Wednesday, February 3, 2010

LESSONS IN FRENCH Launch Party!

Good Morning Everyone--please give a warm Casababe welcome to Laura Kinsale, stopping by the Casa blog to talk about the launch of her newest book in over 5 years, LESSONS IN FRENCH! And while you're at it--take a minute to check out her newly re-vamped website: http://www.laurakinsale.com/ and also follower her on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/laurakinsale!


When babies were christened in the 19th century, they almost always had a godparent to sponsor their baptism. These days the term is used more broadly; it often describes a special person who takes particular interest in a child.

Well, my book Lessons in French has a godmother. It's Deb Werksman, my editor at Sourcebooks.

Like most books, it started as a manuscript with an entirely different working title. It's a book I wrote for fun, in tribute to Georgette Heyer's Regencies, knowing from the start that it was a departure from my usual very intense style. I didn't want a deadline, so I didn't have a contract for it. I knew that it might surprise some editors who would expect a "big, dark book" from Laura Kinsale.

It did seem this manuscript had a bit of trouble finding its proper place in the world, like one of those day-dreamy fun-loving kids who just don't quite fit in where adults expect them to. I wasn't comfortable with any of the offers I received for it at the time, and I also felt that I wasn't quite satisfied with the ending, so I asked my agent to stop sending it out for the time being. I put it away in a drawer (or what passes for a drawer on a computer) and proceeded to forget about it, except for the occasional thought that I needed to fix that ending some day.

I have a mind like a sieve. When several years had passed, and Deb called my agent asking to buy the manuscript, I had not even looked at it for all that time. She called it "funny and poignant." I just thought, oh yeah, I need to fix that ending. So finally I pulled it out and sat down and read it.

Readers may not believe this, but it quite possible for a writer to totally forget an entire book that they wrote. At least it is for me. I read the manuscript that became Lessons in French as if it were a book I'd never seen before. Forgive me if this sounds goofy, but it was as if someone else had written it. I laughed at my own jokes, I fell in love with my own characters, and I totally surprised myself with the ending--which apparently I had fixed somewhere along the way.

So maybe there is a muse after all, and she's at work while I'm asleep or something. (I did sometimes come in and find my computer on in the morning, when I was sure I'd turned it off the night before.)

I think Deb's description of Callie and Trev and Hubert the bull and their whimsical adventures is perfect. I hope the book is funny, and it does have an undertone of poignant longing and memory. (Good thing Callie and Trev aren't me, and actually remember one another when they meet again after 9 years!)

Lessons in French deserves its fairy godmother and its day in the sun, and thanks to Deb, it has both. It's now on the shelves and ready for download. If it makes readers smile and laugh and feel good about the world, I'm be glad and grateful to the editor, Deb, and publisher, Dominique, who made that happen.

Thank you for visiting Laura! We'll be giving away 5 copies of LESSONS IN FRENCH to 5 lucky commenters. Tell us about you're very own "fairy godmother moments"--or perhaps when you would have liked to have had one! Be sure to leave your email address to be entered, and we'll contact you to let you know you've won!

21 comments:

  1. I don't know if this qualifies as a "Fairy Godmother" moment but I do know that I surely wished I had someone who could wave a magic wand for me.

    Don't want to be dismal but it happened when I discovered my daughter was taking drugs.

    I won't go into detail but you can imagine.

    Carol

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

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  2. Hi Laura,
    Your fairy godmother has waved her magic wand in my direction, too, and it's a lovely thing! Welcome to the Casa blog and the Casa family! I have Lessons in French on my to be read pile. Looking forward to it.
    Marie Force

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  3. How exciting that you get a chance to display another facet of your talentI in Lessons in French! Can't wait to read it.

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  4. Welcome to the blog, Laura! We're so glad to have you, and that you found your Fairy Godmother in our very own Deb!!

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  5. Yep, I'll third the "Deb is a fairy godmother" chorus. (Hmmm, I might have to buy her a pair of wings and a wand now...)

    Welcome, Laura - so nice to share a launch date with you!

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  6. Gorgeous website, Laura!

    REALLY impressive!!!

    And I'm another who shares your fairy Godmother.

