Celebrating Writers Publishing, Getting Agents
It has been a terrific ten days for celebrating writers I’ve worked with. Here's their news, quoting (with permission) from their emails:
Received Feb. 8: “Quick update – all went VERY well in NYC. I met with 3 agents and 3 editors all of whom were interested! … Thanks again for your help and encouragement. It means so much to me!”
Laurel Hunt, about her nonfiction book proposal
Feb. 8, email, (from another writer): “She responded to my proposal in less than 24 hours, with such a thoughtful note. I had sent it to four agents. This agent was my top pick, and I found her, thanks to your good advice, on Publisher's Marketplace. I loved her list, but I didn't have any special "in" with her. Apparently, that didn't matter!
(Name withheld until the contract is signed )
Feb. 16, email: "Yeah, 31,000 copies, first printing, makes my head swim; yesterday I found out it's going into a large print edition and Kindle, whoopee!"
Anna Jean “AJ” Mayhew
Author of The Dry Grass of August
release by Kensington Books, March 29
Set in the Jim Crow South of the 1950s, The Dry Grass of August is the story of a white
girl’s relationship with the black woman who takes care of her. Fans of The Help, among other readers, will find it very engaging. Publisher’s Weekly calls it a strong debut and a story that’s "taut, thoughtful, and complex, elevating it from the throng of coming-of-age books."
From Joanne Greenberg, author of I Never Promised You a Rose Garden : Journal of a UFO Investigator is a wild ride– phantasmagoric, paranoiac, full of lust and insecurity, misplaced affection, and fear of closeness–exactly the mind of the teenage boy David Halperin is writing about.
From the author's acknowledgements: “Novelist Peggy Payne was ‘book doctor’ to an early draft, and I’m indebted to her for the care and sensitivity she poured into this task.”
Enticing opening sentence of the novel: “The UFO fell from the sky on the night of December 20, 1962, the week of my thirteenth birthday.”
Feb 16. Invitation to Mary Moore’s booksigning (Thursday, Feb 24, The Regulator in Durham, 8 p.m.) for her very engaging debut novel Sleeping With Patty Hearst (Tigress Publishing). Against the background of the Patty Hearst kidnapping, a North Carolina family deals with a missing person of their own: Young Lily Stokes goes out hunting for her half-sister with her mother’s too-friendly boyfriend.
From Lee Smith, author of Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger : I got completely swept up in Sleeping with Patty Hearst….Mary Lambeth Moore is a natural storyteller with a great story to tell in this novel."
Feb 16, email: “ … Drum roll….I now have an offer of representation from one of the agents!"
Laurel Hunt (see first email above)
I feel honored to be among the reader/critiquers for these writers.
Feb 17. More good book news of a different sort: at the Thursday afternoon group where I read my own work for feedback (led by novelist Laurel Goldman), one of our members, Angela Davis-Gardner, received the first box of hardback copies of herlovely new novel Butterfly’s Child. By chance we were meeting at her house and so we could all celebrate and take part in the ceremonial box-opening. My view of this book, to be released in early March, is quoted on the back cover;
“Beautifully written and deeply stirring, this is a timeless rendering of marriage at its best and worst, of the lengths a parent will go for a child, of how one decision or action can roll on and on in its effects. Butterfly’s Child has the drama of an opera and the meticulous realism of a profound psychological novel."