Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Over-the-Top of Joy

Well, hello there, book.

Today is my official publication day.

So this is me. At our perfect local bookstore, Copperfield's, in Sebastopol, California. Yep. This is me, seeing my novel, The Underside of Joy, on a bookshelf in a bookstore for the very first time. I look pretty calm, but don't let that fool you. I felt like hugging and dancing with every customer and staff person in the store, and then running out to the sidewalk and doing the same with all the pedestrians -- and their dogs -- before leaping from hood to hood on the cars waiting for the light to change.

I'm a little excited.

What's even more overwhelming, though, is the gratitude I feel. You would not believe how supportive my family and friends have been. Friends I've known for years and years, and friends I've just recently met on the internet. I've never published a book before, but by the way they've all been shouting from the rooftops, you'd think that no one had ever published a book before. They have been ordering The Underside of Joy as if it were a survival kit and we had sudden proof that the Mayans were right after all.  (For many reasons, besides the fact that this is the year I'm finally getting published, I do so hope they were wrong.)

There is an amazing team of professionals, who have also become friends, working extremely hard to see that this novel finds its way into the world. My agent, Elisabeth Weed and her associate, Stephanie Sun. My foreign rights agent, Jenny Meyer. My editor, Denise Roy, my publicist, Amanda Walker, and all the people at Dutton. Kathleen Schmidt at KMSPR. And then there's all the foreign publishing houses that also took a chance and bought The Underside of Joy from an unknown author.

This was going to be short, but I'm on a roll. There have been many thoughtful reviewers, who really get the book and are able to describe it so much better than I can. Some of them are quoted here on my website. A great review just appeared on The Associated Press wire, which goes out to a ton of newspapers and websites. Lindsey Mead, a writer whose work I so admire, wrote a lovely, insightful review on her blog, A Design So Vast. More reviews are beginning to appear on blogs, which I'll post links to soon.

And my family! My relatives and in-laws have cheered me on for decades. My sister, Suzanne, and my sister-in-law Julie have been competing for chief volunteer publicist. I have an incredibly supportive husband, Stan, and four great kids, Daniel, Michael, Karli, and Taylor, who've lived so closely with my writing, it was like having another sibling they had to put up with.

There will be a book launch party on Saturday, January 14, at Copperfield's at 1:00. At the exact same time the 49ers will be in the playoffs. Have I mentioned that we have a Joe Montana Christmas tree ornament? My husband, smart man that he is, will be taping the game. If you're in the area, and you're not a football fan, come by. There will be picnic food in honor of the store called Life's a Picnic that's in the novel.

I could go on and on. I know. I already have. But the thing is? This doesn't even scratch the surface. My acknowledgement pages go a little deeper. But I would need to write another novel-length manuscript in order to thank everyone who has had a hand in this day. My heart is full, and so are my eyes. Thank you all.

My son Michael outside of Copperfield's.

45 comments:

  1. It's easy to write a lovely review of a book as beautiful and thoughtful as yours. Thank YOU! xox

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  2. Lynn Halverson - "Cousin in law"!January 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Sere -- I just keep imagining how my Grandma Halverson is up there in heaven, bragging to everyone about how someone with "their" Halverson name just published a novel. You married into a family with lots of interesting, talented people, but "we" have never had a novelist in our midst! Congratulations to you and your whole family on this exciting, unforgettable day!

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    1. Lynn, Thank you! I'm so glad I got to know the wonderful Gigi. Proud to share the Halverson name.

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  3. Congratulations! Looking forward to working with you :)

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    1. Thanks, Amy! It will be great to work together.

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  4. Congratulations! Looking forward to working with you :)

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  5. Seré - No one I know deserves to feel the way you feel right now more than you! For all the years you wrote - whatever needed to be written and for anyone who needed it written well - you paid your proverbial "dues" and just kept getting better. Now, finally, a smart publisher will see to it that the rest of us gets to experience a slice of life through your lens, and future stories you're compelled to tell, and for that I, for one, am just as full of gratitude as you. Mazel tov!

