This morning the sun in the East illuminated the view in the West. I ran outside to try to experience the brilliant light. But when I tried to capture it, I found the result disappointing. Here’s the best example of a pool of November light below the mountains.
November light flits and turns, bright, low and fleeting.
November books can be the same.
These days, wherever I go, I get this question, “How’s the book doing?”
My answer? I’ve been amazed and overwhelmed. After the first week, Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World went into a second printing. The reviews (37 of them so far) on both Amazon and Goodreads average five stars. The launch tour took me to five states, speaking to more than 1,000 people and signing 400 books.
This week Melanie Springer Mock, professor of English at George Fox University, and blogger on a great blog called Ain’t I a Woman? wrote a gorgeous, thoughtful review of Blush for Christianity Today’s her.meneutics blog.
The best part of all this? Connecting with old friends from all the layers of my life and making new friends who are interested in memoir, in Mennonites, and in the combination of both. Then, after people have read the book, I get mail! Email, voice mail, FB messages, and even mail mail. 🙂
If you are one of the people who has written to me, thank you! I want to write back, but it may take some time. I’ve got a little granddaughter celebrating her first birthday tomorrow and that means another long weekend with family, grading papers from my class as we travel.
All this flourishing of attention has been heady for a little girl who dreamed big. But like other New Beginnings that fulfilled dreams, it has also engendered humility. I stand in awe of the richness of other life stories, and of other storytellers, like Mary Karr, who are so much more gifted than I, and of the Creator who, day after day, pours forth speech, spilling stories of hope and redemption into a troubled world.
After the first blush, what comes next? I’m still waiting for the answer to that question, and I’m quite willing to listen to your guidance, gentle reader.
Like November light, every book gets a few moments of glory at the beginning. After that, the magic only continues as long as readers enjoy, ask for the book at their local and church libraries and bookstores, review it online or in person (one reader tells another), select it for book clubs and church groups, and invite the author to speak.
Next week I begin the first of four local book group visits. And I hope to map out more speaking engagements for 2014 in the next few weeks.
Do you have suggestions or requests for me to consider? Have book, will travel. Or Skype. Or walk your dog. 🙂