That title makes NO sense. I am NOT pregnant. But I FEEL like the rabbit. I.E. Dead. O! Best Beloveds, but I have been sick. sicksicksicksick. Too sick to be expected to make sense in my titles, thank you. Came off tour and my immune system crashed like Ricky Bobby. Did I mention I've been sick?
Saturday activities included, and were pretty much limited to, taking in small amounts of juice and then giving that same juice back. I missed the Deaf-Blind Awareness Dinner---I am SO sorrowful over that one. On Sunday the most exciting that happened was I injested and then KEPT some juice. After I alerted the news media, I teetered off to church, tottered back home, and fell into my bed. Later, I rose up and feebly tapped out some e-mails, watched Law and Order re runs, played a litte World of Warcraft, then went out the back door and crept under my deck for a double secret kissing assignation with Marc Price, better known as The Guy Who Played Skippy Handleman on Family Ties. Okay, I made that last thing up. OR, if I did not, I at least hope for Skippy's sake I was no longer contagious.
That's about it for my weekend. I KNOW! MY LIFE! IT IS SO FILLED WITH THE GLAMOR! YOU HAD BEST STEP BACK.
Today I may attempt coffee and actual productive behavior. When I think of my TO DO list, all the things I let slide while on tour, my book deadline, the Driving Tour of Georgia... I want to go back to Stomach Flu land. There, I am not expected to do anything but attempt juice and then feel sorry I did. I comfort myself over the wasted days by noting how Saturday pretty much forced me to log all the "spend time praying for merciful sweet death to take me" that a To Do list like the one I am facing necessitates. SO! At least I can put a check by THAT.
I have SO MUCH to catch you up on I don't even know where to start, although in retrospect, I already DID start, and I cleverly chose to begin by recounting the gory yet dull details of a two day stomach flu and slandering a perfectly nice celebrity from the 80's. Hrm. Yeah. Remember, I'm a professional writer. Don't try this at home, because Skippy may have good lawwyers.
Tomorrow I think I am going to tell you how to make a 90 minute flight last 13 hours. THAT was a fun day...
I also want you to know that you can get Marc Price (and a BUNCH of other folks) to call your friends for $19.95. Getting him to meet you under your deck is probably considerably more expensive....
The tour is officially over, and I am sad and happy, and by the way NOT going home. My family is in FLORIDA right now anyway, frolicking on the single grain of white beach sand the hurricanes graciously left for them. They won't return until Sunday. That's okay, because I have to stay here and live forever at the Ritz Carlton in St. Louis.
See, here at the Ritz Carlton, they went and got a bunch of peeping adorable kittens and then they EVER SO GENTLY combed their belly fur to extract only the softest wisps of angel-fluff, and then they used this magic material to make the bed. I haven't slept the way I slept here since I left home. I slept HUGELY. I slept with passionate mad abandon.
I slept HARD and DEEP and TRUE on Tuesday night, went and did TV and stocking signings and then, in the break before the Library event, I got RIGHT back in that bed and slept even harder with even more deep truth. As soon as the event was over I went BACK to new best friend, Kitten Fluff Bedding, and passed out again. I was SO tired I could NOT manage to drag my body from its sluglike repose in the 1 million thread count arms of the perfect bed, BUT I was starving, and all I had to do was pick up the phone and then a nice lady came to bring me an ENORMOUS cheeseburger. I ate it off the bedside table, hanging my head over the floor to not DEFILE the mattress of paradise with crumbs, and then passed out again.
ALSO? They have DUCKS that live in the turn around. Two young dewy-eyed newlywed ducks showed up one day in spring, and all the doormen adopted them. Then the original pair made MORE ducks, and the doormen adopted the ducklings, too. Now the whole little family has an apartment in the front bushes here and are estatic even though they have no place to swim but the fountain. They have given up all hopes of a lake or pond to stay at the Ritz, and I WANT TO BE THOSE DUCKS.
Seriously. Not. Leaving.
OMG the typos, even for me were out of control. FINALLY In St. Louis after missed connections and airport delays and looked at all the typos and OH WOW AM I ASHAMED OF THIS ENTRY! SHAME! SHAME!
B1--- 3 Questions with Lauren Barnholdt
How lucky is it that Lauren's last name starts with a B, thematically speaking? So lucky. She's the author of Reality Chick, the story of sweet and normal Ally Cavanaugh -- one of five freshpeople shacking up on In the House, a reality show filmed on her college campus. As if school isn't panic-inducing enough...
Sarah Mlynowski, author of Milkrun and As Seen on TV calls Lauren, "Hilarious... a fresh new voice in teen fiction." I bet she's SICK of hearing this, but I DO think it's worth noting that Lauren is only 26 years old---pretty young to have her first book out. I tend to tell people in their twenties who ask me about the BUSINESS part of a writing career that I spent my twenties alternately learning how to mix a decent cocktail and writing TERRIBLE short stories and I didn't make a serious run at writing a book to PUBLISH until I was in my thirties. Maybe I should eat those FIND YOUR VOICE words with no Green Goddess dressing. Having her first book out at 26...She's done something remarkable, I think, plus she gives SUCH good interview:
JJ: Tell us about the time you tried out for THE REAL WORLD?
LB: Oh, God. Yes, I tried out for THE REAL WORLD. It wasn't just me! There were literally hundreds of people in line for the audition, so I'm not the only dork. Trying out for REAL WORLD was fun, and was the inspiration for Ally's audition scene in REALITY CHICK. A lot of what happens to Ally during that scene actually happened to me. (I won't tell you what, except that it's entirely possible that I, like Ally, also made an inappropriate comment to the casting director. Which is probably why I'm now a writer and not a reality tv star...)
JJ: What do you think of your cover and how does it compare to the cover you imagined when you were writing the book?
LB: I LOVE my cover. It's weird, but I never had an actual picture in my head of what my cover would look like. I'm hopelessly unartistic when it comes to stuff like that. Plus I was trying not to get an actual picture in my head, because I knew it would probably turn out to be nothing like I imagined. (Kind of like going on blind dates -- the guys never look like what you thought they would.)
The day my editor emailed me the cover, I was almost afraid to open it. I was all set to hate it. And when I saw it, I thought it was perfect. I couldn't stop looking at it. I hope I'm as lucky with all my covers!
JJ: A lot of writers read this blog -- how did you find an agent and sell that first book?
