Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Re-creating the past

For convenience, today I am formally moving my Blogs to I have been trying to maintain these entries on my primary website by FTP'ing html code. Uggh. It is painful to do and extremely clunky, so this seems like a much easier way to post. But, for the sake of posterity, I don't want to lose key tidbits of history that I've already posted over the past year, so I'm copying earlier blogs into this one entry. Here goes nothing.....

July 25, 2008 - If you listen very hard, you can probably still hear me exhaling...the new book has been accepted! Better yet, my editor loves it (she cried)!! There's only one thing....their market research over the past couple of months suggests that non-golfers don't "get" the title. It seems their first impression is that the book is about an Irish family named Mulligans, which it isn't. Therefore, we have agreed to change the title to something a little more generic, since this book is definitely not just for golfers. The new title will be....drum roll please..... Playing Through.

July 23, 2008 - The month of July has been quiet on the book front, as I'm awaiting a final decision on Waiting For Mulligans. So instead of stressing about writing, we've been stressing about my youngest sister, Kacie, getting married. The wedding is tomorrow! Tonight we had a pre-wedding Luau at our house, complete with authentic Samoan dancers and tiki torches all around the property. There were around one hundred people in attendance, and we had enough food for at least twice than number. Anyway, it was a great time...and we're glad it's over!

April 4, 2008 - Tonight I sent the finished manuscript of my next book, Waiting for Mulligans, to my editor for review. It was SOOOO hard to let it go! I told her that I felt like I was sending off a portion of myself for public scrutiny. To date the only person who has read it is my wife, Rebecca (she liked it, by the way, but I know she is biased), so I have HUGE anxiety that maybe the publisher will hate it and my writing career will come to a grinding halt. Ouch. I was so scared to send it that I finally had to have my two oldest daughters push "send" on the email. Thanks girls, I couldn't have done it without you!

February 20, 2008 - My head is still spinning from the whirlwind trip to NYC. But to help clear the fog, my editor just sent me a copy of the new cover design for The Paper Bag Christmas. The big has an endorsement at the top! Jason F. Wright, the NYT Bestselling Author of Christmas Jars and The Wednesday Letters, has provided a very flattering endorsement. I can't seem to wipe the smile off my face. [Note to Jason: THANKS!]

February 14, 2008 - Happy Valentines Day! I'm completely exhausted...I didn't sleep at all last night, and somehow even now I feel like I'm living in a dream. The sales meeting was last night, and it was so surreal. I kept shaking my head in disbelief, wondering how on earth I ended up there. The headliners of the evening were Brad Meltzer , who has been on the NYT Bestseller list more times than I can count, and comedian Paul Feig, creator of the hit show Freaks & Geeks and a former actor on the TV show Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Are you kidding me? The cool thing was, they were both completely nice, gracious, down-to-earth guys. Brad came and sat by me before the speeches got underway. We chatted about Portland, Powell Books, and who knows what else--it's all just a blur now.

I was the first speaker of the night, and I think I did okay...but Paul was up right after me, so anything I said was soon forgotten. He spoke faster than I can think, and every other sentence was a joke. He was seriously funny! What a great experience to listen and learn from him. Brad wrapped things up and also had the whole crowd in stitches. He's clearly done this before, so I was taking copious notes.

January 31, 2008 - I'm heading to the BIG APPLE! My [fabulous] editor called me this past week and said that I'd been selected as one of 4 authors to attend Hachette Book Group's annual sales meeting in NYC in a couple of weeks. Apparently this is a really big deal. I will be speaking to a group of sales executives in Manhattan. From everything I've gathered, it's not terribly common for new authors to be invited, so I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity. I'm told that last year (or the year before?) one of the guests was John Ratzenberger, who played the role of "Cliff" on the TV sitcom Cheers. How cool is that?

January 1, 2008 - This is my first-ever Blog entry, and already I know that I'm a terrible blogger. Writing shouldn't be this hard! It just feels so much like keeping a journal, which I'm terrible at (as evidence, I got a brand-spanking-new journal when I got married 13 years ago, and I've filled maybe 20 pages, if that). Needless to say, I don't expect this blogging thing to be a part of my daily routine. I'll try to post things of interest, but beyond that I'm afraid I just don't have it in me.

For those who knew about The Paper Bag Christmas from its original publication with Granite Publishing, you may be interested to learn that Hachette Book Group, the company that bought Time Warner Books in 2006, picked up my book this past spring and gave me a contract for another book as well. I was thrilled! I loved Granite, but Hachette really has the national distribution network that can help make it a real success. They are already working hard on a new cover design, re-editing, and are developing an elaborate sales campaign--and it doesn't even go to market until the end of October 2008. I'm hoping (and praying...literally) that things will go well with the book this fall.