Monday, January 7, 2013

In Which I Thank People, Including Soho Press

I'm a grateful girl. Seriously. I say thank you lot. I write thank you emails and actual thank you notes (on these lovely correspondence cards that make writing thank you notes fun) and I send thank you gifts and... well, you get the picture. It takes a village to create a writer and produce books and I am FULLY AWARE of this fact and thus forever grateful. I am also keenly aware that when I first attempted to write a novel at 19, the Internet and e books and the all the rest of it DID NOT EXIST so I  went ahead and taught school and dreamed of writing and reaching readers. So yeah, Al Gore, or whoever invented the Internet, I am darn thankful to you, too.

For those of you who read this and are 19 and thinking gee, I missed out on being a prodigy and I should have published three books by now (And yes, I know, there are A LOT OF YOU out there who think exactly that), get over yourself. Keep at it. It will happen. And when it does, say THANK YOU. Do not be so full of yourself that you forget. It is easy to be full of yourself at 19 and 20 and 24, which is the age of the characters in GIRLS on HBO, which I adore because it is honest and clever and funny as hell even as it's painful. At 24, I was the most arrogant senior English team leader ever. I was  the 'boss' of 5 other teachers, all of whom were minimally twice my age. I was intelligent and articulate and driven and a pain in the ass. I rarely said thank you.

Also, it is easy to be humble at 19. So if you are reading this and thinking, Joy, you are full of it, okay. I admit that's possible.

Today, I am particularly thankful to the lovely folks at Soho Press, who have made me part of the inaugural list of Soho Teen, which officially launches tomorrow, 1/8! My first book with them, THE SWEET DEAD LIFE, will arrive on May 14th and I am thrilled beyond words. I am thankful to my publisher, the brilliant and clever Bronwen Hruska and to my equally brilliant editor, Daniel Ehrenhaft, who has been a wonderful mentor and teacher. "What if you tried this..." he will write. He won't insist, but when I revise, he's exactly right. Sometimes he assumes that I am also brilliant and well-read and that my expensive Northwestern English degree actually stuck. He writes editorial notes that say, "Infuse the dialogue here with obfuscation and subtext." And after I run around panicking and trying to obfuscate, I thank him, if only in my head, for believing in me. Sometimes, he writes editorial notes that say, "[Name of character] needs to be a total dick here." Those notes are easier for me.

I thank Dan a lot. He deserves to be thanked. A million, trillion times. He is also a clever and philosophically fascinating author with many books of his own, including my personal favorite, THE AFTER LIFE.

So THANK YOU Soho Press and Daniel Ehrenhaft.

And the rest of you: Get a copy of Jackie Mitchard's THINGS WE SAW AT NIGHT when it arrives tomorrow. Next month get a copy of WHO DONE IT. It's a cleverly funny mystery anthology. The proceeds go to 826nyc. I'm in there, too. Least famous person in the book although Lisa and Laura Roecker like to argue that that honor goes to them. Either way, you'll love it.

4 comments:

  1. I'm thankful for knowing you! Great post!

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  2. I can totally relate, Joy. Most days lately I've been running around thanking everyone I know who helped me get where I am. They probably think I am a loon. But whatever. So, thanks for writing this!

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  3. Yes! I agree--you can't say "thank you" too often. And CONGRATS ON THE FORTHCOMING RELEASE!

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  4. Many congratulations, Joy! And to all those other fantastic people who made it happen for you!

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