Friday, January 25, 2013

The Real Thing

My Rabbit
By Julie

"Once you are real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."-- Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

In this last inning of waiting for Calling Me Home to be published in the U.S., things are suddenly seeming very real. It's hard to explain, but even after nearly seventeen months have passed since I sold the book, I tend to be unable to envision this as really and truly happening. 

Even after the book released in Germany last fall. Even after I saw my page proofs. Even after I received the advanced readers' copies. Even after I saw the final cover art. Even after the blurbs came in. EVEN ... after I started getting checks for advances. I mean, even money didn't make this feel real.

But in the last few weeks, things have started popping up on my doorstep ...

The Real Dust Jacket

Things were delivered to the Delta Street Inn in Jefferson, where I slept with the whistle of trains as my night music at the Pulpwood Queens Annual Girlfriend Weekend 

The Real Book

And tonight, while looking for something online (I'm so flustered, I can't even remember WHAT now), I discovered that Blackstone, the audiobook company, had posted a sample. It's Dorrie, in the first chapter of Calling Me Home. You can listen by clicking here.

Audiobook cover
It took me a few moments to gather the courage to listen. And then, it was one of the more surreal moments in this journey. As often as I have read the book silently in my head or even out loud, hearing someone else speak the words is ... completely beyond description. Someone I have never met. Someone I have never talked to. Reading. My book. Out loud. Reconciling the voice in my head with the actress's voice took a minute.

But the tension went out of my shoulders bit by bit as I listened to Bahni Turpin (who also read Aibileen for the audiobook of The Help and was the voice of Precious) speak confidently the words that no longer really seem to belong to me. I have heard it said that once your book is published, it belongs to the reader. I have never understood that more than I do in this moment. What I hear is Turpin's interpretation of Dorrie--her inflection, her choice in what to emphasize or de-emphasize. The emotion.

In a way, Dorrie feels brand new.

I have to say, she is a little more SASSY than I thought she was. And it makes me smile. From now on, Dorrie is going to be who she wants to be in each reader's mind. I can't control her any more. And from now on, I can never undo her, either. Just as Margery Williams, author of The Velveteen Rabbit, wrote about the Boy's beloved, threadbare Rabbit, Dorrie has taken on a life of her own.

And so has Calling Me Home.

Calling Me Home will be released February 12, 2013, from St. Martin's Press. Pre-order just about anywhere books are sold, or by clicking on one of the links on my website's homepage.


  1. Julie, that audio clip was awesome. I imagined your hearing it for the first time and how surreal that must have felt. Loved it!

    1. Definitely was surreal! I'm pleased with it!

  2. So thrilled for you, Julie! What a moment!

  3. What an awesome time for you! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    Ann Ellison

    1. Ann, you know it is MY pleasure! :)


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