LB: The first book I ever wrote, JOSH PARKER HAS A BIG HEAD.. AND OTHER THINGS I LEARNED THIS SUMMER was
rejected by every single publishing house in New York (and some publishing houses in Boston, Chicago, etc.).
My then-agent was so-so about my work, and there was a really small period
of time (like maybe fifteen minutes) where I wanted to give up.
I told my friend that I couldn't do it anymore, that I couldn't
imagine writing ANOTHER whole book, and besides, WHY WASN'T ANYONE
BUYING JOSH PARKER BECAUSE IT WAS GOOD AND FUNNY AND HOW COULD I WRITE
SOMETHING BETTER THAN THAT AND WHAT DID THESE PUBLISHING PEOPLE WANT
He tried to calm me down, but I just laughed maniacally and
read him my latest batch of rejection letters.
"See!" I said gleefully. "My character's emotional journey is thin!"
Then, a few weeks later, while moving files to a new computer, I found a
few pages of a book idea I had written a while ago. It was about a girl
with a long-distance boyfriend that goes on a reality TV show that
broadcasts her first semester of college. For some ridiculous reason, I
started writing it. Two months later, I left my previous agent and
signed with my current agent, Nadia Cornier. Three weeks later, I had a two-book deal with Simon
All this stuff happened over a period of four years -- writing the first book, querying agents, writing the second book, etc. Writing is HARD, not giving up is HARD. But it's all part of the process, and you just have to do it.
B2 -- Remember BOO THE DEVILCAT? I am not going to LINK because I am SHORT ON TIME -- must catch a flight---and he's in the entry RIGHT below this one. I think we all have opposable thumbs here and are capabe of scrolling down, except for Boo herself, and it's pretty dern clear that Boo can use the Forces of Darkness to scroll. Well. I posted Boo's photo and Boo was NOT pleased. Boo felt that the picture I posted did NT realy capture the TRUE BOONESS. SO. I agreed to give it another shot.
Say 1 2 3 Betty and HIT THIS to see Boo's second try...I'm not going to SPOIL it by trying to describe it. Let's just say, Brace Yourself, Bridget.
B3 (or B4, really...) Lastly but CERTAINLY not leastly. I have some B4B Winners from you, Courtesy of The Bloggess who pens Her Green Figs. Next month, remember, B4B will be over at The Zero Boss. THUS SAGT HER FIGLINESS:
Somewhere, sometime, I remember reading that Faulkner said *there's
something about jumping a fence that makes you feel good* (if I were a
responsible librarian or English teacher I'd go look this up, but I am
not a responsible anything). As these stories demonstrate, crossing
boundaries feels good because you get out of BETWEEN. In between, we
are uncomfortable, unsure, and undecided. Sometimes we are just "un."
Aimee calls these "dull gray moment[s]" in her submission and we've
all been there, though we may not all be so equipped to define
"between." What each of this month's winners has in common, and has in
common with Between, Georgia, is that it defines "between," in part by
looking at the two sides of the fence, and in part by saying how
pointy the fence feels beneath them.
And so, my selections for this month's winners are:
3) Keepin' the Faith
Congratulations to the winners, the finalists, and the entrants!
I GO HOME FROM TOUR ON FRIDAY and will get the appropriate prizes out to ALL THREE OF YOUSE GUYS! GRATZ! MUST RUN FOR PLANE NO TIME TO PROOF BIG SORRY SORRY NESS FOR ALL TYPOS!
I learned a new technique for getting your picture snapped from Sara Gruen. You know how when you are about to have your photo taken, and you say CHEESE and SMILE and then....the person with the camera fusses with the flash and punches the wrong button and the picture doesn't get taken for QUITE SOME TIME. As the seconds tick past, your face starts to seize up and by the time they actually depress the button you have this sort of over-happy rictus-sy corpse face? Like, you can FEEL your face starting to seize up into this horrid plasticene parody of cheerful? YEAH WELL. SO Sara invented the 1,2,3, Betty.
You stand with your back to the camera until the camera person says they are ready, and then you count 1 2 3 and turn around do your best Betty Face. You get a LOT of pictures of the back of your head before you and the camera guy get on the same page...If you are sort of natually gorgeous like Sara you can try for less monkey-grinning and do a sexier VERONICA face, but me, I go for the Betty.
Look, here's me and Sara doing our 1 2 3 Betty and Veronicas respectively:
PLEASE NOTE the AWESOME window display behind us. I wish I had a better shot. The EXTREMELY COOL FOLKS at Park Road Books did this amazing dual window for me and Sara... Sara's side had a circus tent and little hay bales and an elephant under the book display, and my side had peaches by Between and a copy of gods riding in a convertible, AND the dispayed books were draped in kudzu vines. You can see the vines in the pic, but I SO wish I had gotten pics of the circus scene and the car and peaches...
ANYWAY, also from the Charlotte stop, here is another attempt by me and an FTK reg known as dee (of deeceetalks).
In this one I am sort of doing 1 2 3 Maniacal Ax Killer. She has more shots and stuff up at her blog, linked above. I am now all about the 1 2 3 Betty, a true convert, because I think the resulting pics look more like ME, for good or ill. It's at least better than my usual deer in the headlights stiff-mouthed horror. ANYWAY, TRY the 123B next time you have to get a casual snap.
I would like to point out that the 1 2 3 Betty is DANGEROUS in that it DOES tend to reveal your TRUE INNER SELF. Marisa (a mondo-coolio bookseller from Davis Kidd in Nashville) got her legendarily vicious cat to try it. Here is Boo the Bad, doing the 1 2 3 Satan....
You remember how we always lift a glass to the absent Zero Boss, because he made it up? Well. He is absent no more, and next month, Blogging for Books will return to its rightful home. SO! Perhaps it will come back here every now and again for special guest extended metaphors, but for now, it is turning like a homing pigeon and all we see is its feathered behiney zooming to far horizons. I think it's kinda cool that this last FTK B4B has me as the special guest author. And THAT means the top three entries will win special packets of Between, Georgia loots.
An AWESOME new review of Between (called Nonny Has Two Mommies) is up on the Creative Loafing website, AND, Entertainment Weekly gave it an A- and said "Jackson's tough Southern gals surprise and delight." TRA and then La!
ALSO I finally heard from an ACTUAL Betweenite...Betweenian? Betweener? ANYWAY --- Between has a Methodist church with a cemetary behind it! It's the most info I have gotten on REAL Between. Interesting. See, I made the town's church Southern Baptist and made all the Methodists drive over to get their preaching in Loganville. I can't imagine a town as small as Between has TWO churches, but, this is GEORGIA, so maybe they do.
