OK so its been like forever since I’ve been on and I promise do much better. I’ve been busy as the writer in residence at the Trapp Family Lodge in Vermont. Incredible place and I knew Maria when I was a young boy and she, by then, an older woman who looked nothing like Julie Andrews. The family is amazing and check out some of the blogs I wrote on their website athttp://www.trappfamily.com/blog/admin/2009/10/resident-author. And check out their whole website. It’s an amazing place to visit. I am thrilled the paperback of THE BRIDE is out this week and already a pick of FRESHPICK.COM. Meanwhile, I hope life goes well for you and your own creativity, whatever form that takes. My mom used to tell me, stop bellyaching (when I’d complain as a kid) Nothing ever came of that. If you dream, then go out and do! Great advice, that. I pass it along, gratis, and look forward to meeting any and all of you who have been so kind to write, either in email or in person at a signing. Enjoy June!
Wow. The first launch letter went out across the country and am already getting terrific feedback from booksellers and readers and some very dear friends. When you start something you always dream of following it through. It doesn’t always happen but when we make the effort, when it happens, its wondrous. Thanks to all the great people at Crown and Shaye Areheart Books, my publicists, Grace McQuade with Goldberg/McDuffie and Justina Batchelor at Random House, word is getting out.
The thing about books and how they are perceived is–it’s all about the buzz. The idea that an author holes up somewhere and is taken over by the muse and pours out his or her heart/imagination/craft onto the keyboard and by some miracle it sells to a publisher and they take over from there is an anachronism. Indeed, if it ever really existed. The writers I know who have had success work hard at it every day. Chris Bohjalian is a god in this arena. So are Jackie Mitchard, Jennifer Weiner, and David Baldacci. You’d think they could cruise on their laurels. Not so. They reach out and give back to their readers. They contact everyone they know, send out manuscripts and galleys and, together with the publisher and PR people, go to work creating word of mouth. Today you have other portals into reader’s lives: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter. I’m guessing Dickens, Twain, and Jane Austin would be rolling their eyes or making a beeline for hard liquer.
OK, Mickey Mouse never showed but the speech went well. Emotional time as this was the anniversary of my dad’s passing so I talked about everything he taught me, family, creativity essential, reach for your dreams, make a difference. Either everyone was just tired of sitting or that was a standing ovation at the end. The truth is, this incredible organization deserves the standing ovation and then some.
Really humbling. I was blown away by the National Conference and the National Center on Family Literacy. Everyone, and I mean, e-v-e-r-y- o-n-e working on this conference was astoundingly upbeat, professional, amazingly helpful and supportive.
Tomorrow I head out to Disney World, Orlando for the 18th National Conference on Family Literacy (NCFL). It will be so cool to speak to some 1500 educators and volunteers who are making a difference in this country, helping families connect to books and education and improving their chances for success in life. It’s humbling and exciting to be with those who are having such an impact. I’ve been talking by phone to this great woman, Emily Kirkpatrick, who is the VP of the National Center on Family Literacy and she is so psyched for this gathering that it’s contagious. My eight year-old daughter asked me if I’d be reading my books to Mickey Mouse or any of the others at Disney World. I had to explain that this event is actually happening in a big hotel on the property and I doubted I would run into Cinderella or any of the Pixar folks, but I’d be on the look out. Anyway, thinking about what I want to say to these inspiring people it got me tuned into those who have impacted my life. Teachers, parents, girlfriends (OK, a first kiss is transformative, even if it was with a neighbor when we were both in third grade!), writers, musicians. So…who’s inspired you? Let me know and in the mean time, wish me luck…last year Anna Quindlen spoke to the NCFL. Talk about big shoes, yikes!