Friday, March 6, 2009

The good The bad and The good

Inevitably I have been alternately terrified of bookstores and combing Young Adult sections eagerly for a sign of MY title. This is exciting. The possibility that something I wrote could be for sale on a shelf among other things that other people wrote. Exciting.

Not exciting? I have yet to see it in a single store. My beautifully supportive friend Neesha reminds me that this journey is what I should relish, that I wrote this book and published it and this dream is what I should relish. She's right, of course. But I'd still like to see it in a store. So I'm just saying, if you have a copy, and you happen to be in a bookstore, just kind of prop it up next to the fancy titles, snap a pic, and send it to me. I'll never be the wiser.

On the other side of celebrating, I am starting to feel a little bit giddy about the party I'm throwing next weekend to celebrate all of this... there are temporary tattoos that have just arrived and lobster stock being frozen in preparation and train schedules and flight times reviewed for family arrivals and bathrooms to clean and sheets to wash for house guests. I'm thinking of wearing a feather in my hair, a la Steven Tyler.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I can read.

So. As much as I stand in front of a room full of students every day I am terrified at the thought of being in front of a room full of strangers. Of people looking at me. Compound this terror by asking me to READ my very own raw wide open words and you have last night. I had my very very first reading from This Is What I Want to Tell You at the Jefferson Market Library in Manhattan. I read with some other wonderful writers (Donna Freitas, Sarah MacLean, PE Ryan and Siobhan Vivian all moderated by David Levithan and supported too by the awesome Sarah Ockler in the front row) who were so funny and supportive and the range of voices and stories among us was impressive. I was in good company for my first public appearance and, while my voice and left foot seemed to be shaking uncontrollably, I am assured by my stunning and incredible friends that I seemed confident (I assure you. I was not).

I read Noelle to the world for the first time and what buoyed me up, what steadied my voice and amazed me and carried her out to all of these ears in the audience was the faces of my other family in the back row, the Vermont Stones who are not my relation by blood but by all other ties, the poet and musician Vermont Stones there reminding me of all the stories Ive told in 20 years and giving me strength... two beautiful Bard faces who looked up at me and gave me confidence, two Emma Willard faces who said yes we remember high school and we're here with you, and faces new to my life who still said we're here, tell us Noelle's story.

So I did. A little bit of it. And I feel sort of brave now. And so ridiculously thankful.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

This Is What I Want to Tell You. Available today.

My family is my collective hero. This is the conversation I imagine happened at my brother's house this morning.

Dad: Hey Ruthie, your Aunt Heather wrote a book. It comes out today.
Ruth: That's awesome, Dad. Gimme five!

I was supposed to interview Sarah Maclean yesterday

But I messed up. Brought to you by the Debs Blog tour, my friend and neighbor, Sarah Maclean! Sarah Maclean is a fellow Brooklyn-ite who loves The West Wing, is an amazing bible of book publicity knowledge and wants to be a Romance writer when she grows up... wait. She is a Romance writer. Her debut novel The Season is out this month and it has all of the details-- intrigue, scandal, gossip to keep you turning the pages. And o, the costumes. 'The same 5 Questions we Always Ask'...

1. What is your preferred writing brain food?
dried apricots and pretzels. oh, who am i kidding? cupcakes.

2. What is the soundtrack to your debut novel?
The Waltz Symphony Orchestra plays Johann Strauss, Jr.'s most famous waltzes. Nothing gets you in the Regency mood like Strauss. Even though he didn't come until a few decades later.

3. Describe your perfect writing space.
I have an office in my apartment, but the juices flow best when I'm sitting at our dining room table. I'm out in the open, with husband and dog milling about, sitting at a table covered in books and paper, but I'm really happy there, always.

4. Tell us about one of the secondary characters in your debut novel. How did he/she come to life?
Nicola Salisbury is one of Alex's longest-standing friends, not a best friend, but one of those people who you know will just always be in your life. She's smart and fun and isn't at all interested in what the rest of the ton thinks of her. She's the only one of my characters who is directly modeled on a person I know...a dear friend whom I've always admired for her self-awareness and self-confidence. I wanted readers of The Season to see a character with that kind of pluck. She's one of my favorite parts of the novel.

5. What did/will you do on your launch day?
Well, as many know, my launch day kind of snuck up on me! The books just appeared on shelves a month I squee!d on my blog and started a "Spot The Season" map to track where it's been seen/bought/read...and then took a walk to my local B&N to visit with the nearest copies.

Learn more about Sarah and her work here.
And go buy The Season! Here or here.