    Ash

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  7. Ooh! Does this mean we can all imagine Deb wearing a tutu, gauzy wings, and holding a wand? Yeah!!

    Welcome Laura! That was a fantastic story. I got teary eyed. It is wonderful to have you with us today. Best of luck with your novel. I am really looking forward to reading it now that I have heard more about it.

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  8. Hi Laura,

    Welcome to Sourcebooks! Welcome back to publishing!

    I enjoyed Lessons In French very much and was thrilled to give it a quote. I adored your hero's relationship with his mother as well as the love story.

    And yes, add me to the long list who are happy Deb is our Fairy Godmother.

    Amelia

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  9. Laura~ I'm still trying to erase the vision of Deb in a Tutu and fairy wings complete with wand. I won't be able to even speak to her without laughing. That is sooo not good.

    Anyway, congrats on getting a manuscript out of the drawer, your story makes me want to pull mine out and brush it off.

    Welcome to the blog. We're all so thrilled that you're here and I look forward to reading Lessons in French.

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  10. Hi Laura and BIG WELCOME from the Casababes!

    Yes, I'm another one with a manuscript in the drawer that Deb played godmother to, my Sept. release The Treasures of Venice!

    SHEESH! I don't know which is worse, picturing our editor with tutu, wings, and wand. Or as a female version of The Godfather!

    Can't wait to read Lessons In French,
    AC

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  11. Way to go on the new release Laura and what a great Godmother Deb is so many fantastic books from Source books. I am soo looking forward to reading Lessons In French and getting to "know" Callie Trev and Hubert.

    As for a Fairy Godmother one thing that always comes to mind for me is I got married on my 20th birthday and one of my aunties had a special birthday cake made for me that we cut just before the wedding cake it was so lovely everything that day was (of course) centred around the wedding and not my birthday and she didn't forget.
    rsibbrit@bigpond.net.au

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  12. I can't think of any clever "fairy godmother moments," but I have to say I'm wildly excited to get my hands on this book. I may be the only person on the planet who's never read a Laura Kinsale book, but I plan to rectify that immediately now that I've read this delightful inside-scoop about the story. Thanks for sharing!

    Tawna

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  13. My fairy godmother moment came from several people who made sure that I got to attend RWA's conference in D.C.

    This was huge because I had never been out of the Midwest as an adult. Although, my experience didn't result in a contract it result in taking myself seriously as a writer.

    reneelynnscott at gmail dot com

    You have a wonderful website, Laura.

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  14. Hi Laura!

    What a fun story! I love learning the behind the scene tidbits about books. :) Lessons certainly sounds like my cup of tea. Hope you're enjoying your launch party!

    I wish I had a fairy godmother! I'd love to have her wave her wand and *poof!* my housework would be done. Having two young kids and one of them that has to be carted hither and yon for speech therapy makes my day seem endless! I'd love for some magic to whisp me away, too. Maybe to a beach somewhere. lol Doesn't that sound like a commercial for Calgon? :)

    Congrats on the release and best wishes! I will definitely have to add Lessons to my TBB list!

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  15. Welcome Laura!

    I love your books, always have and wonderful to see this one.

    One of my favorite sayings is "forget reality! I want a fairy godmother"

    Linda

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  16. Hmm. . . well, it's no fairy godmother moment because it was all me, but last semester I went back to school after a couple years to take a class and it was the first time I got exempt from a final exam. :) I'm taking the other astronomy class this semester, and it's the same professor, so I know what to expect - so here's to hoping I can do it again! :)

    Lois

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  17. Fairy godmother? LOL! Probably the same as yours! Congrats on the new release!

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  18. Winners have been selected and will be emailed today! Be on the look out! :)

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  19. Yaay, me! I won, I won, I won!

    I'd like to thank The Academy . . .

    Well, scratch that. But I would like to thank someone. I can't wait to read this book!

    Tawna

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  20. My daughter had some bad moments during her pregnancy and my Dad had died several mos before - I took his picture and said please help to make everthing turn out ok and everything did. We have a beautiful baby granddaguhter and my daughter is fine.

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  21. Just wanted to stop by and wish you the best on your new release, Laura!

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