It’s always an unsettled time when a book I’ve written goes out into the world. Here is this project I’ve created, fussed and fumed over, revised, worried about and wept over–and then, in the months since turning it in to my publisher, virtually forgotten about.
Now, suddenly, this thing I’ve created is back in my face, like an adult child who left home and then boomeranged. I see it when I pass the books section of the grocery or drugstore. I see it featured in USA Today, my Costco circular and, oddly, in a Wal-Mart ad on the same page as meat. I hear it mentioned in a radio ad.
And the reviews! I would love to take the high road and say, “I never read reviews.” In my opinion, any writer who tells you that is lying. How can you not read a review when someone took the time to read your book and actually write something about it? That seems almost rude. (I’ll post later about my theory on bad reviews.) One thing I can tell you is, I don’t go looking for reviews. Because here is Susan’s Secret Sauce of Sanity– When it comes to reviews, your friends will take care of you. If they are truly your friends, they will stay mum if they’ve seen a snarky review, and if they see a good one, they’ll tell you. They’ll send you the link or the clipping or sometimes even the whole magazine.
So far (and remember, this novel is still an infant in the marketplace), reviews have been good. A starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews. I’m a happy camper. I’m not going to go trolling for more.
Ultimately, the book will take on a life of its own. While I was writing it, revising it, endlessly discussing it with my writers’ group, my husband, my girlfriends, my borrowed Doberman, the book wholly belonged to me. Now it’s been released into the wild and it doesn’t belong to me at all anymore. Which is as it should be.
And now, a word from my publisher. They’ve done a way cool thing. They created this dollar-off coupon you can print off and take to the store, so now instead of being $7.99, it’ll only set you back $6.99. You can’t beat that! The one catch is, the coupon is valid for one week only, from January 30 to February 4.
Here’s a link to the coupon. Feel free to pass it on.
I just can’t wait for this book to hit shelves! My local Chapters already has it in the back but just won’t share until Feb. 1st 🙂
I was lucky to be in your collaging class at the Surrey conference. You showed us so many of your gorgeous collages. Was this book one of the beautiful ones you shared?
The book I collaged in your class sold and I really believe cutting and pasting helped bring out a depth in my work.
Wendy!!! You sold your book! I’m so very thrilled for you. Thanks for sharing that. We need details–what’s the book? When will it be published? Congrats, congrats.
I have a huge collage for The Lakeshore Chronicles, because the books are connected. There are definitely images for THE WINTER LODGE–burning, snow, an embracing couple…I’ll post a photo of it one of these days.
Thanks again and congrats. Susan
Thanks for the congrats 🙂 The book is untitled as of yet but it’s a 3 book mystery series with Penguin about a woman who does crime scene clean up and talks to the dead. First book will be out end of this year. Thanks so much for asking.
I’d LOVE to see your Lakeshore Chronicles collage. It must be amazing!
Again, congratulations. That is so incredible–three books! Go girl! Keep us posted.
I just started reading THE WINTER LODGE. I subscribe to a “readerservice”, so I didn’t need the coupon, because TWL arrived before I could get to the store. Of course, I love it as much as your other books
I have a ‘?’ about research. Once, you said just reading your site is reasearch. I want to write about children with autism and other behavior & communicative disorders. My school psychologist
and the teacher of one such child are having me write detailed observational documentation from 8 a.m. to 11a.m. each day the child attends school. Can I use this as research for anything I write on the subject?
Helen, I would think you have a goldmine of information there. Simply observing and documenting the child will give you enormous insights into the situation from a very interesting (and compassionate) perspective.
The one caveat I would give you at this point is to be absolutely 100% committed to protecting the privacy of the child, the family, the school and the other children. For obvious reasons, you’ll want to change any possible identifying details in anything you write.
Just as an example, (this isn’t a spoiler for the book) the situation in THE WINTER LODGE with Matt and Zach Alger is based on an actual case in a completely different state, with different players.
I wish you the best with your school project.
Susan, I’m so exciting to see that you’re blogging. This is great. I intend to pop by daily and will send fellow bloggers your way, too. How are things at your end? I heard Armchair books in Port Orchard is closing? Is that true? I can’t wait to see you in April. I’ll be in touch off line about it later.
Big hugs from Canada.
Holly Kennedy, one of my favorite new authors! Congrats on your upcoming book. I hadn’t heard if Armchair is closing. That would be a shame. Lovely store. See you in the springtime.
Holly was supposed to tell you how wonderful I thought you were my first time at MWC and retreat in 2005. You helped me one evening and were so kind I never forgot it!
I saw your comment on her blog and followed you here.
It is such fun to have authors blog.
Another Maui alum. So nice to hear from you, Patricia. I hope the writing is going well. Thanks for the post!
Just wanted you to know that I added a hot link to my blog post today referring readers to this post of yours re: reviews!
All the best from freezing Alberta, Canada.
Holly–hi from gorgeous and sunny Portland. I am at the “Winter Institute,” a meeting of booksellers here. It’s so nice to know there are so many booksellers out there, hungry to discover and sell books. The dream is alive!
Susan, thanks for responding so soon. I will be careful about privacy and protect all the children I have observed. Thanks for clarifying that important necessity. I am still reading THE WINTER LODGE, and I haven’t gotten to the Alger connection ( other than — they are related). I will pay special attention to their story. Thanks
That first cover was truly awful, Susan. How great when a publisher realises what it has to do and gets on with it.
I am not sure why, but more often that not, I buy books by their covers. If nothing else, it is the reason I will pick up a book to read the back cover. And so I found Susan Wiggs those many titles ago.
I would never given the first cover of Sarah’s Key a second glance, but oh! the children running hand in hand with a European background??? You betcha!
And Sara(h) is my favorite name as it is my daughter’s :o)
Just finished Just Breathe and was longing for a new great read. Thanks for the recommendation. I’m dragging the kids to the bookstore momentarily and will pick this one up! BTW – loved Just Breathe! Will we be seeing any of those characters again in the future??!!
I think you’ll like Sarah’s Key. I promise you’ll like the cover!
I would love to do more with characters from JUST BREATHE. I’m hoping o use the setting again because it’s just so amazing. Some interesting folks, too! Thanks for the note.
When I read this, I knew I did the right thing. I’m a new author and I knew my book needed a striking cover. I didn’t want any cookie-cutter images, so I had an illustrator produce it based on my concept. The result turned out great. Hopefully, it will help with marketing. But this post confirms why I made that investment. The cover is VERY important in terms of marketing. Thanks for a great post.
I just read “Sarah’s Key” and still can’t get it out of my head. It missed my radar, somehow, until my SIL loaned the newest cover version to me. My heart is still aching from the story. A must read. Absolutely.