaret Mitchell House. I was feeling that weird floaty blend of terror and hope that comes with a launch, coupled by HORRID nerves because I am not yet USED to speaking about TGWSS, but I THINK it went well. It is all a little blurry because I may have been hyperventilating most of the night and my brain got a little oxygen starved.


1) I I felt SUPERGREAT about my shoes. And I should have – they were GORGEOUS and I got several compliments on them. I was AWFUL about it, too. One lady said, “Oh what lovely shoes,” and I said “I KNOW, right?!?!”

Dear Shoe Complimenting Lady,
If you are by chance reading this, what I MEANT to say was, “Thank you.”
Princess Foot-Ego, who was raised by wolves in the mannerless kingdom.

In my defense…. LOOK AT THE SHOES!!!!


Hawt, nes c’est pas? They are also nothing I EVER would have bought for myself, unless they were last season and on HUGE sale, because they are Cynthia Vincent which is a fashion forward (< ---I WATCH PROJECT RUNWAY! SEE ME USE LINGO!!!) sort of brand, very spendy. My PUBLISHING HOUSE, with my tricky editor at the helm, sussed out my shoe size without alerting me, and sent me these shoes.

I have never heard of such. I think that SINCE the TGWSS launch coincided with my 40th birthday, and SINCE I was not taking the birthday well, they decided a pair of so-gorgeous-it-constitutes-a-reason-to-live-slingbacks would be a better idea than the usual sort of book launch YAY object, like fresh flowers or a muffin basket, and they were right, OH LORD were they right. But as a result, I am sure I was UNBEARABLE as I shamelessly preened my feet around and kept finding excuses to peek coyly down at my own toes.
A warning: Grand Central Publishing needs to know, since they decided to spoil me thusly, then in ten years, when I turn fifty, I FULLY expect that they will send me a pony.

2) At the signing part, a nice lady came and said, out of the blue, “You are very lucky.”
When someone says I am lucky, it usually means they have met Mr. Husband. I said, “He’s the real thing, isn’t he?” and nodded to where Scott was taking down the ficfacts quilt. She sad, “How did you know I meant your husband when I said you were lucky?” she asked, and I just smiled because every other good thing in my life is a peapod compared to that man. Then she said, “I watched him while you were talking, and he was listening to you, even though he must have heard these stories a thousand times, and he was SO proud he was grinning like a possum.”

Hee. I love that. Grinning like a possum. It’s so Georgia.

3) Here is the worst thing that happened all night: I wore a black, belted top and a black and white silk chiffon bubble skirt. One of my crit partners, a phenomenal novelist named Anna who ALSO makes jewelry because no one gave her the memo about people only being allowed one talent, made me a bracelet with these antique yellow sugar beads in it that that tied the whole thing together. AND THEN! AFTER SHE WAS PERFECTLY GLORIOUS TO ME, during my speech, because of questions from the audience, and because of things the introducing people said, I basically thanked and acknowledged ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE present that has EVER in ANY WAY helped me with revisions. Except Anna.

It was like if the guy who won an Oscar for E.T. got up and thanked everyone but, you know, Spielberg. I felt HORRID and LOW about it later, especially since she NOT ONLY helped get TGWSS ready for publication with her invaluable critical eye, but she came with her WHOLE JEWELRY KIT and basically made me jewelry on the spot to go with my shoes and was just…her normal kind and amazing self. I wrote an email to her, basically an ABJECT apology the second I got home, but man. How suck am *I*? Answer: SO suck. She isn’t mad because that’s how she is – just a big person, but WOW. SO SUCK AM I.

4) The coolest thing that happened all night: We got to Margaret Mitchell House early because there was no traffic *boggle* and so we went to this upscale little furniture shop across the street to browse and kill time. I walked in and the man behind the counter looked at me and said, “Hey did you write that book I was just reading about? Girl who stopped swimming?” And I said, “HEE! YES!” and he said, “I keep seeing that everywhere. The universe must be telling me this is the next book I need to get.”

And this was cool in several ways, I mean…firstly, GO UNIVERSE! Tell MORE people that, Pretty Universe! But also, writers NEVER get recognized, so it was very gratifying and I felt al STARLET-y and like a big old fluffy Someone in my Someone Shoes. I will get over the big head today, pinky swearsies, but last night, it was nice. It was really nice.

Posted by joshilyn at March 5, 2008 5:21 PM

GO UNIVERSE! That's just really cool that he recognized you! How awesome is that?

Anna sounds like a dream, and just the type of friend that we all need. Would you be willing to rent her out?

And OMG, Joss! Those shoes? Sheesh. I'm surprised that woman wasn't talking about how lucky you were to have those!

