Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Surreal and The Sublime

Forty days from today, a book I wrote, a book that bears my name will hit the shelves of bookstores across the country. For a debut author, these last weeks before the launch date are filled with the surreal and the sublime. In the surreal category, thanks to a Google alert this morning, I found out I already have a fan in Australia. She won an IOU copy of "Line of Scrimmage" on the Romance Bandits Blog and wrote about how thrilled she was to have won that particular book, how she had checked out the except on my website, and can't wait to settle in with her copy. A fan in Australia! Surreal.

Fellow Sourcebooks debut author Loucinda McGary and I recently had a chat about how crazy it is to imagine people we don't know reading our books. Up until now, no one has read our stuff unless we chose to give it to them. Now comes the phase where we have to accept that hopefully most of those unknown readers will love our books, and those who don't, well, we hope they stay off Amazon.com. :-)

In the sublime category have been moments over the last year that I dreamed about during the long road to get here—the author photo, the galley proofs, the cover with my name on it, deciding the dedication. "Line of Scrimmage" is dedicated to my parents, who always said I should and to my husband and kids who stood by me while I did. Who did you dedicate your books to and why? If you're still working toward publication, who will you dedicate your book to when your day comes?


  1. Ahhhh! Thanx for mentioning me, Marie. It certainly has been a very surreal year, hasn't it?!?! And it's barely getting started! I can't WAIT to get my first fan mail. I'll probably frame it and hang it on my wall. :-) GAH! Don't tell that Aunty has such a sloppily sentimental side.

    I love that you dedicated your book to your parents, hubby and kidlets. I dedicated mine to my DH. The man should probably be nominated for sainthood!

    40 days for you My Sister, and 70 days for me!!!


  2. It's 100 days for me, Marie. And thanks for putting into words something I'm sure we've all thought and felt. I know I have.

    I dedicated Romeo, Romeo to my Sicilian grandparents Anna Maria and Antonio Orlando. I grew up either living next door to them or living with them.

    My Grandparents were the ones who went to my school plays, who took me to the doctors, and who cared for me when I was sick.

    No matter where I've gone and what I've done throughout my life, my Grandparents have always been my 'True North'. They still are.

    Robin :)

  3. Aunty!
    I'm shocked to learn that you have a sloppy sentimental side. Who knew? LOL!

    I love what you said about your grandparents. They sound like wonderful people. And how ironic that one of my other books is named "True North." Ahhh, great minds.

    Look forward to seeing you both in SF.

  4. Robin--what a lovely, lovely dedication!

    Marie, I dedicated SEALed With A Kiss to my mother, my high school English teacher, and a friend--all women who at various times believed I should and could and would write.

    I'm looking forward to Line of Scrimmage. It sounds like the kind of novel I love.

  5. Marie,
    Great post, Marie. Very thoughtful. There is nothing quite so thrilling as that first book. I dedicated my first book to my husband and two daughters, after all they were the ones who picked up the slack around here.

    I would have loved my dad to have been around to see this new venture. He was such an avid reader and alway encouraged his children to reach for their dreams.

    It wasn't to be. But my mother and my mother-in-law were two of my greatest supporters and I dedicated book two-- No Regrets, my debut book with Source, -- to both of them as well as my immediate family.

    My next book The Lady Flees Her Lord is dedicated to women who love to read, who like chocolate, and who live life to the fullest, no matter their shape or size.

  6. Thanks Michele! I love hearing these dedication stories. I'm wishing my mother had lived to see this. She was the one who encouraged my great love of reading, and would have been delighted to see me become a published author. However, I like to think that she (like your dad probably) is up there making it all happen for me. How else to explain all the amazing ideas that have come my way in the four years since she's been gone? My dad is enjoying it so much. He's even read most of my books!! (With some scenes removed of course...)

  7. Marie,
    My dedications are more broad; I dedicated Slave to anyone who enjoys the occasional escape from reality, and Warrior to the little bit of good witch in all of us.
    It's in the acknowledgments that my friends and family top the list. Without their support and encouragement in times of stress, I wouldn't have gotten this far.
    As to the readers who don't like your books, trust me, they FLOCK to Amazon! My advice is not to read anything that Danielle hasn't told you about. She only passes on the good ones!
    But the fan mail is great. So far, no one who hates my book has taken the time to email me personally, and I remember the first one I got. I never delete my fan mail from my inbox, and in times of trouble, look to them as proof that I'm not wasting my time.

  8. Thanks for the great advice, Cheryl. You make a good point about don't look at what you don't want to see!

  9. Ooh, it's the final countdown for you (cue the cheezy 80s song)! Enjoy how amazing it feels...we only get to debut once:-) That's a sweet dedication. I dedicated my first book to my DH, who pushed me to keep trying and never believed I wouldn't manage to get published (it simply reads "For Brian, My Hero"). My October release is dedicated to my parents, for always believing in me. I've been blessed with a lot of support in my family, and I love that I can give them props this way.

    Aunty Cindy, you will never forget your first fan mail, and you will smile for at least a week. I save every one I get, and I respond to each one. I've had a couple people get a kick out of the fact that I wrote them back!

    I agree with Cheryl about reviews...if you google yourself, you're going to find bad ones, and you are guaranteed to have at least one person decide to air their negative views on a retailer's site. I'm trying, but bad ones still make my stomach hurt. Then again, I have also found some amazing reviews I didn't know about. Just gird yourself before you go hunting. I keep telling myself that if everyone on Earth loved my book, there would be something wrong with it:-)

    Your book will do wonderfully! I'm so excited for you!

  10. Thanks Kendra! I so appreciate the pep talks I'm receiving here today (also on behalf of Cindy, Robin and Christina, who are right behind me). I'm trying not to think too much about reviews since I refuse to allow anything to detract from the overwhelming excitement (cue that cheesy 80s music again!)

    In going through an old notebook today, I found the handwritten opening for LOS that I don't even recall writing! I hardly ever write long hand. I posted it on my blog at http://mariesullivanforce.blogspot.com/ if you want to check it out. Other than a couple of names, that's exactly how it appears in the book. Funny!

  11. Ooooh, Marie, I'm so excited for you all I can't stand it. Must feel like one of those weird time-warp things where the minutes drag and the days fly, or vice versa. I like reading author dedications, especially if they drop a few clues. Then I can imagine my own reasons. My debut is dedicated to my husband, for an amazing bit of sleight of hand that really helped me out. It's our little secret.

  12. Thanks, Christina. I don't know about the rest of the gals, but now I'm all kinds of curious about your secret pact with hubby!!! You can't even give us a CLUE? Come onnnnnnn!

  13. Robin, I was raised solely by my grandparents. They are both gone now, and I dedicated my upcoming novel Dating da Vinci to them. The grief my character works through in the novel was definitely me tapping in to missing them.

  14. I'm so far behind on posts, thought I'd read them all...Wow, your book will be out soooo soon, Marie, I can almost taste it...when I was in Hastings having them reorder my book since I'm local, the clerk's eyes widened and she said, "You're the author? I've never met an author before. You're the author?" My mother was with me, nodding vigorously. I thought the girl was going to ask to see some ID. "I'll have to buy the book then," she said. "I've never seen a real author before." That's when it makes it fun to me. Most everyone I know are writers so to them, it's no big deal. And to others it's no big deal either. But for those that it is, it's wonderful. Because it is a big deal. To write it first, because we know so many never make it that far, to keep on submitting, and not crumble at the first rejection, to sell it, and then to do it all over again! So congrats to Marie, and all the others who have novels coming out this fall, and to all those hopefuls who are still trying. :)