AT ANY RATE, Special! Guest! Blogger! Kim has the B4B FINALISTS for us....
Boy when you said "and judge she will".....you were not joking!
If I counted correctly, i believe there were 32 entries, not too shabby at all.
32 entries that i read over and over and over again, 'cause there really was not a bad one in the bunch. But i had to pick 7.
That required making of lists.....lots of lists on little yellow post-it-notes.
The final seven are as follows, in no particular order.
Big hands clapping round of noise for all of those who entered this month. I am so glad that Ido not have to make the final choice...That, my friends,would just be too difficult.
Thanks Miss Joss for letting me share your space for a minute...
Now it is up to the finals judge The Bloggess who pens Her Green Figs to choose the winners. Be careful clicking that link---she has a MEME up today. I hear those things are catching...
IN TOUR NEWS: I am in Atlanta tonight at the Margeret Mitchell House downtown if you want to come see me. The Charlotte stop was an ASTONISHINGLY Cool Bit of Tour. FIRST, I got to finally meet up with the amazingly talented Sara Gruen. I fell in love with her third novel, Water for Elephants, when they sent it to me to ask for a blurb, and while we have emailed and such, we've never before been in the same city. We had our publicists co-ordinate so we could be in the same hotel. Sara's as delightful as her book, and oh Best Beloveds, that's saying something. THEN at my signing the next day, THREE FTK regs showed up. I can't tell you much about either the evening with Sara OR the FTK regs lunch---what happens in Charlotte, we all agreed, DERN WELL STAYS IN CHARLOTTE, but I can tell you it was double nifty plus two.
SECRET NOTE TO ANONYMOUS FTK REG: Dude, THANK YOU. That was so sweet. But PS, when you send a LETTER, you have to put a return address or people can't ANSWER and have to resort to SECRET NOTES on a blog.
SECRET TRASHY TV OBSERVATION: The best season of project runway yet is happening RIGHT NOW. I already love Laura. I already am SO sad Malan took his beautful eyebrows and left. I already want to drown Vincent in bleach.
I kid! I kid! I TRULY like dogs. In fact I LOVE the dern things. I find them to be hopeful creatures filled to the brim with simple sweet unadulterated love and goodness. The only reason I do not HAVE a dog is that I haven't had a heart for one ever since the dog I loved most on the earth ever, Hobbes, and then the dog I loved second most, Tobidog, died (BOTH OF EXTREME OLD AGE, thank you) and now that I DO have the heart for one again, Scott BALKED because of my travel schedule.
For over a year my only Petly Interactions came from my inert sack of fat cat flesh whose idea of good company (now that he is An Older Gentleman) is to sleep in the same room I am in. In spite of the fact that he weighs as much as any three cats, Der Schubert is not enough little animals for my house -- and a house without little animals is a dark and sorrowful place.
But Scott said NO DOG at least until I finish touring and finish the next book, but STILL I was in an ANIMAL DEARTH and sorrowful which is how we got the two BROTHER gerbils who turned out to be incestuous and at least ONE brother had some ovaries tucked away somewhere which is how we got to have (at current count) TEN gerbils, ALL OF WHICH gnawed through the cage top and GOT LOOSE while Scott was in Birmingham (he came over to let me see my kids while I signed books), AND so he came home after a two day road trip and had to spent UMPTY man hours with both children playing HUNT INCH LONG SUPER SPEEDY GERBIL BABIES, plus Mama Snicketty and Cosy Mole Mouse (we kept Cosy from the LAST litter to help raise this one because we were for DERN SURE removing the daddy, AKA The Immediate Re-Impregnator, the very moment that the first litter was weanable and adoprable). All ten of the rodential escapees had scattered upstairs and downstairs and tucked themselves into the tiniest spaces imaginable, and how comforting do I find it that my ENORMOUS cat managed to track down exactly ZERO of them and eat them?
Well, on the I LOVE MY LITTLE GERBILS side, I am DEEPLY comforted. On the "sometimes little honta-soaked diseasey field mice get in and want to lick my children" side, I am a little skeeved. Still, on the whole, worthless cat-hunter equals ALL ten gerbils safely accounted for, and that is a definite WIN for our side. BUT... can you see that it would have been better just to get me THE BEAGLE-MIX PUPPY?
ANYWAY. I LOVE DOGS, OKAY?
That established, I will now tell you that I AM SO TIRED I am NOT thinking straight. And I had this terrible terrible exchange with a woman at a bookstore.
Sometimes, in my writing, the vagarities of plot require that I, as a novelist, perpetrate the deaths of COMPLETELY FICTIONAL creatures. Sometimes, these completely fictional creatures are...dogs. And because I write Southern Gothic, my fictional dogs tend to die in SPECTACULARLY violent and disturbing ways. I also kill people---including innocent little children--- with mad abandon, but NO ONE EVER COMPLAINS ABOUT THAT. *sigh* What can I tell you? Sometimes, in my books, things get violent and disturbing. Flannery O'Connor says that SOuthern fiction includes the grotesque always because we are are still capable of recognizing it. So. FLANNERY is backing me on the dogs, kay?
ANYWAY, an animal rights activist and I had the following exchange...Please understand that HER tone is QUERYING and INTERESTED, NOTNOTNOT accusatory or vicious, and my tone is exhausted and insane. Are you with me? OKAY!
Her: I have not read this book *holds up gods in Alabama* but I have heard from VERY ANGRY AND DISGRUNTLED READERS WHO HATE YOU FOREVER NOW, that you SHOOT A DOG in it.
Me: No, I do not.
Her: Well, a dog gets SHOT. And this has turned a LOT of readers off your books...as a volunteer at the Humane Society, the things I have heard are what has kept me from reading this book.
Me: No dog gets shot in that book.
Her: Well, people have told me that one does...
Me: No, not in that book. Dogs get SHOT in BETWEEN. In GODS, they get beaten to death with shovels.
She BLANCHED in absolute horror and I realized what I said. In my tired head I was just setting the record straight about what thing happens to which fictional dog in what book, BUT it came out like the meanest most casual off the cuff YEAH I KILL DOGS ALLA DERN TIME callous hateful thing to say. I thought I was going to burst into tears and then the ABSOLUTE absurdity of the moment hit me...I started giggling helplessly WHICH OF COURSE she thought I was giggling with delight at the thought of, OH I DON'T KNOW, getting the hell out of there to go string up dogs by the feetses and beat them like pinatas....I REALLY wished the earth would swallow me.