As for your Mr. Husband... That's just about the sweetest thing I've heard in ages. A possum. *smile*

Big hugs and Many congrats on your FABulous launch!

Posted by: dee at March 5, 2008 5:51 PM

Darlin, you have the most un-big-head of anyone who DESERVES to have a big head. I'm so glad that yesterday was magic.

P.S. Nice shoes.

Posted by: Mir at March 5, 2008 6:05 PM

You deserve the shoe-loving, possum-grinning spotlight. Congrats on your TGWSS launch! I wanna be YOU when I grow up!

Posted by: Dara at March 5, 2008 6:52 PM

SO MUCH CONGRATULATIONS!! Also, I have alerted my Fairhope Peeps that you are going to be at Page & Palette on Saturday so here's hoping they are, too. Also also, here's hoping you get LOTS of peeps at ALL your signings and that they all love your shoes (no matter what you're wearing) and that more people are randomly walloped in the forehead by the Universe.

Posted by: Casey at March 5, 2008 6:59 PM

It was a hoot meeting you last night at MMH. (I was the woman reading outside with the lime green scarf as you paraded by prior to the 6pm opening and bobbled on your new shoes. I won't repeat what you said when you bobbled.)You looked good and if you were hyperventilating, we didn't even notice. Good luck with your book tour-remember to breath as it doesn't look good if you pass out at the podium.

Posted by: Bridget at March 5, 2008 7:32 PM

Nah, embrace the big head for at least a few days. You deserve it.

Posted by: Lisa Milton at March 5, 2008 7:36 PM

Hurray for great shoes and great launch night!! And SUPER hurray that your tour page FINALLY says that you're going to be anywhere remotely near to me! I mean, it's still going to be a 7 hour drive to get there (and by there, I mean Asheville, NC), but I've already made plans with my BFF to make a weekend of it. She and her hubby live in Greensboro, NC, so I'm going to visit her for the weekend, and on Sat. we'll drive to Asheville, lounge around in the gardens of the Biltmore Estate for a while, then hit your signing with ferocious hurrays (because we are both your biggest fans, only she'll be bigger than me because she's big with BABY right now) and stay in some cheap hotel room for the night before driving back to her house (and then me driving back to MY house in Virginia) on Sunday. *SMILES*

Posted by: JenA at March 5, 2008 8:14 PM

I have to say, the whole shoe thing is lost on me, but,....

THIS is not:


Ok, it's an ad for the book, not a review, not yet anyway, but still.

An' we hepped!

Posted by: ray at March 5, 2008 8:27 PM

Okay. . .so LAST night I said I'd just finished TGWSS, which was the truth AND a lie all at once. I did, indeed, finish it in my normal "racethroughtotheendbecausei'vewaitedsolongforthisbook" pace. Tonight I am SAVORING it. . .much like YOU should SAVOR your magical night and big head and awesome shoes and incredible jewelry and that vat of wine you had after the hellish tooth cracking day before the Universe began singing your name to total strangers.

Congratulations to you. It could only get better if you had Houston on your book tour. Alas, I must just watch from afar.

Posted by: Roxanne at March 5, 2008 9:00 PM

Hello and Congrats!
Can we see a picture of the bracelet too?

Posted by: JulieB at March 5, 2008 9:12 PM

YAY for good Universe and good Husband and good Friend and good Shoes!!! (Hell of a good start to 40, yes?)

Posted by: DebR at March 5, 2008 9:40 PM

I'm sure other people said this already, but you totally deserve to have a big head. You rock.

And day-um those shoes are gorgeous.

Posted by: Leandra at March 5, 2008 9:50 PM

Girlfriend, you've got unbelievable karma.

Posted by: Cele at March 6, 2008 1:24 AM

So, seeing as Scott makes you lucky and he has a possum smile what about sharing y'alls story with us? You know, the LOVE story. Just a thought.

Congrats on the universe being on your side. I know it must be an awesome feeling.

Posted by: nik at March 6, 2008 2:19 AM

I'm with Dara, can I be you when I grow up? I already have my own wonderful Mr. Husband, but I lack the fab shoes. (Oh, and the mad writing skillz... they're around here somewhere...) So glad the book launch was a success!

Posted by: Jess at March 6, 2008 7:19 AM

you were awesome at the MMH. no hyperventilating was apparent. and even though I've read TGWSS (a borrowed ARC), and bought my very own copy (which you signed, thank you!), I MUST get the audio version because of the way you read the first few pages. mesmerizing.

Posted by: elizabeth at March 6, 2008 9:31 AM

Congrats on the launch! The shoes are FIERCE (tm Christian Siriano) and so are you!

Posted by: Aimee at March 6, 2008 10:54 AM

You deserved it all, Joshilyn (except the forgetting Anna part, of course, but then you apologize so beautifully, she probably is glad you forgot because we now all know how wonderful she is!). So happy for you.

