Monday, April 14, 2008

The Early, The Late, and The Overdue

When your first book is coming out, early mentions of it are surprising. Last year, my editor emailed me my first review of Letters From Rapunzel (here, in Publishers Weekly) long before I was expecting anything. I hadn't even begun to worry about such a thing, so I got to skip straight to the thrill of it.

But surprise late reactions are fun, too, like this one titled "The Girl in the Tower," which I discovered in the NY Review of Books. My book is mentioned in a scholarly article (ahem) in a venerable publication (double ahem.) Pardon me while I give a very self-impressed and perhaps inappropriate w00t!

I also received a lovely email this week from another writer who I hadn't heard from in about three years. She was living overseas, and had ordered my book, and when it arrived, she wrote:
I was the one to check the mail and find your book waiting for me. A half an hour and many pages later, I realized I was still sitting in the post office parking lot and was about to be late picking my kids up from school!
I love that she read my book (which features a post office) at the post office! She also said that reading it "nudged me back to my own writing" which makes me w00t again.

Anyhow, both of these things made me realize that despite some gloomy "blink of an eye" talk, the life cycle of a book is longer than we think. Sure, Letters From Rapunzel is not front and center on book displays anymore (if it ever was) but it's made its way to Australia. (May I w00t for that also, please? Thank you, WorldCat, for letting me know.)

And it appears that a reader in Australia has it on loan and that it is overdue. I hope that's because the reader is devouring it for the second time, or has perhaps loaned it to her best friend, or is hoarding it for an upcoming book talk---and not because she's lost it under her bed.

I don't like late dinner, late tax refunds, or late trains. But you can take as long as you want to get around to my book. Call me in the nursing home. I'll be reading some old book myself.


  1. Yes, big Woots! are certainly in order for you! Love those "ahems," too. The NY Times mention is very impressive. Wow. Many more to come, I'm sure.

  2. Thanks, Jama! Before a New Yorker steps in and gently corrects you, I must say: The NY Review of Books is a separate publication from the NY Times. However, according to the NY Review web site, the NY Times had this to say about the Review:

    What has made The New York Review successful, according to The New York Times, is its "stubborn refusal to treat books, or the theatre and movies, for that matter, as categories of entertainment to be indulged in when the working day is done."

    How about a w00t for that quote?

  3. I am so happy for you - but not surprised. You are so talented! (double woot, woot)

  4. I used to subscribe to the NY Times Book Review Magazine. Is this different from the NY Review of Books? Man, I gotta get out more.

  5. Congratulations! It's fun when hard work pays off. Good for you!

  6. I'm WOOTing with you. That must have been so fun to find.

  7. Sweet! How nice to gather all this goodness around your book. I'll be right down the hall from you with a stack of old books!

  8. That's excellent, Sara! I'm happy for your good news. And as a reader/reviewer with a pretty big TBR stack, it's also nice to hear an author's perspective on late feedback. There's so much randomness for me in what order I read books - my mood, whether I'm traveling and want lighter books, etc. But I come at each one just as joyfully, regardless of when it was published.

  9. Ah Jen, you're my kind of reader. It's fun to read a book ahead of the crowd, sometimes, but it's also fun to read one years after the buzz, too. Then you can poke around and see what conversations happened about it (thanks to the archives of the Internet.) I recently read I am the Messenger, and so did my husband, and I'm glad that it took us awhile to get to it. We kind of read it in our own little bubble, and enjoyed talking about it together.

  10. The other advantage to getting to something late is that if there are sequels, they are usually available, too. And I love to immerse myself in a series. I just read Kerry Madden's Maggie Valley series that way, one after the other, and that was lovely. Even better when you can do that reading with someone, and talk about it - I love the image of your own little book bubble.


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