Great Gifts You Have Given Me
As the holidays hit, I was deep in the midst of revising the third act of my new novel. It’s a book unlike any I’ve ever written. Three characters get equal space in the story, have equally thrilling and involved journeys, and there's a fourth, who’s a young child. (Writing from the perspective of a four year old is a journey in time!)
Deep point of view—think method acting minus the I-have-to-go-without-food or lie-immobilized-to-prepare part—is how I approach the writing of my books. People fill my head day and night, inhabit my life even as I get to live theirs. It’s a gift, and an exhilarating, if enervating drain. Have you ever read Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan? That’s what writing is like for me. Minus the demons.
When my new book is polished to a high gleam I am going to do something that I haven’t done in more than a decade. I’ll tell you all about it soon.
For now let me say that the outpouring of support and well wishes you send after I write via this newsletter, not to mention adorable and tasty and thoughtful gifts, help with the exhausting part and make me tingle with eagerness to give this book to you. Each of you in your different ways—as readers, correspondents, fellow writers and industry pros, people who simply share this world with me—are some of the greatest gifts I could be given.
Here are a few tangible examples.
Meet Lucky the Lobster
Lucky is made by the creator at an Etsy shop called Woblin Goblins and comes to me from a reader I’m proud to call a friend and honorary Someone to my children. Lobsters are a big part (for a small creature) of my summer release, The Second Mother, and this reader won the right to name a character in the book. He chose a good friend of his who has sadly passed on. Can you guess the namesake? Hint: he is Irish and easy on the eyes.
I Love Supporting Emerging Writers
Some of you know the story of How I Finally Got Published and that it would not have happened without the support of a literary luminary and fave author of mine. That’s part of the reason why I never turn down a chance to help another writer along her or their or his road. I have great hopes that the maker of this scrummy jam will meet with literary success in the coming year! And till then…well, you can see my cure-all. Baked goods.
Thank You for Your Book Club Invites, Interviews, & Blog Posts
Thanks to the mixed miracle of Zoom, and my awesome publicist at BooksForward, I got to meet with Maine readers about my book set in Maine. I also provided A’s for a fun set of Q’s thanks to Carolyn Tilley—check them out!
Having my book tour cancelled due to Covid was a loss, but nothing compared to what others are suffering. My hope is that the new year will bring an end to this blight and that we as a country can begin to recover and I get to see some of you in person again and bring whatever I am able, in the way of a distracting story or talk or simple companionship, to help heal.
Seven Years Ago
I was given the great honor of the Mary Higgins Clark award for my first novel. Now time has passed, and Mary is no longer with us. It’s a loss to readers and writers everywhere—a loss to the wider world too, judging by the person Mary is described as by those who knew her.
If you’re interested in hearing some thoughts about this literary legend—from some who are legends themselves!—check out this video from Mary’s publisher, Simon & Schuster. You’ll get a reading list to use up those holiday gift cards you may have received too!
Thank You for Being Part of My 2020
It’s a cliché and we writers try to avoid those. But rules are made to be broken—another cliché!—so I will end by saying the greatest gift you give me is simply your being there.
Writers often feel as if the words wrenched from our bodies, our spirits, our cores are sent out into a great void, spinning like the souls in Pixar's new movie, and we have little idea where they land or even if they have landed.
Each of you gives me a place to land.
Happy 2021 to you and may we all touch down softly somewhere together this year.
Love from the Hills of Wedeskyull,