She was actually a VERY nice and infinitely patient lady and once I had managed to get myself under control I apologized and explained the scenes and what happened to which dogs and why it happens and pointed out that SHOT dog was actually an abused and mistrained animal that was EATING A GRANDMOTHERLY DEAR OLD LADY at the time of its death and etc... and I asked her to read the books herself before judging me. She was gracious about the whole thing, considering.
I was near suicidal with despair as we left---really it's been one thing after another and I can't seem to do a DERN THING right these days---but luckily I had the Universe's best Media Rep with me. As I sunk down into the depths in the seat beside her, she said OH JOSHILYN LOOK!
We were passing THE HUMANE SOCIETY!
Her: Want me to drop you off there?
Me: You think I could work off some bad karma?
Her: Nahhhh...I was thinking you might want to go by for some of your usual recreation. March in with a shotgun and yell PULL!
She raised her amrs up and n a simple, fluid gesture she TRULY managed to capture the essence of canine skeet shooting...
Oddly, this cheered me up. The ABSURDITY OF IT. Because I've never hurt an animal in my LIFE. I"VE freakin' worked as a volunteer for the humane society MYSELF TOO. I used to be one of their dog-washers for their summer fundraisers, and I have dragged home AN INFINITE number of lost wandering animals and either found their original homes or, if no one claimed them, found good homes for them, and I am the one who, when my old cat died and I was left PETLESS for the first time in my life, realized I was sinking into actual clinical depression from NOT HAVING AN ANIMAL FRIEND IN THE HOUSE..The media reps over the top suggestions kinda put it all into perspective.
But later, tried and alone again, at the airport, I replayed my AWFUL THING I SAID over and over and fell back to brooding over my horridness. Then my phone chimed. I had a message. It was my very favorite media rep again, crooning to her dog that she had managed to get me out of town before I ate him, and then pretending to notice that the message was recording and saying she was calling to wish me a good flight. LORD but I LOVE her. She gets me. I half thought of going to her house and whanging her over the head and stuffing her inert body into my suitcase and taking her with me EVERYWHERE. FOREVER.
You think I am kidding, but considering the way I treat fictional PEOPLE, I wouldn't put it past me...
Or maybe just put it on the side.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Cocktails and nibblies at Margaret Michell House begin at SIX, so COME AT SIX. If you show up at seven, all the GOOD food will be gone and you will have to gnaw at a dry twig of crudite and drink the wine dregs. COME AT SIX. SEE I have it as SEVEN and have TOLD everyone seven. SEE HOW I AM DOING? Well, that's the initial info I got, and I didn't NOTICE the info changed. Par for my course.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE ALSO: B4B Closes tonight. If you want to win HOT FRESH BETWEEN, GEORGIA RELATED LOOTS, click here and enter!
I HAVE A LOT TO TELL YOU but I have a very full schedule today, so I SWEAR will tell you the MOST humiliating moment so far TOMORROW, and let me say, that will be a hard bloom to choose among the plethora of personal faux pas posies and rosy stupidities I have engaged in...I feel like a drunk tyrannodon let into the pansy bed, stomping down everything that should be small and easy and sweet and blooming. It's just little TINY THINGS, but when you mess up 100 little tiny things in one day, it doesn't leave a lot of things to get right.
For example, I spent one full jampacked day wearing GORGEOUS attention grabbing shoes, ACUTELY aware that I had forgotten to shave my RIGHT LEG and that the shoes were pulling everyone's eyes DIRECTLY DOWN THERE. I spent the bulk of my conscious mind devising postures and ways to stand and sit that hid the stubbley offender behind its baby-smooth blameless twin. Not that big a deal, unless it's thing 89 of 97 that I did wrong. And oh gentlest of readers, I assure you, I ASSURE YOU that it WAS number 87.
THAT ALL SAID, I DO feel like the events and interviews are going VERY WELL indeed. I've been touched both by the PRETTY INTERNETS and PEEPS who have showed up AND by the sheer numbers of people wholly unconected to me who came out because they read gods, liked it, and now want a signed BETWEEN. That's just----the best feeling. BUT the second the event is over I tumble right back down into doing dumb crap that screws up all the behind the scenes stuff. I have taken over the very body of Mr. Murphy and am PERSONALLY making sure his law is enforced.
If it CAN go wrong, I will, it seems, insure that it does, and THEN I get to the events and interviews and it REALLY seems to go well, while off stage, if you will, I am lighting things and people on fire.
I will pick the very worst thing I have done and tell you tomorrow. Pinky Swearsies, unless I screw THAT plan up too.
I go to BIRMINGHAM TOMORROW.
See the yellow button? The one that says "Order signed books" that sits under that teeny little cover shot of Between, Georgia over there to your left? WELL. Ask not for whom the button entices with its warm gold glow. It entices for you. The virtual signing, it is upon us. All the Alabama Booksmith Orders will get signed and filled TOMORROW. If you have been hesitating, poised on the brink of punching that button and then turning coyly away LIKE THE MINX YOU KNOW YOU ARE, now is the time to give it up. Punch! Punch now! Lest the punching moment pass you!
I miss my people and my house, but I am not going back for a good piece yet. I am comforting myself with the knowledge that my husband has not yet called MOXIE. In fact (and I hope you are reading this Scott) if the book tour ends, and he has STILL not called Moxie, I may call Warner and beg them to send me other places---cold northerly places like ALASKA and the icier parts of the former Soviet Union, where I am SURE they will love my books and, more importantly, where the bugs don't come.
Right before I left, TWO enormous roaches and a great creeping hairy centipede appeared in my slag pit of doom (aka office). They came staggering out from behind my desk all loopy and slow as if they had been sitting around a hookah casually SMOKING the deadly chemicals I like Moxie to come spray all around my domicile. See, after they spray, the roaches don't come in your house. Of course, you also grow a third eye in your bellybutton, but life is about compromise.
Some nice things are happening---gods in Alabama in paperback just went into its third printing. This is because you are buying it, and you are liking it, and you are telling other people to buy it and they are liking it, and on and on like that SHAMPOO, and WOW but you are pretty. Have you lost weight? gods is also #7 on the SIBA bestsellers list (trade paperback) and Between, Georgia is in a RACE with it, neck and neck at #7 on the SIBA hardback bestsellers list. Once again---why? You are buying, reading, liking, and recommending. Did you just get a haircut? COME SIT BY ME.
