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.