YEEEHAH, I’m an Author!!!!

We think this might make a good cover for "The Little Bookstore in Big Stone Gap." Val-kyttie certainly does.... (photo: Elissa Powers)

Don’t give up on me! The reason I haven’t posted anything for three months is that I’ve been working hard on writing something else. My non-fiction narrative (aka a memoir), tentatively titled “The Little Bookstore in Big Stone Gap,” is being published by St. Martin’s Press. The first draft—all 73,318 words of it—just went off to the editor. (We’ll see how many come back!)

Once things started happening, they happened fast. Here’s how it all went down:

Jack and I went off on a long-overdue vacation to Chicago in July. Just before leaving, I finished working with my agent, the kind-hearted and super-smart Pamela Malpas. She sent the proposal to several publishing houses, then headed off on her own (hard-earned) holiday.

My husband and I spent a happy week in the heat of summer traipsing ‘round Chicago, not thinking book thoughts, or bookstore thoughts. Our last night there (staying in the fantastic Palmer House Hotel) a message came from Pamela, asking if I could take time from my vacation tomorrow to speak with the two (TWO??!!) publishers interested in my book.

Yeah, I thought I could manage that…

So Jack and I sat under the glorious Palmer House lobby’s ceiling and I spoke with the Penguin and the St. Martin’s Press editors, then with Pamela. Talk about feeling like a yuppie princess; I’d look up at those beautiful frescos, and listen to the voices of the editors who wanted to pay me more than I’d expected to let other people read what I’d written.

Then we got on the L train, luggage and all, just as rush hour was starting, and headed for our airplane home. That kinda brought me back to the realities of life on Earth in a hurry. L trains are great social equalizers.

St. Martin’s Press will publish the book in 2013. (Normally it would be Fall 2012, but as the editor at SMP explained, that presidential election thing may occupy a lot of the reading public’s attention.)

The book timeline:

Of course, Bert the terrier thinks this photo would be best for the book's cover. (photo: Elissa Powers)

–eight months to write the first half

–two months to perfect the proposal for it and hook up with Pamela

–one month to really perfect the proposal under Pamela’s watchful eye

–one week to attract buyers

–one hour on the phone with each editor

–one euphoric day walking around back home, thinking, “Did all that really happen?”

–three months to write the second half of the book

–and thirty minutes to write this blog telling the story and begging indulgence for three months’ absence (although we all know there’s no lack of great blogs out there to read!)

But I promise to keep up now, and if anyone has any questions or comments, please leave them for me. It’s been a wild ride, but a fun one.

(Photo below of Wendy, Bert and half of Zora courtesy of Elissa Powers. You can find more of her lovely work on Facebook.



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6 responses to “YEEEHAH, I’m an Author!!!!

  1. I look forward to seeing your art blog. Can you send the url? I couldn’t get to it from your comment.

  2. Huh – it copied your comment twice. I’m not calling your comments trash, Valerie! I’d love to see your blog. Could you send the URL? I couldn’t get to it from your comment here.

  3. Yay for you, Wendy! So, dreams do come true. Looking forward to following your blog.

  4. Janice Brooks-Headrick

    Love your blogs! Impatiently waiting for book. Can send photos of my mess of books for cover.

  5. Ellie Hjemmet

    Wendy, what a fine adventure you are having! I’m really looking forward to your book… sad to hear we have to wait a whole year!!! Keep us posted. I’m really enjoying your blog.

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