I have to PACK UP and get ready to go to Birmingham tomorrow. TONIGHT I am in FAIRHOPE, one of my FAVORITE Alabama towns and HOPEFULLY some members of the Fairhope Posse will come out to see me. Frank Turner Hollon. is there (go read THE GOD FILE, I double dog dare you) and Suzanne Hudson and Joe Formichella. My friend Sonny Brewer is off gallivanting about the country promoting his new book, so he won't show, but I hope some of the others do. It may get interesting.
Joe and Suzanne live near another writer I haven't met yet, but rumor has it he has seceded from the union and formed his own country. He is trying to get a bunch of women to come "Live Free" there, and by free I think he might mean naked. I hope to someday be cool enough to be invited to formally become the Georgia Branch of the Fairhope Posse. I hear REAL members get T-shirts. And Tattoos. If I visit the new country, I will be sure and report back, and, law of the land aside, you better believe I will still be in full possession of my underpants. I don't care to live quite THAT free.
AT ANY RATE, I will be at PAGE AND PALETTE, so come on out if you are a Fairhopian. They do it up RIGHT!
OH number 1--- My friend Mamie was touring China with her daughter and they saw BETWEEN for sale in the Hong Kong airport. HOW. COOL. IS. THAT.
OH the second -- and there is this! Go here and scroll down to LIVE magazine's podcast. This is a BOOK CLUB thing, so if you have not READ gods in Alabama yet, then don't go listen. It has some spoilers. Part two comes out next week.
Tour is WEIRD. It's very feasty-faminey, and if you get feted until you grow The Big Head, fear not, someone will be along to pop it directly.
Scene One: I see a Bookstore that is not on my schedule, but I have a rental car and some time, so I drop in to do a stock signing.
I walk up to a long, thin young man who is putting discount stickers on a gift book.
Me: Hi...can you point me in the direction f the manager on duty?
Him: *straightening* That's me. What can I do for you?
Me: I'm Joshilyn Jackson---
I stop talking because I see I don't have to say "and I wrote gods in Alabama and Between, Georgia." When I say my name, his eyes widen, his mouth opens up into a delighted grin....HE KNOWS WHO I AM. And he is HAPPY TO SEE ME.
He gets all the store stock out for me, and tells me I am going to be at his sister store and that he ordered a copy of gods in hardback to be signed by me when I am over there, and gets me to do him a Between, and calls over another bookseller who has read one or the other of my books and SHE is also quite happy to see me, AND, on TOP OF THIS, a passing woman doubletakes when she sees me signing and stops and is VERY excited because her husband has been wanting to read my book and NOW, she says, she can get him a SIGNED COPY and surprise him, and everyone is all PLEASED, me most of all, and as I leave the manager thanks me for coming by, and I say, oh no THANK YOU for the warm welcome you have made my day, and its back and forth like that for a little, me and him with a stream of OH NO thank YOU! Oh NO, thank YOUs! in this orgy of good manners, and when I finally stagger out into the warm sunshine I am POSTIVELY SHOCKED that the papparazzi aren't waiting in a crafty pack to snap me. Because of me being so notoriously famous and and universally recognized and, dude, I didn't even have to sleep with a Greek billionaire's son!!!!
Scene Two: I go to a signing. I am pretty much the only one who does.
Eventually, three people show up for the discussion part, and I always think if ONE person comes, you do the WHOLE THING because that one person's time is as valuable as mine. You have to respect that they came out to hear you and give them something to hear. SO, I drag out the dogs AND the pink ponies and tap around HA-CHA!
Then I move to a table at the front of the store, but foot traffic is SLOW. The event manager is a DOLL and keeps me company and assures me they like my book and that they will handsell the signed stock and etc. Two guys show up to ask me ENDLESS questions about who my agent is and how I got him, and then leave without getting a book.
Shoppers hurry past, afraid that if they meet my eyes I will leap on them and make them buy something. I begin to feel like I have GAZE leprosy, so quickly do folks avert their peepers, EXCEPT for one gently rounded little elfy looking guy with tufties of white hair sprouncing out by his ears. He stares right at me. His face is impassive but then he flares his nostrils, as if his nostrils are amused, but the rest of his face is reserving judgement.
I say HI! and in my wake the store's Event Manager says, HOW ARE YOU?
The elf man looks me UP AND DOWN and DOWN AND UP and then turns to the event manager and says, "I'm doing better than HER, anyway" and then walks off, snickering.
The bookstore people were SO nice and encouraging and ethusiastic about my books that, up until that point, I was actually feeling okay about the whole thing, but that was sort of like getting hit in the face with a pan. WHANG!
AH WELL, what are you going to do? For every lovely someone who takes the time to come tell me they enjoy my work and talk about it with me, there are an equal and opposing number of little poos who MUST spit in my Wheaties. There are times on tour when I feel an inch tall, and I pray for a huge and merciful foot to come stamp me.
OH MY DROOGIES, if you live in the south, you should come see me--- here are my tour date for July. Just think, if we get enough FTK regs at an event and that ELF guy shows back up, we can grab him up and throw him in the stew pot and cook him and eat him. MMmmmm, nothing like a tender haunch of boiled jerk to make a girl feel better...
BLOGGING FOR BOOKS is on the road in its ENORMOUS tour bus, and all the roadies are hot for it. Screaming Girlenes in poodley skirts are waiting to rip its clothes away and run off with a shred or a button. B4B was at the top of the charts last month, and we want to keep it there. OH YES WE DO!
Otherwise, I imagine the tour bus will go around a dead man's curve just a shade too fast, and B4B will join Jim Morrisson's new band, in hell.
If you blog, I BEG you to remind you reading/blogging audience that it is B4B time, and ask other bloggers who read your blog to blog it, and then it will be JUST like Ricky Martin, if Ricky MArtin had ever released another song. PLEASE help get the word out.
We lift a glass in honor of The Zero Boss, because he made it up.
How to play: You blog on a chosen topic. You post a link to your blog entry in the comments below this entry. B4B closes next Monday when the comments close on this entry, EXACTLY seven days from the very second this posted. <----note the slight rule change.
Your special guest blogger this month is Kim Wilson of Wilson World She won earlier and so, alas, she can never enter again, but she is eligible to judge. AND JUDGE SHE WILL.
