It has been a good month. People have just been unendingly wonderful. I am delighted. Nell is delighted. Now Nell is out there, I have a confession. The putting forward aspect does not come naturally. Publicity is just not my strong suit. I wrote and erased and wrote and erased the Facebook post announcing my New York reading at least seventeen times. And then, after erasing for the seventeenth time, I went and had hot chocolate instead and did not post it at all as the reading started twenty minutes later.
Publicity does not come easily to me but I know it is essential. It is the difference between Nell getting lost standing up in the "P" section (which is always on the bottom shelf--I checked) at Barnes and Noble or being on the lovely, spacious, visible front table where she can sparkle and flirt and then lie flat, stretch out and have a snooze.
I have known since I signed my publishing contract that the publicity part would be tough. I could not see how to do it? And then, wonderful friends stepped in to help! They make it easier, happier, better, simpler, shinier, smoother, and much funner. I love the word 'funner'. Nell has a wonderful huge extended family now and she is thrilled! How did everyone help?
Sharon Kay Penman has been unimaginably kind and put up a wonderful interview with Nell and me. One of my best friends from high school gave me Sharon's The Sunne in Splendour on a Wednesday afternoon and I fell in love with historical fiction. Splat, right there in the tenth grade.
And Lisa at Bibliophiliac posted a wonderful review and also invited Nell and me for an interview! Her questions were insightful and rich and it was such fun!
Look what Stella did at her marvellous website Ex Libris! Not only did Stella write a gorgeous post about Nell and the plum bean, but she also went and researched Java Kai (my favorite coffee shop in Hawaii) and included the Java Kai logo in her post. I was so touched. And homesick! Stella is reading the book now and planning an interview for later in the month. She is such an incisive, avid reader and beautiful writer and I am delighted!
Rick at Goodreads has started an Exit the Actress thread in his amazing, enormous, wonderful book group. He has become a Nell champion and it makes me so happy. And, he and nineteen other generous, gracious people went on Goodreads and Amazon and wrote fantastic reviews! The reviews help so much and I read each one out loud to my poor parents.
June, from Writing is a Blessing came to the reading and asked terrific questions! Friends are helping everywhere. It is like a fantastic team effort. My closest friend from high school, a wonderful writer, (who is the one who gave me The Sunne in Splendour) knew I was terrified in my reading and sat right in my eye line and peppered me with wonderful, perfect questions at my reading; taking away all my knee knocking nerves.
Friends have popped by the Exit the Actress page on Facebook and left lovely notes... My family tell everyone they meet about Nell. Noah cheers her on and has given her to his friends. My friend Jack ordered one for him and one for his mom. It has been a good month.