Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Thirty years ago I was in a writing class taught by John Irving. I was a junior in college, The World According to Garp had just come out in mass market paperback and continued to dominate bestseller lists. I was lucky to get into the class: I was an undergraduate, and so a terrible writer by definition. Every other student in the class was far more talented. It didn’t help that I was in complete gape-mouthed awe of him and could barely speak in his presence.
Flash forward to January 2010, speaking to the editor who would buy my book. Do I think John Irving might blurb me, I was asked. Highly unlikely, I think. It’s been three decades. I was not one of the bright lights. He’s taught hundreds of writers at Breadloaf, for goodness sake! He has a policy of not blurbing his students. We can try, I offered.
The editor has a friend who knows Irving. I write a letter to Irving that will go with the galley through the friend, and it brings back memories. I think of him and think of everything I hoped to be someday but had known I probably never would.
He called my editor today. He’s going to try to read the book. No promises – he could dislike it and regret ever having taught my ass – but I will remember today for the rest of my life. I’m crying a little as I write this. Moments like these are the most amazing thing about finally – finally – selling a book.
Friday, February 18, 2011
|UK edition of The TAKER|
This is the place for you if you've ever dreamed of getting a book you've written published. That was my dream from when I was a teen-ager. I wrote all the time, filling notebook after notebook. My friends read my pages, wanted to read more. I was hooked. I went to college, wrote all the time, even during class (sorry profs!), wrote a thesis, graduated, wrote for newspapers. Wrote short stories. Had to quit for 15 years for work, for reasons I'll get into one day. Then at age 40, I started writing again. Went to grad school. Went to conferences, workshops. It took me ten years to get the Taker to the stage where it was salable, and during that time I also wrote four other novels (very important.) The Taker sold January 2010 and publishes in the UK on 14 April 2011 and in the US on 6 September 2011. I hope you keep reading this blog; from here on out the story gets really interesting.