Friday, November 09, 2007

Making a Literary Life Friday: Fall Ball

We here at the Writers' Group are going at full throttle. Some of us are on book tour, some of us are doing final edits on novels, others are working on fourth drafts, and all of us are at different stages on new novels. Throw in a few author events, one or two parties, families, jobs, pets, volunteering, and -- phew! -- we're exhausted. Not that we're complaining, no, who could when given the opportunity to pursue a passion. Still, if anyone is offering us a writers' retreat with quiet rooms, free of phones and Internet service, we're there. Now that would be a ball!

Others having a ball this fall and to whom we extend huge congratulations are Kristy Kiernan and John Elder Robison. Kristy's much beloved novel, Catching Genius, was nominated for the Florida Book Award and John's memoir, Look Me In the Eye, was an Amazon Top Ten Book of the Year.

Okay, my life is too intense, but in such a good way. I go from work I never imagined could be so wonderful, to a novel that's taken on a life of its own! My family is closer than ever; wild fires and moving three thousand miles from all of your friends can do that to a person.

Note: I will say YES! to an offer of a Vermont retreat in an old farmhouse on five plus acres with horses. I'm fussy, I know, but wouldn't that be nice?

Bone tired, I'd say, but in the best possible way. Last Friday night was an experiences those of us pursuing the literary life can appreciate. Lynne and I attended Grub Street's annual fundraiser, Taste of Grub, and we spent the night chatting away with the famous Anita Diamant (yes, the author of The Red Tent is actually flesh and blood), Andre Dubus III (Oprah loved House of Sand and Fog, as did the rest of America), Bret Anthony Johnston (as charming in person as he is on the page), and Pagan Kennedy (how does one remain so humble when one is the darling of the New York Times Review of Books?). Good news, I won Ms. Diamant's auction item, a tenth anniversary signed edition of The Red Tent.

In other news, the truly impressive foreign rights team at Crown sold the French rights to my novel, Tethered. I'm going to New York next week to meet with my agent and publishing team; how best way to express to each of them my gratitude?

This fall is lovely, and now the snap of cold -- at last -- and my PR work project of wrapping 25 gifts in gold and silver tissue and ribbons for editors and producers has me in a holiday mood. We have a firm No Holiday Videos or Music Until Thanksgiving rule in our home, which I am the first to enforce and the first to wish I didn't. Enjoying the anticipation can be half the fun, and to that end I am riding a wave of excitement and promise as well with the Group's work and in my own writing being read and being created. Although when that wave crashes at last, at some point, I would also like to be in that house in Vermont!

My book tour continues with events mostly in New England up through the holidays. I can't say enough about the generosity of the staff at Inkwell Bookstore in Falmouth MA and the supportive staff and parents of the Apple Orchard Preschool in Brookline MA. It is humbling to meet so many parents with intentions of raising compassionate cooperative children. And so many willing to help me spread my proactive parenting message.

The Taste of Grub night was lovely. Toasting to other writers' success and chatting about writing--is there anything better? I head off to New York next week to meet my editor at St Martin's and have several events later in the week south of Boston. Life is busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way.


kristen spina said...

Oh, you are all rich with good news and it is such a joy to pop over and share in the excitement. I continue to be envious of the Grub Street events that put you in the room or at the table with such treasured authors. Thank you for sharing these moments with the rest of us.

Enjoy the weekend!

Sustenance Scout said...

Ditto from Denver! Enjoy!! K.

Larramie said...

I didn't know about Kristy's nomination, thanks so much for sharing the news.

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Kristen, maybe you should plan a trip to boston next May for Grub's Muse and the Marketplace conference. Then we can meet!

SS, can you come, too?

Larramie, isn't that wonderful news about Kristy? She is a force and her book is quite an impressive debut. And I just so happen to know her next novel is going to be an incredibily compelling follow-up. You'll want to pre-order.


Carleen Brice said...

Amy, congrats on the French sale, but as a HUGE fan of The Red Tent, I have to say even bigger congrats for winning a signed copy!! I have a hard cover 1st edition, myself.

Sustenance Scout said...

Amy, I'd love to but.... You know how it is!

Carleen, not too green with envy here! What a great book. K.