Friday, August 08, 2008

Making a Literary Life Friday: Kindness

Believe in Karma? There just might be something to it. It's a wonderful thing to cast goodness into the world -- whether karma exists or not. We know just how wonderful our readers are, we hear from you all the time and trust you're doing your share to make this world a more gracious place -- but we'd love to hear what kindness someone has bestowed on your literary life.

Lisa Marnell
Almost two years ago, author Elin Hilderbrand (currently number four on the NYT bestselling paperbacks list with her novel, Barefoot, and also listed on the NYT hardcover books with A Summer Affair), offered to help me in my agent search for my first YA. Elin lives on Nantucket; her husband and my husband are best friends. Elin was busy with three kids, busy writing, having construction done on her house, but she graciously gave me her time. More than that, she gave me unbelievable positive encouragement. It meant the world to me!

Amy MacKinnon
Where to start? How about a lovely kindness from one Michael Kindness. He's a sales rep for Random House and yesterday, of his own free will, he toured me around area bookstores, introducing me to the staff. Now I'm a stay-at-home mom who seldom leaves the house, who gets lost driving to the next block, so to finally see these stores I've only heard of was magical. Porter Square Books, Brookline Booksmith, Newtonville Books among them. A lovely dream come true. At the end of it, he told me he would be discussing Tethered later today on his podcast today over at Books on the Nightstand. Thanks, Michael!

Then, a book I've longed to read appeared in my mailbox! Debutante Danielle Younge-Ullman sent me her amazing debut, Falling Under. It was clear from the first sentence that this is a powerful book. I can't wait to finish it. Thanks, Danielle!

Finally, a friend emailed to say an ad for Tethered is up at USA Today. Surreal. Thanks, Shawn!

Hannah Roveto
The greatest kindnesses on this literary journey thus far are from Amy, Lisa and Lynne. While I have been blessed with support from my parents, family and friends, they are the ones who assured me I could write a novel when journalism instead of fiction came out of my fingers, and then it seemed, the next time I sat down, I could indeed. And as we all know, the more we do it, the better it gets.

Lynne Griffin
The kindness and generosity extended to me by my husband and children tops my list. They ceaselessly give me time to write, believing my stories need to find their readers. Random acts of kindness have come to me in the form of feedback from my wonderful writers' group, in editorial guidance from my fantastic agent and editor, and most recently in the form of comments from authors and booksellers. Thank you, Jeanne Ray, Martha Moody, Pat Wood, Margot Livesay, Beth Simpson of Cornerstone Books, and Jess Foley of Barnes and Noble, Hingham. The fact that you took the time to read Life Without Summer and then comment so thoughtfully is deeply appreciated.


Michael Kindness said...

hey Amy!

I had a great time with you yesterday (and the cookies you made were delicious!)

We did record the new podcast today and I hope I did Tethered justice! The episode won't upload until next Wednesday morning.... I didn't want you wondering where the heck it was!


Anonymous said...

I'll never forget the kindness of my first reader in the literary world. Samantha North was her name and she worked at an agency in Toronto, though she has since moved on to Random House. Samantha called me and encouraged me to believe in my story even when it was in its early stages. Though she wasn't ready to offer representation, she convinced me that writing stories was a suitable profession for me. Her editorial advice also helped me with the rewrite that attracted my current agent. Thank you Samantha wherever you are!

Amy MacKinnon said...

Michael, and I had a great time with you. It was so generous of you to introduce me to so many fantastic people. I can't wait for the podcast; thanks again for caring about Tethered.

Tara, isn't yours a lovely story? So often folks in publishing are portrayed as heartless types when the opposite is true. Here's to Samantha North -- and to your writng. said...

It's wonderful to know that even when we think that writing is such a lonely business, there always seems to be those special people who appear to help us along the way.

Danielle Younge-Ullman said...

Speaking of kindness, thanks for the mention, Amy! I can't wait to read Tethered.

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