Sunday, August 27, 2017

Dear Miss Moreau

Good evening.

I don't have much to say. Tomorrow I will, the Lord willing, wake up a published author. I am at a loss for words, so if you're looking for something more substantive, I wrote a book you can read. She's available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. I have author pages on both Amazon & Goodreads. There are currently two people following me on Goodreads, & I'll tell you my initial reaction to that is, No! Don't follow me. I am a mess. 

Dear Miss Moreau is not going to be everyone's cup of tea, & that is okay. If you enjoy the book, it is fine if you want to tell me, but what every author wants more than anything else is for you to tell Amazon (& Goodreads, too, if you're a Goodreads person . . . which you should be). Even if you find the book kind of meh, tell Amazon that, too. Reader reviews are everything in terms of Amazon's handling of a book. I don't mean they'll yank it if no one reviews, but it's one way they determine what they recommend to other readers, for example. The two things you can & should do when you enjoy something you read is review it on Amazon, & tell people about it. People who tell me about books they've read & loved are quite frankly my personal heroes. 

I do note that it remains surreal to me that these characters who live in my head are now published & copyrighted & being shipped out for others to read. People ask me about the book, & usually I don't have a great answer. Last week at the teacher lunch table, I was asked what the book is about. I believe I said, It's about a young lady who goes to graduate school & falls in love with her American novel professor. Then I added the disclaimer, It's not dirty. Eighty-thousand words, & I can't find any better than those to try & promote the book. I'm still working on a sales pitch. This is another reason I covet reviews; perhaps one of you might come up with a nice summary that's not yet occurred to me. 

I feel there are a lot of people to thank. Since I did that already in an official capacity, I'm going to share the Acknowledgments page with you. I don't know if I'll ever again experience another eve of publication, so I'm going to step away now & enjoy what remains of this one . . . once I pack the lunches, pick out tomorrow's clothes, & double check that tomorrow's notes are posted, as I haven't yet abandoned my day job (or my children) to live the glamorous life of an author.  

And to close, these are as they appear in the printed text:

I'd be remiss if I didn't thank the following:

Elisha Neubauer for giving an unpublished writer a chance. Jessica Baumgartner for persuading me to make needed changes to this manuscript and keeping me in stitches with her edit notes.

My favorite student, Jack Green, for graciously lending me his keen intellect, critical eye, and sharp tongue.     

Johnette Smith for reading my writing from the moment I began splashing it on the Internet for public consumption and responding with sincerity and enthusiasm that provided me needed encouragement. 

My mom (Hi, Mom!), my sister Jessica, Amy LeBlanc, Jenny Benson, and Diane Rhodes for reading and alerting me to errors per my request.

Matt White for perpetually reminding me there are people who read thoughtfully, write beautifully, and are fluent in sarcasm. 

Ernest Hemingway, whose life and work I find so interesting I invented people to discuss it.

My late grandfather, Jesse A. James, Jr., from whom I inherited a love of words and whose name and proclivity to discuss literature permeate this book. 

My parents, Gordon and Susan James, whom I love dearly and who've lavished me with so much love and support I'll likely never be able to write an unhappy ending. 

My dear children and my loving husband for tolerating me during the laborious process of bringing Edie and Dr. Foster to life. For years they heard, "Not right now. I'm writing a book." I’ve not yet broken the news to them I’m writing another one.  


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