If you are one of the seven finalists, your entry will be read by OTHER Special Guest Bloggess who pens HER GREEN FIGS. Her Figliness will greenly choose first, second and third place.
THERE IS NO SPECIAL GUEST AUTHOR. Because I am providing the loot for this round. And I live here. SO, I can't judge because I know too many of you too well to be impartial, plus ARE YOU ON CRACK? I'm on book tour and am thus sleep deprived and totally INSANE. BUT there are MANY fine prizes to be had.
First Place: Signed First Edition of Between, Georgia AND a copy of Between on CD. I READ IT!
Second Place: Signed First Edition of Between
Third Place: Signed Paperback of gods in Alabama
And now, THE TOPIC! As usual your topic relates to the book...
Between, Georgia tells the story of Nonny Frett, who understands the meaning of the phrase "in between a rock and a hard place" better than any woman alive. She's got two mothers, "one deaf-blind and the other four baby steps from flat crazy." She's got two men: a husband who's easing out the back door; and a best friend, who's laying siege to her heart in her front yard. And she has two families: the Fretts, who stole her and raised her right; and the Crabtrees, who lost her and won't forget how they were done wrong. Now, in Between, Georgia, population 90, a feud that began the night Nonny was born is escalating, and a random act of violence is about to ignite a stash of family secrets. Ironically, it might be just what the town needs...if only Nonny weren't stuck in between.
So this time, write about being BETWEEN. In any context. OH COME ON YOU HAD TO SEE THAT COMING!
YES, Virginia, Wallgreen's sells underpants. Not a huge selection mind you, and not in my size, but any port in a storm, sez me.
Last night was my twentieth High School Reunion. VERY VERY WEIRD. SO Weird. I kept looking around and having deja-ja-vu-vues. Everyone one was telling stories, and I didn't much remember them....perhaps I blocked the four years out? Apparently I had a sass-mouth back in the day.
BAD THING - I forgot my digital. If anyone from the reunion reads this, send me a coupla pics. If don't look like a googly eyed crazy-monster, I'll post 'em.
The Boy I Liked The Very Most ALL through middle school and high school did not SHOW, that potzer, even though he was on the confirmed guest list. The boy I liked the second very most ALSO did not show. ONE boy I crushed on hard showed---he was very much a prototype for what would be my type after I grew up. Tall? Check. Dark Hair? Check. Quiet? Check. ENORMOUS brain? Checkittycheckcheck. He looked exactly the same, only more confident, and apparently he has become some sort of brilliant brain trust person who thinks for a living. VERY cool to see him. I liked him early on in my high school career, before I grew the sass-mouth, and I found out he never even knew I LIKED him. I remember I would get around him and BIG BRIGHT ORANGE LINES of boy-liking would start radiating off my head and I would have to flee before he saw them. *sigh* Really would have liked to catch up with the other two.
20th reunions are nifty. I didn't go to my tenth because I was in Illinois, but I imagine it would have been different. I probably would have had a big chip on and felt like I had to front like a player, like OOOH BUT SEE SEE I am hip and in grad school and I work with an experimental theatre troop and my PLAY just got PRODUCED, yes, in CHICAGO THAT"S RIGHT, NEENER NA---and at the tenth might have gone with some Schadenfreude, you know? That's GONE by the twentieth. We've all grown up --- I liked that about us all, how everyone seemed genuinely interested in each other. The air in the room was heavy with this odd and universal good will.
I was just kinda excited and relaxed (as relaxed as I ever get anyway). I was in jean gauchos and a T shirt until my mother in law told me I could NOT wear that. I called my old best friend at her mom's house and said, "What are you wearing?" After she busted a gut laughing and saying, "If this was twenty years ago, I would say I DO NOT KNOW I DO NOT KNOW WHAT ARE YOOOOOOUUUUU WEARING...." she told me she was wearing nice pants, and her sister said I couldn't slouch in like a scumbag in my jeans either, so I changed not one of my Pretend To Be An Author outfits. I didn't bother to put contacts on though, just peered at everyone through my clunky birth control glasses.
ALTHOUGH, horrid vain thing that I am, I must confess whipped those suckers off like I was Clark Kent any time a Camera pointed at me. AND this guy from drama club accused me of reapplying gloss more than any other woman alive, so, it's not like I am saying I am GHANDI, but...I've grown up a lot in the second ten years. I think we all had.
I might have gotten the teeniest bit tipsy, so when it was winding down and the place we had rented was getting ready to kick us out, one chick came to invite me to go on to a smaller less formal gathering.
Me: No -- I need to go back to the hotel and make out with my husband.
Her: I'll just file that under too much information.
Me: Did I say the quiet part out loud again? OOPS SORRY, it's just, you know, I'm on book tour until the end of the month. He drove down here to meet up with me, and I won't see him until, like, AUGUST. This is my LAST CHANCE to make out. He gets crabby if I make out with anyone else.
I think she needed to keep that TOO MUCH INFO file NICE AND OPEN for me. *sigh* BUT, on the brighter side of celibacy, remember that they had all my flights booked under my maiden name because I forgot to tell my new publicist that my ID is all in my married name? Yeah. Well. So much for not getting any action----Because they had to go in and change my name on every ticket, I have a SECURITY RISK FLAG, and now I am getting felt up in every airport I go through.
OH OH OH! Further humiliations. I stole our old high school literary magazine from 1983! It had a TERRIBLE poem by me in it, I mean BEYOND terrible. I do believe the words "wild white stallion" appear. No, I am not kidding. I'm bringing it to the signing to day in hopes of giving it back. I ran off with it to show Scott and then never could find the people who had it originally and then we left. WILD WHITE STALLION!!!! *dies of mortification* Also, still not kidding, the poemicular stallion is charged with riding me away someplace where "I can be alone!" Exclamation point included in the original. Yeah. Hi. I am a sophomore in high school, but in my off hours, I moonlight as Greta Garbo. Dramatic much?
The state of Georgia really SHOULD fund a grant and give it to me to NOT write poetry.
I do NOT have time to proofread this. SO. Try not to be a hater when you see my multiple and enormous typos.
Yesterday, 6:30 PM: I'm off -- On the plane right now, heading for Pawleys Island, The first stop on this book tour. I MEANT to answer some e-mails before I went.....too late now, eh? If one is yours, I will answer it in Agust. I am on the laptop now. BY THE WAY, this would be a great time to punch that yellow button to your left if you want a signed copy of Between (or gods in Alabama --- he has first eds and the paperback in stock, too)----Booksmith Visit is LOOMING UP FAST AND SOON.
