The other day I stared out of the kitchen window and allowed myself to celebrate finishing this novel. I allowed the pride of creation to fill my eyes, acknowledged the bravery of sharing something that is so precious to me.
This novel has been the most difficult thing I have written so far. Those I respect most either thought it a dubious idea in the beginning (because of the essay aspect and/or because it’s not straight literary fiction) or were mum, which was worse. I had one dear soul, when he heard how lost I was in the woods of my idea a few years ago, say, “I think you’re just going to have to choose another idea.”
I’m here to tell you, his kindly meant words made me more determined than ever to birth this stubborn child. I had to find a way to thank Virginia Woolf for all she has done for me. I had to help others see that she’s ours, too. We don’t have to have PhDs to claim her. Our affection is just as valid.
If you’re not familiar with her work, dive on in! This is an invitation to that, too. I’m not a scholar, just a fan.
Tomorrow begins the public life of Southern-Fried Woolf. My first novel, Victorine, was published at the beginning of the pandemic…yikes! At the time, I thought, “Aha, I will schedule only online tours in the future, so nothing can go wrong.” Reader, something (some things) went wrong.
Between bad weather (in California, of all places) causing delays and a nasty case of the flu over here, and the frantic, last-minute revisions to my book that I already told you about, I was really worried about meeting my launch date. (Self-imposed, but still, things were already in motion.)
But here we are, tomorrow is launch day, and you will be hearing from me quite often in the coming month (like, almost daily), so buckle up, as I share links to my book tour.
So many, many thanks to Jaime over at Rockstar Book Tours for setting up this fantastic tour. She is truly a rockstar who took a chance on this humble, country-inspired novel.
By the way, yes, authors still read as they’re writing. After too many fluffy books and movies during my illness, I needed something meatier, so I settled down with my friend Patricia Hudson’s wonderful book, Traces, about Rebecca Boone, Daniel Boone’s wife, and two of his daughters. It’s excellent, very tenderly written, and obviously it highlights those often neglected by history, something I wholeheartedly advocate. Barry and I will be interviewing her next month, so more later on her.
As proof that I am feeling better from this dastardly flu, last night I sang karaoke (at home, alone; I know, I’m a total loser) songs of some of my favorite country singers: Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, on and on. I must admit that some of my pop favorites joined the chat, too.
I was trying to find a sweet song to record to send to my daughter, but I couldn’t find one that spoke of love but wasn’t romantic. Am I going to have to write one?
Today’s singing was what I call the “smooth” singers: Carly Simon, Carole King, Karen Carpenter, Ella Fitzgerald. A whisk, by the way, makes an excellent faux mic while you’re cooking/singing. Dear Reader, have I just invented a new Olympic sport? 😉
And remember that crisis with my third novel I mentioned a few days ago? When I cut away the dross this week, yup, that particular relationship is the one that’s currently central. That wasn’t my plan, and no good can come of it, but it has to play itself out. I guess that’s what we call tension, which is crucial to keeping a reader. I mean, I already know the book’s ending, so I suppose I will just have to plot backwards. (No, I’m not telling you the ending, though it’s sweet of you to care. Besides, it might change between now and whenever I finish the first draft.)
By the way, have you seen Kristen Cruz’s coffee singing videos? I’ve been watching her for a while now, but just thought to mention her to the hubby today. She. Is. Amazing!
Here’s the crass part (not really, because I think you will enjoy my book) where I provide you with the link to preorder my second novel, Southern-Fried Woolf, available in both print and ebook formats, tomorrow, January 23, 2023.
Thanks to you all. I appreciate you!
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