Wednesday, September 1, 2010

XXXIX -- September 2010

The wait has been incredibly long. But now it's almost over.

Miss Birdie's book will be out at the end of the month -- Tuesday the 28th to be exact. It will be in many bookstores -- but not necessarily in all of them. If you're thinking of purchasing a copy (and oh! how I hope you are,) it might be a good idea to call your friendly local bookseller and pre-order. Of course you can do the same thing on line but I know that many of you, like me, are big supporters of local bookstores and especially independent booksellers.

The sales of the new book in the month after its release are probably the main thing that the publishers -- and especially the publishers' accountants -- look at to see if this is an author who is going to make money for the publisher -- if this is an author worth retaining.

Yes, I'm talking about myself here. I'm out of contract after Under the Skin ( which will be  published, I've just learned, October 25 of next year -- another long, long wait, alas.) So I can only hope that sales of The Day of Small Things will be brisk enough that Herself will be inclined to offer me another contract and I can get going on another book. 

Thus, once again  I'm asking for your support.  I hope you'll consider buying a copy for yourself or for a gift -- or if finances are really tight, ask your library to order a copy. That helps me too. As I said, it's the October sales (of new books, not used) that the number crunchers at Random House will be  looking at. 

I think it's a good book. You all are on this list because you like Elizabeth -- I think you'll find a lot to like in Birdie's book as well.
Recommended Reading

 Marsh C. says: just read “She-Rain” by Michael Cogdill. Very good story, excellent (although somewhat flowery) writing. He’s from Weaverville (NC) and grew up around here.

Elaine S. in Hawaii tells me: I've been reading old books lately and have discovered that Mark Hebden's Pel series has been reprinted. O Frabjous Day! Inspector Pel is a dour, pessimistic French policeman, who, in spite of his outlook on life, manages to think through the debris of the crimes in his locale to come up with the perpetrators. And he is very funny doing it. Sardonic wit prevails. I am reading PEL IS PUZZLED, wherein poor Pel discovers, to his great disappointment, that the English are not the cretins he has always believed, that they are kind, smart, and, alors! they can create marvelous meals!   

Mary Maupin says: I just read Gates of Africa, by Anthony Sattin, about the English African Society, who sponsored explorer Mungo Park and others, with orders to find Timbuctu and the origin and end of the NIger River.  This eventually opened up Africa coloniztoin by the British (depressing in some ways, good in others--always shades of gray).  I'm also reading Paul Theroux travel books and novels.

Carol in Fletcher tells me: I am in the middle of reading Together Alone by Susan Wittig Albert, and read her latest Herbal Holly Blues . Love her writing series set in Texas. Together Alone is a bio about her life, and a history of the area of Texas hill country she and her husband Bill have been living in for 20 some years.

  Carol also likes Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie series, I had just read her Cat of the Century right after Holly Blues last month. All hers are good too!

Here's a fun link for all you book lovers.

August was incredibly busy - harvesting and putting up garden produce and chickens as well. Our experiment with raising free range broiler chickens has gone so well that we have 25 more chicks arriving this week.  We also accomplished a massive cleanup and clean out at our rental house and have two charming tenants moving in soon.

At last the air is a bit cooler and a lot drier. The humming birds seem to be moving on -- the feeders that a few weeks ago required refilling three times a day, have only a few customers now.  The turkey poults are almost as large as their mothers; the garden is winding down. Goldenrod and purple ironweed are beginning to paint the fields in autumn color and the air is full of the constant chirr of insects.

School buses are on the roads; my freezer is almost full, and I'm looking forward to fall and the excitement of a new book.  

Do let me know what you're reading and remember,  there's a FAQ section over HERE that gets added to weekly. Is there something about my books or writing in general you'd like to know?  I welcome questions...

Have a great September!

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Anonymous said...

I find it tremendously exciting that your new book will be out very soon! I will pre-order a copy at Malaprop's. Just a bit disappointed that it won't be out in time for the Carolina Mountain Literary Festival here in Burnsville the week-end after this. Here's the link to this wonderful week-end for all book lovers who live here in WNC:

I'm looking forward to seeing you there, Vicki!

Deana the Queena

Vicki Lane said...

Hey Deana -- I was totally bummed about that too. But I'm planning on getting over on Saturday -- especially to see Tony Earley's presentation at 1:30.

Deanna said...

I've already pre-ordered. Have been enjoying your books a lot!

Blessed rain is here today along with cooler temperatures. Our hummingbirds seem to have moved on also, with just a few stragglers hanging around. I miss those little buggers.

Here's to hoping you get a renewed contract!

Anonymous said...

Very excited about the book, I wish it were out this weekend, I will be at City Lights on Saturday! I will see if I can prepay and have them hold it for me! Lise

Judy Shaw said...

I, too, am looking forward to 'A Day of Small Things' Have preordered at B & N (dont' have an independent bookstore near me).

Interesting comment from Carol Fletcher re Susan Wittig Albert. Vicki, you and Susan have so much in common. On top of both being teriffic writers with such true-to-life characters; you garden and do similar other crafts. I just wish you both could publish lots more books! :)

Jon Michael Riley said...

CONGRATULATIONS on the book being available end of Sept. I'll order one or two, for me and as a gift.

Just finished two very different books: Jaber Crow by Wendell Berry and Paddy Clarke Ha, Ha, Ha by Roddy Doyle. Berry's writing is lovely and the wandering memoir-like story kept me wondering where the hell it was going. It is more like a long meditation of what "modern life" can do to people and communities.

With Roddy Doyle, there is no waiting around. The reader is plunged into the story.

Hope your upcoming class goes well. You're a great teacher and role model for us beginner writers. Oh, I'm 220 pages into my second novel!
Best Wishes, Jon [9-1-10]

Victoria said...

I already pre-ordered from Amazon, but I've decided to pre-order as many as I can afford from our local bookstore, McCabe's, and give them to my friends and family. I want you to get that new contract!


Vicki Lane said...

I SO appreciate the votes of confidence from you all! I'd feel worse about begging you all to buy if it were a $25 hardcover.

Judy -
I met Susan Wittig Albert once when we were on a panel together. (Gardening mysteries was the theme.) A thoroughly nice woman!

Jon - Thanks for the book recommendations! My husband is a big Wendell Berry fan and I've read and enjoyed several of his. Way to go with the second novel!!

Victoria - You rock!

Anonymous said...

Oh how I wish I could attend your workshop. I'd have to bring along a large spoon so I wouldn't miss a drop!