SCOTT took Lappy 2000 here by the Geek Squad so they could fix my rebellious V key. Remember last year I blogged in a BROGUE, typing Hae for Have, and etc. Well, the Geek Squad charged me 19 bucks and now I have a working V. YAY THEM. Not to be to technical, but the main problem with the key was that it had a cookie in it. My guess would be white chocolate macadamia nut. Dern cookies.
I ALMOST didn't get on the plane! I have a new publicist (my old one got promoted to Empress of All Publicists, remember?) and it never occurred to me to tell him that, while I WRITE under my maiden name, my Passport and other I.D. and even my credit cards are in my married name...It's little oversights like this that cause Scott to have to walk around charity events with a nametag on it that reads "Hi My Name Is....Scott Jackson," when that is NOT his name. So. There it is. There was no reservation under my married name, and with a growing sense of dread I had the DeltaBot check under Jackson and THERE I WAS.
You know there are the two kinds of behind-the-counter people, right? The kind that are going to MOVE THE EARTH two inches left, if that is what it takes, to get you what you need, and then the other kind, who seem to LIVE to tell you all the reasons why whatever you need is impossible while looking at you so soaked in glee-filled regret that they DRIP IT ON YUR SHOES. WELL! I am sorry for calling her a DeltaBot. BECAUSE I GOT THE FIRST KIND.
I pointed out that my oddly spelled FIRST name was the same on both my ID and the ticket. She processed that, then she wanted to know did I have anything, ANYTHING, with Jackson on it. LIGHTBULB! I had a copy of my BOOK in my laptop case, because I planned to dig through it on the plane and pick out parts to read at the event at Litchfield Books tomorrow, I showed her the book, with my AUTHOR PICTURE in the back.
Now, look, earlier today I had a mental breakdown and went roaring over to my hairdresser's house not THREE hours before I had to get on this plane. AMANDA! I said. I have to go on booktour AND also to my TWENTIETH HIGH SCHOOL REUINION ON SATURDAY. I HATE MY DRAB HAIR! I WANT TO BE FANCY! CAN YOU MAKE ME FANCY??????
Ladies and gentlemen....I am SO fancy now, on my head parts. She put in these very streaky pale blonde highlights, and these very dark chocolate lowlights, and then, in honor of Between's red-headed heroine, added some very cherry red MIDDLE lights in as well. Dude, my head may well be where fancy goes to die.AND I had on my big clunky black framed Kate Spade birth control glasses, which I got because when Scott's old job closed it's Atlanta office and I refused to move to Vegas, the LAST thing I did before that job ended (and it's eyecare insurnce with it) was go blow EVERY BIT of my entire family's Eye Care Allowance for the YEAR on these monstrously expensive frames. I love them, but between the glasses and my striped 'Do, I wasn't sure the author picture LOOKED much like me.
While the helperrific Delta Chick went off to ask her supervsor if a novel was a legit form of ID, I WHIPPED the glasses off, widened my eyes, and tried to make my mouth be the same shape as in the picture---what Scott calls my Deep Thoughts Mouth. I could NOT for the life of me remember how to make that mouth. They were a LONG time coming back, so I pulled out my compact and practiced, and when they arrived, book in hand I gave them my sad version of BLUE STEEL over my shoulder, trying to make my face match the pic without benefit of lights and professional make-up and a monstrously talented photographer, They looked at me like they already regretted it because I was CRAZY, but told me they had ALREADY believed me, even without me replicating Deep Thoughts Mouth, and gone ahead and changed the name. Yeah -- They had taken so long because they were printing out my boarding pass. AND HERE I SIT. Whoops landing must shut down....
BUT FIRST! GUESS WHAT I AM DOING RIGHT NOW! Eating a little pack of Delta Gingersnaps! Directly over my keyboard! Oh Geek Squad, go ahead and sign the lease on that new Porsche----you are all but guaranteed another 19 bucks.
UPDATE THE FIRST: When I landed, I discovered that my luggage had not come with me. Aparently, it FAILED to look like its author photo, and was left on the ground. The bookstore owners took me to Walgreens to buy Crest Toothpaste and Underpants, and then took me to an AMAZING place called ---I will get the name for you - I can say it but can't remember how to spell it. *sigh* Louis? ANYWAY, they fed me on Shrimp and Grits and enormous cocktails until I felt better about the whole thing. Seriously, in the top three Shrimp and Grits EVER, and you KNOW if a place has S-n-G on the menu I don't have to read any farther. ALSO The Vodka Soda Lime was made with a local vodka, called FIREFLY, and it was....awesome. Today is Travel-Crumple-Walgreen-Underpants Day, but derned if I don't feel JUST FINE about the whole thing.
I JUST finished running the full draft of Togwiss off my printer, and now I am going to go give his choppy, sloppy buttocks to KINKOS to copy him and send him to my editor/agent/readers. TOMORROW I am going to FORGET HE EXISTS FOR A MONTH and go tour. When I come back, I will be ready to perform radical surgery upon his quailing personage, a surgery of many months duration, slicing and dicing and stuffing in new bits.
I am by turns relieved to be mailing him AWAY to not think about and then horrified that ANYONE, most especially my editor, is going to see him all FETUSY with his GIANT NOSELESS ALIEN HEAD and his little lungs as dense as lima beans. I am having a terrible urge to call her right now and say YOU KNOW HE IS A FETUS RIGHT??? And he IS, he IS---he is currently completely non-viable outside the womb, and yet I am stuffing him in a box and posting him to NYC. What's WRONG with me?
Since my metaphors are about to run off the road and kill people, we better talk to someone with a brain cell left. That would NOT be me. That would be Kyra Davis, who actually has BILLIONS of the dern things, and has turned them all toward penning a series of hip chick mysteries starring Sophie Katz, her San Francisco living, coffee loving heroine. Check it out:
JJ: A lot of writers read this blog----how did you come to realize you wanted to pursue writing as a career instead of a personal passion or a hobby?