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    1. Spence, Could you be any more encouraging and supportive? I think not. Thank you my friend.

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  6. So incredibly proud of you Sere! Your writing is amazing and touches my heart (and eyes since you bring me to happy tears) every time. And now you are a published Author! You did it!!!!

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    1. Thank you, Anonymous. I'm not sure who wrote this, but thank you!! :)

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  7. Hi Sere,

    I came across a link on Yahoo about your book, that led me to your blog and your journey. I like the way you write, you have a down-home warmth to you.

    Big congrats on your book debut! Enjoy this exciting time. Loved reading your latest entry about seeing your book on bookshelves. Your excitement was bursting in every word. I also had a book published awhile back (2005), you brought back great memories of that time.

    I ordered your book on Amazon and I look forward to getting it on Tuesday and reading your story.

    Just a fellow scribe that wanted to send you good wishes.

    Congrats again!

    Nina

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    1. Hi Nina. I'm really glad you stopped by. Thanks so much for your interest in JOY. And please let me know the name of your book!

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  8. Hi Sere,

    I can only imagine how you must feel. Look forward to reading "The Underside of Joy" and all the other books that you will publish, though I can bet that none will ever make you feel the same as today. Nothing like that first time! Have a great book launch party.

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    1. Thank you, Pennie. Hope we can finally meet sometime soon.

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  9. I am in awe of your talent. I love you. But most of all, I admire your brain.
    (Screen too blurry to write more. Remind me to grab the tissue for the launch party.)
    Love,
    Your incredibly proud little sis

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    1. Having you and Nicole for the launch? Best Surprise Ever. Thank you, and I miss you guys already.

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  10. What a great novel.. Love your writing style and passion. This is just the beginning of long successful journey as accomplished writer.. Congratulations

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    1. Thank you, for taking the time to read it and write me, Sissi. I'm so glad you liked it.

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  11. That is such a cute photo of your son in front of all of your books and such a great post. I don't even know you but I'm so happy for you and so in love with your book and so HAPPY for you! As a book reviewer and also a struggling author, I get it and I hope to be where you're at someday. But above THAT, I FREAKING LOVED YOUR BOOK! Just writing about it brings tears to my eyes. I know you worked so hard on it, and I KNOW you have the best agent in the world because I adore ALlison Winn Scotch and Camille and she is an amazing agent and she knows her SH$T so you will go soooo far with your career, and with the book you just published, it SHOWS! I just finished it this afternoon, but CANNOT stop thinking about it. Truly, one of those books that will stay with me forever. You know how sometimes you read a book and a week later, you cannot remember the names of the characters? THESE, I will not forget! Simply beautiful! Congrats!

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  12. Yeah, can you tell I've had some wine tonight? LOL!

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    1. This really does make me laugh. Out loud. Glad you liked the book AND the wine! :)

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  13. I was lucky enough to be an early reviewer of your book and just have to tell you that I loved it! I received it through LibraryThing.coms early reviewers program. I will be sharing my copy with others and recommending it to all. I've lived in Sonoma County for many years and it was a real treat to read about places I've lived in and traveled through, Freestone, Occidental ('Elbow' I am guessing), Bodega, Bodega Bay, Santa Rosa etc. I live in Healdsburg now and am staying put for the rest of my life:)

    You have a marvelous talent as a writer and your story absolutely come alive for me. Thanks for such a treat to be able to read and share my thoughts on your book early!

    Best of luck to you,

    Erin Clark

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    1. Erin! Thank you! Yes, Occidental was part of the inspiration for Elbow. But then I stayed in a cabin at the Russian River, and Occidental morphed with Villa Grande to become Elbow. I love Healdsburg and completely understand why you're there for good. Feel so fortunate to live in Sonoma County. Thanks for reading and letting me know you liked the book. It's so good to hear this.

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  14. CONGRATULATIONS!!! That is SO incredibly exciting for you. Best of luck!!!