And Ray? laughed out loud!

Posted by: Deborah P at March 6, 2008 11:40 AM

Hey, the big head totally goes with the shoes. Wear 'em both for a few days. You've earned it.

Posted by: Amy-Go at March 6, 2008 2:01 PM

Woah. Hold on a second. Publishing Houses give SHOES?
*rushes back to keyboard to finish manuscript*

Posted by: lindasands at March 6, 2008 2:15 PM

Ok so I know I commented already but I just had to tell you that I saw gods in Alabama here in our teeny tiny Italy post booknook!!!! (it's not even a real bookstore)

I flipped out. I think I'm going to buy it for my friend just so the store knows that copies of it are being sold. So cool to see your book on a shelf over here!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: nik at March 6, 2008 2:49 PM

Hi again, I wanted to let you know that we have your books at the Las Vegas Clark County Library District so feel free to contact us (702) 507-3500, and make arrangements for an appearance and book signing, next time you schedule appearances. I just picked up your latest book and as soon as I read all of my assignments for school I'm going to pick it up and start reading!


Posted by: Joanne at March 6, 2008 2:50 PM

Oh Joshilyn, how I love your stories. (Obviously.)

I have to tell you, though, that I myself am suffering from a mild case of nerves. My calendar tells me, in big bold lettering, that on Sunday I can look forward to "JOSHILYN JACKSON IN MIWAUKEE!" And I am SO excited about it, I told my husband last night, I am also so nervous about meeting you in person!

So. Just wanted to let you know that there will be someone in your reading audience Sunday with butterflies in her stomach, too. :) I can't wait!

Posted by: Erin at March 6, 2008 2:53 PM

sigh...and I missed it. And I live in Atlanta. I have no excuse except that I am brain dead. I blame my kids. I'll have to think of someone else to blame in 10 years when they leave for college.

Posted by: Lisa at March 6, 2008 3:53 PM

I am so very proud of you. Glad you had an awesome night.

Posted by: Sharliss Arnold at March 6, 2008 4:03 PM

Sounds like a perfect launch!!


Posted by: Lisa at March 7, 2008 1:04 AM

Joshilyn, the shoes are most fab!! What a wonderful gift for your launch!!!! I was so sad that we didn't get to come to the MMH for the launch but alas, my gawky teenaged son's school soccer team was in the mix that night. Not to worry, I toted TGWSS with me and promptly finished it while waiting!!!!

All I can say is THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for such a beautifully written and amazing book. I adored, adored Laurel and Thalia's sisterly relationship. You've outdone yourself with this multifaceted familial bond. Being a sister myself, I could absolutely relate to the fierce protectiveness and also the sometimes heartbreaking differences between the two.

Alas, I'm now left without a new JJ book to read and am eagerly anticipating your next masterpiece.

You are all the buzz amongst my reading buddies. They've gone and scooped up TGWSS and are immersed in JJ Land as well.

Go now and conquer the world in your sassy slingbacks!!!!

Posted by: Melissa Black at March 7, 2008 6:33 AM

Saw you on Fox 6 this morning! They didn't pan down to your shoes, so I hope you weren't wearing anything fabulous. Would you ask them to be sure and do that next time?

Got your book yesterday and can't wait to read it.

Loved the interview!

Posted by: Deborah P at March 7, 2008 11:56 AM

it sounds like a great night! And with such a great book, it was totally deserved. The universe should definitely send more people to TGWSS.

I've got 3 years (and 15 days) until I turn 40. I think I need to get published by then if I can get such cool shoes! :)

Posted by: rachel at March 7, 2008 3:46 PM

Your shoes were beyond bad and I noticed them immediately. I told myself, "SHE is tres chic and cool, but you already KNEW that because you have read her books!"

The launch party was fun, you were marvelous, and the shoes were simply a manifestation of how fun and marvelous you are and your book is. In fact, I think you need to take the shoes as a business advertising expense!

Forty does not suck. It means you are coming into your own. Wait until you hit 50. Then you get to be a bitch and make no apologies in your awesome shoes!

I've decided... I need some better shoes!

Posted by: ginny at March 8, 2008 10:22 AM

Joshilyn, you were SO totally awesome at the MMH, and you seemed very calm on the exterior. You lit up the room with your larger-than-life personality. Since you said you were nervous, I'll take your word for it. You were totally as fierce as your shoes, and it was so great to finally meet Mr. Scott. He's fierce, too.

You deserve the big head, the fab footwear, the compliments, and the grinning possum.

You inspire me! Happy Birthday!

Posted by: R. Jill at March 8, 2008 11:42 PM