Friday, January 6, 2012

January! January! Slow down already!

By Julie

My actual, official, from the editor's desk revisions on Calling Me Home are due 2/1. I'm madly working at finishing them. The last thing I'd want to do--especially on a first book!--is turn them in late. They WILL be finished. But this has been a little tricky due to them making landfall in the midst of the holidays.

I figured January would be a nice, leisurely month. I'd finish everything I didn't get to in December easily and without much panicking. (Mwah ha haaaa ...)

Then I remembered I'm going to the Pulpwood Queen's Annual Girlfriends' Weekend in Jefferson, Texas, smack dab in the middle of the month. I'm going as a civilian this year, having no physical book to promote just yet, and not even much of a twinkle in my eye for what it's going to look like or exactly when it's going to launch from St. Martin's Press. I signed up well before I got the book contract, having won a fundraiser auction for the weekend pass in support of a little girl who was burned in a July 4th fireworks accident. I had no idea at that point what January was going to look like!

I'm super excited about attending this conference. I know it will not only be crazy fun (and I mean crazy in the literal sense, not just in the superlative sense of the word--these Pulpwood Queens aren't shy about flying their crazy flags!), but a great opportunity to connect with book club leaders and members and so many authors I know online, but have never met in person.

But I'm also busy getting ready. Packing the regular stuff. Making travel plans with an author I'm chauffeuring from the airport. And yes, gathering costumes. Seriously! Circus-themed for one evening, Big Ball of Hair Pretty in Pink Prom themed for another. If I were a published author on the program, I'd need a clown costume, too! Phew!

Then, I got a wild hair at the last minute and decided to make business cards to hand out to any book clubbers or other authors I happen to talk to about Calling Me Home, in hopes they *might*, maybe, perhaps, possibly remember me in a year or so when the big book launch event comes to pass.

Then I got a wilder hair. I found, in this Etsy shop, the most gorgeous necklace, so perfectly
representing the story and themes of Calling Me Home, I ordered it at three o'clock in the morning Monday. This Monday. From the UK. I'm crossing my fingers it will arrive before the conference. See it down there on the right? See it!?!?! (Photo credit: Sam Gibson!)

I exchanged emails with the artist, Sam Gibson at Mrs. Gibson, and she was thrilled that out of all the jewelry in the world, I found hers to represent my story perfectly! I think it's a bit of Timing with a Capital T, as my longtime favorite musician, David Wilcox, likes to say. I'll wear the necklace any time I might have an opportunity to talk about the book. It's a pretty unique necklace, and I think people will ask about it, so I might as well make the most of it!

Then I got an even wilder hair. I don't have cover art for CMH, will likely not have it any time soon. So ... what to do on the business card? Some cheesy little stock graphic? Some photo with some significance for the story, but is here today, gone tomorrow?

OR ... do I ask Sam if I can use her absolutely gorgeous photo (art in itself!) of the absolutely gorgeous necklace on my cards in exchange for giving her work a little plug on the card and here and there. She graciously agreed! My editor and agent thought it was a fine idea for the interim between now and when I get official art, and it made a really pretty card I can't wait to see when UPS drops it on my porch early next week!

But can you believe I found an even wilder hair peeking out of my scalp? I bet you can.

I asked Sam, the jewelry maker, if she was able to make a duplicate necklace. She said, "No problem!" So ... I'm going to order a second and use it as a giveaway. When folks ever-so-kindly sign up for my mailing list for news, they'll be entered in a drawing for the necklace, to be conducted when I get my official cover. I thought it was a pretty nifty idea. We'll see how it works!

EDIT! DUH! I forgot to mention that the first name drawn will also receive a signed first edition of the book when it comes out--IF you are a U.S. resident. If a U.K. resident, a first edition of the U.K. version (possibly signed). If you are not a resident of the U.S. or U.K., you may still enter, but the drawing will be for the necklace only, provided I can ship it at a reasonable rate (at my discretion. Thanks for understanding!). I will likely also draw second and third names for books.

Needless to say, it's been a busy couple of weeks already, and it ain't over until the Circus lady sings. I'm on tenterhooks (but not painful ones!), thinking of all the work still ahead, and all the fun still ahead, and quite honestly, looking forward to the relative peace and calm of February first!

If you'd like to be entered for the chance to get one of these lovely necklaces, please follow the instructions below. I PROMISE NOT TO PESTER YOU with a million emails every five minutes. Just strategically issued ones when I have REALLY exciting news (like BIG BIG news), when you can pre-order Calling Me Home, and shortly before launch just to remind you it'll be out soon!

Signing up for the email list is the first, required entry. If you then also send me a friend request on Facebook, "like" my author page, or follow me on Twitter, you'll get an additional entry for each of those. If you're already doing those, it counts! And ... for a bonus, you can also give me your snail mail address. Not sure if or how I will use those, but it will be VERY sparing. Maybe a postcard shortly before book launch.

Here's the 411:
Thank you so much. I promise to be very respectful of your trusting me with your information and time.

Hope everyone is having a very happy New Year so far! In the meantime, I'm excited ... and my hair is getting a little wilder every single day I pursue this published author adventure! I'll report back from the Pulpwood Queen's conference when I get a chance.


  1. I want photos of the prom ensemble . . . :)

  2. Oh, and it's kinda spooky in a cool way how much that necklace reflects the story. I personally think it would make a great cover photo just like it is.

  3. Gail! I know! I couldn't believe how perfect it was!

  4. Wow - that necklace could not be more perfect...

  5. Did you know that "Calling me Home" was a title I'd picked for my first book! I think that's pretty cool - love the title, even if my publishers had other ideas in mind for the trilogy and couldn't use that title.

    I am loving that necklace - compelling!

  6. Kat, is that the one that ended up being Tender Graces? That's such a beautiful title, so it sounds like it worked out! My publisher may ultimately change my title, so I'm trying to be too attached to it. In the meantime, I'm just acting like it will stay the same. I do love it! It wasn't my FIRST title. I'd named it All the Things You Are, but ended up querying as Calling Me Home as I seemed to be the only one who loved that!


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