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  15. Saw this via Twitter and just had to congratulate you. As a fellow up-and-coming Author who is currently going through the process of finding a home for my book, I can relate to the anxiety, excitement, hair-pulling stress, and overwhelming passion that goes into this entire process. I wish you all of the best in your career and cheers to a very successful book!! XO

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    1. Cara, Thank you for stopping by. Huge congratulations on completing your own book. I think sometimes we get so caught up in trying to place the book that we forget how much work went into the actual writing, and that finishing it is such a sweet victory. I wish you all good things in this next part of the process, and hope you keep at least some of your hair! Looking forward to reading your book!

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  16. Congratulations, Sere. I'm so happy for you. Now, back to work revising my own novel.

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    1. Go Carol go! I love revising (and revising). So glad to know you're back working on your novel. Wishing you lots of happy writing hours. And thanks so much for all your support.

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  17. Congratulations, Sere! Look forward to discussing it on BlogHer.com!

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    1. Thank you, Rita! What a great group you have over at BlogHer. I love the response and discussions going on there. So honored to be read by all of you.

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  18. Congratulations on the publication of "The Underside of Joy." It is a beautifully written novel, I loved reading (absorbing) the story. The characters and places came alive for me. I am so happy my friend, your mother-in-law, Janet, gave me the heads up. I want to wish you the best and hope another novel is in the making.

    Carolyn Jackson

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    1. Hi Carolyn! So nice to "meet" you. Thank you for reading my novel and taking the time to let me know you liked it. And don't I have a wonderful mother-in-law?!

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  19. Yeah, Seré! I'm doing a little jig for you! And I'll be ordering it as well, of course. Wish I were out in Sonoma Country to give you a huge hug, but you're just going to have to settle for my cyber ((((hugs)))). :)

    Now, I'm going to check out the links you've provided, and get myself a copy of The Underside of Joy!

    Btw- How did you add this new comment thread? I've been trying to do something like this myself, but I can't figure it out--and the thread so much more logical and cleaner!

    Remember- if your tour takes you east, please let me know!

    Jayne
    xo

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    1. Thanks so much, Jayne. And you will be the first to know if I get anywhere near the East Coast. I have no idea how this new comment thread happened. I didn't press any buttons; it just magically appeared one day and I went with it!

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  20. Just found your blog. Congratulations! It sounds like this is something you have wanted for most of your adult life. Cheers to fulfilling your dreams!

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    1. Thanks, Bill. Yes, I've been writing for QUITE a while!

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  21. Unexpectedly found your blog on a bout of 'blog-leap-frog' and I think I'm here to stay. Congratulations on your book! Hope to read it (and more) soon.

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    1. Welcome, Lucy, and thank you! I'm glad you stopped by.

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  22. I found your book via Amazon. They thought I would like to read books by you by looking at the authors I make purchases from.I am so glad that they led me to you and this book. This book had me from the very beginning. I wanted to crawl inside this book and live there with all the charachters. You write so well that I had the perfect visions in my mind of Elbow, Ella and Joe's house. The garden, the store. All of it was vivid in my mind. I truly enjoyed reading this book and hope you plan on having others to follow. You have a gift and you use it well. I love to laugh and cry at the same time. You took a very difficult decision and found the perfect arrangement. And you had me liking Paige in spite of not wanting to because of my loyalty to Ella. This is the kind of book I read and rethink it over and over and am so glad I read it. Great job and you will now be on my list of authors to watch for their new releases!! Bravo to you!!!!

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    1. Tammy, thank you so much for reading JOY and getting in touch to let me know you really liked it. I love knowing that my book resonated with you--that means the world to me!

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  23. I visited my local library and picked up your book. After skimming the front cover and looking at your photo on the back, I decided to check it out. I haven't read a book this quickly in years. I loved the story, the characters, the ending. Perfect. I hope you are almost finished with your next one. I'm ready to read it! Thanks.
    Janet Little

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  24. What a great novel.. Love your writing style and passion. This is just the beginning of long successful journey as accomplished writer..

    Presswire

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