KD: I didn’t realize I wanted to become a writer until I was a writer. I began writing Sex, Murder And A Double Latte (the first Sophie Katz mystery) when I was in the early stages of my divorce. I was a newly single mom on the verge of bankruptcy and at the time it felt like everything I had worked for had been completely destroyed. I needed an emotional outlet. So at night, when I couldn’t sleep (which was pretty much every night back then) I sat down at my computer and created a parallel universe in which I could lose myself in. One that allowed me to laugh and…well…legally kill people. Fifty or so pages into the manuscript I realized that this wasn’t just an escape for me, it was a dream. Once again I had a goal to work toward and unlike everything else in my life at that time, this was totally under my control. I decided what to and not to write and if I succeeded or failed it was because of what I did, not because of what my ex or my lawyer did to/for me. I hadn’t written anything that would qualify as creative fiction since it had been assigned to me back in high school so I went to the bookstore and got a few how-to-write-a-novel books. I also joined a writing group and started reaching out to every published author who was willing to offer me advice. It took me two years and God only knows how many drafts and sleepless nights but I finished that book and less than three months after doing so scored myself an agent and five months after that I was offered a four book deal with Red Dress Ink. I know how many incredibly talented unpublished writers are out there. I know I got lucky. All I can say is that I did pay my dues, just in a different area of my life.
JJ: How important is location to you as a writer, or, a better way to say that might be, could these books be set anywhere else?
KD: Neither of the last two Sophie Katz books could have taken place anywhere other than San Francisco. San Francisco's the only city know where a person could realistically meet a Russian, a psychotic and a debutante all in the space of an hour. Then add to the mix Marcus, Sophie’s friend and hairstylist who periodically gives the reader a peek into the city’s gay social scene (which is like no other), the cosmopolitan restaurants and night life my characters always indulge in, the extreme-to-the-point-of-being-silly political correctness of the people they regularly interact with and…well I could go on and on. The point is that no matter where I move San Francisco will always be my home and these books are my way of both honoring and mocking that home.
JJ: Can you tell us about some of your experiences as a biracial Jewish woman and how they helped shape your main character?
KD: Early on in Sex, Murder And A Double Latte a stranger approaches Sophie in Starbucks and tells her how much she respects her “Native American culture.” Sophie of course is not Native American. She is, like me, a biracial (half black, half Jewish of Eastern European descent) woman and she’s not in the mood to explain her ethnicity to anyone at that moment so she says, “Actually I’m Irish. I just wear a lot of bronzer.”
I’ve delivered similar lines in my day to day life. It’s amazing, but if your appearance is on the ethnically-ambiguous side total strangers will come up to you and ask, “Where are you from?” or better yet, “What are you?” I don’t mind when people ask me about my heritage, I’d just prefer that they take the time to at least ask my name first. If they are rude in their questioning I’ll do something just to mess with them. For instance there have been times when I’ve invented a South American country or Pacific Island and claimed to be from there. Then when the person asking confesses that they’ve never heard of it I pretend to be incredibly offended and hurt. It’s evil, I know. But it’s fun.
Thanks, Kyra. I hope you guys enjoy her books, and SINCE the first one features UPSCALE coffee, I throw in for free a link, courtesy of my friend Mr. Growlf, to the THE CREEPIEST COFFEE THEMED THING YOU WILL EVER SEE.
DOes anyone know how to contact the chick who pens
Her Green Figs?
She WON Blogging for Books and never knew it, I think, and she has NO comments or contact info on her blog. I need to ask her to judge. She didn't comment and I got no e-mail from her, and I have been in such a STEW what with all the NO PACKING that I did not realize I had let it slide until Shanna wrote me today and said, UM HEY DOOFUS, I need a mailing addy for the WINNAH. If you are her or a friend of hers, tell her to shoot an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or! Just click on the link so she will get a ton of hits from here and come see what the heck is up with that.
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.
I HAVE SOME INVITES FOR YOU!
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.
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.)
1) BLOGGING FOR BOOKS will begin next Monday. Because of the Holiday. I don't know who the special guest blogger(s) will be. I will ask last month's winner over at and then a friend-blogger to do the final judging as I will be on the road...PRIZES however, will be
First Place: A Signed First edition of Between, Georgia ads well as the audio version on CD
Second place: Signed First Edition of BETWEEN, GEORGIA
Third Place: Signed UK Paperback of BETWEEN, GEORGIA
2) SPEAKING of the audio version, People Magazine recomended it as one of their three summer listens, saying, "The author's warm twang makes her novel about feuding Southern families resonate." It's the issue with the Nicole Kidman wedding on the front. My friend Amy-Go is in town for the fourth, and we snatched up the issue and scrabbled around until we found the page. I was very pleased and excited and so, in a voice that was, in retrospect, about four ticks too loud on the volume-meter, I said, "I HAVE A WARM TWANG!" Amy's husband about burst himself trying to NOT say all the possible responses that occurred to him.
3) Every time I complain about being disorganized, I get 1 - 6 emails telling me to become a FLY LADY. I tried FlyLady, ackshully, and I failed. Couldn't even do the sink thing. Felt oppressed. The laundry basket/box thing oppressed me, with all the the putting everything in a box to go to this place or that place. Ugh. I prefer picking up one thing, starting to take it to where it goes, setting it down somewhere else and never seeing it again. I suspect wandering about NOT completing tasks is part of how I write novels. I get some of my best ideas while scraping at the sentient mold who lives in my toilet. I have been known to leave the toilet brush IN there to be keep the mold company for hours, or, if its in the downstairs bathroom, for DAYS even.
4) I went to eat ice cream with Amy-Go and Julie last night, and we were talking about THE CLEAN HOUSE PEOPLE. YOU KNOW THE ONES. You can drop in on them at any time and their tiles will sparkle cheerfully at you....not so much, here. Amy-Go suspects them of being a cult. Me, I have GENUINELY stopped caring. Seriously. If the cleaning service has JUST come, then the house looks okay and most of the Honta Virus has been scraped out of the grout, so, whatever. In between cleaning service visits, it looks like feral pigs live here, and I have decided to be FINE with it. I am NOT going to tie up ANY identity or sense of self worth with how my house looks like some woman of the 50's. I am a true woman of the new millennium and I prefer to judge my identity and self worth based solely on the size pants I wear.
5) SO. THERE.
6) I leave on tour in T Minus 4 days. Ask me about how the PACKING is going. Go on. Ask.
UPDATE the First: My husband just reminded me that you can hear my WARM TWANG in the MEDIA KIT on this site now. Pick your format and listen to an excerpt of B,G on audio.
UPDATE THE SECOND. There's also an audio intevriew of me talking with the producer about the making the audiobook up on the Hachette site, right about here.