Friday, August 28, 2009


The galleys arrived overnight from Random House this week. I don't suspect anything thus far has cemented the reality of publication like seeing the book all put together in galley form.

GALLEYS are early unproofed versions of the book that are used by sales folks to sell the books to bookstores and we send them out to other writers--with similar styles--and request that they read and comment on the book.

In this picture, my son holds the galley and I pray that he doesn't, being four years old, throw it like a ball. He is really proud of me. It's very cool. The other thing I'm working on this week are second-pass pages. These are the manuscript pages all ready for publication, but needing yet another close read. The last time I saw the ms., there were quite a few mistakes. This time, it's nearly flawless so far. Random House has done a careful job fixing mistakes that the proofreader and I found. THANK YOU. These second-pass pages are important because this is the last time I'll be able to see the ms. and make any corrections before it's published in hardback. Can't wait, and in the spring too! I love spring. April Showers and all that jazz... I sound like Lucy from THE PEANUTS.

Thank you to everyone at Shaye Areheart, Crown Random House for being so good to me, especially Sarah and Christine. This is an exciting experience. Needless to say, I will keep you posted as to what happens next. Eventually, I'll have a publicist. I wonder what that will be like. You'll be the first to know. Thanks everybody.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tattoo Day

I got my new tattoo yesterday at Absolute Art Tattoo. It was five years in the making. I got my last tattoo when I was 33, after completing THE HANDBOOK FOR LIGHTNING STRIKE SURVIVORS. Writing a novel is a feat all by itself, but I felt the need to commemorate THE HANDBOOK'S completion.

Similarly, writing my latest novel, ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL, has been a difficult emotional but wonderful journey of self discovery. Again, I needed to mark it--with more than words. I was fortunate that the great tattoo artist David Boisineau, who helped design my first tattoo did me the same favor with this one. It's not the moon, but it is a charm of the moon, cut by a blacksmith for a girl, Isabel, who believes that as long as she can see the moon in the sky, she knows where she is. While other children play and romp after all-day Baptist church in Batesville, Virginia, she gazes at the moon. Earl Weeks, the local blacksmith makes her the charm. Isabel, stunningly beautiful, is told by her mother that she should give the charm bracelet back to Mr. Weeks, but she won't do it. It's Isabel's forever.

(The red swelling is already gone...)

Monday, August 17, 2009


Well, since you asked... A whole lot is new. In the past two weeks, I have learned that the sales representatives at Random House really love my novel THE HANDBOOK FOR LIGHTNING STRIKE SURVIVORS, which is SUPER important because they are the wonderful people who actually sell copies to bookstores.

In order to make the book even more sellable, I was asked to write discussion questions to accompany the text. I must tell you: I thought that this would be a difficult task, but it was great. It was so much fun to think about my book from a "book club" reader's perspective.

And, most recently, I've started writing letters to fellow authors requesting that they read my book and write blurbs to go on the jacket.

Busy, busy busy.

I also had the opportunity to speak to a friend's novel-writing group, and boy, are they a great bunch of writers. I really appreciated the opportunity to share my experience. Thanks, Jamie, for the opportunity.

Lastly, I am still revising ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL. It's a delight to work on this novel. It's so great when you can actually do something you love and make money at it. I feel incredibly fortunate, and for those of you with whom I haven't shared the following: I'll end on this note:

My son asked me, "Mommie, what do you want to be when you grow up?"

And I said, "A famous writer."

And he said, "Silly, Mommie. You already are that."

It's this... and it's that moment that we go into a library and pull my book off the shelf that I am dreaming about. Wow, but that will be exciting. And, speaking of excitement. The galleys arrive August 26th. WOW WOW WOW WOW

love to everyone, xo pussycat

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My characters have started their own blog.

I started a new blog dedicated to the fictional characters Isabel and Gloria from ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL. If you have the time, check it out.

On the publication front, my editor received excellent feedback from her sales reps, many of whom had already read the THE HANDBOOK FOR LIGHTNING STRIKE SURVIVORS. The North Carolina rep was especially enthused. The sales reps are the people who actually do the footwork, selling to individual bookstores. Yeah for sales reps!

Most recently, I was asked to write a series of discussion questions to supplement the novel. I thoroughly enjoyed this task.

I feel like singing a Nelly song: “Bill Gates, Donald Trump, let me in now…” but I’m singing to Oprah. “Let me in now. I’d love to send you a galley.”

Isabel Sullivan, born 1939 in Batesville, Virginia


Gloria Ricci, born 1941 in Maryville, New Jersey

have started their own blog. They are the two main characters from my latest completed novel, ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL.