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27 posts categorized "MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND"

March 30, 2012

Gratitude journal: Surprise

Tonight I am grateful for the potential for surprise that fills my life as an author.

Today my agent informed me that we had received an offer from a French publisher for MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND. Just like that, my book will be translated into another foreign language and sold in another country.

I woke up thinking that this would be a relatively uneventful day, but by noon, I was going to be published in France.

Surprise! 

Earlier this week I received news from my film agent that a production company has expressed interest in MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND. While this means absolutely nothing (both of my other books are currently optioned for film and television but nothing has happened as of yet), this news brings greater possibility to my life.

Surprise!

I also learned this week that the book has entered its fifth printing in the UK and its third printing in Australia.

Surprise!

Admittedly this was an especially surprising week for me, but it’s the possibility for surprise that I find myself especially grateful for this evening. Before publishing my first book, my life was relatively predictable.

Not unhappy, uneventful or unfulfilling, but marked by considerably fewer surprises.

Being an author requires a great deal of patience. Weeks and months can go by without a speck of good news and sometimes some absolutely dreadful news. But knowing that surprises like the ones that filled my week could be just around the corner make the hard work and the endless waiting all worth it.

MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND: An audio preview

The first two chapters of the audio version of MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND are available for preview here.

The book is narrated by Matthew Brown, which seems apropos considering my UK pseudonym is Matthew Green.

I was initially worried that I would not like the narrator, especially given that the story is told in the first person, but the team at Macmillan has done a tremendous job in casting the role. I couldn’t be more pleased.

And I will have a chance to listen to the whole book soon. Macmillan is producing advanced listening copies of the book for distribution to booksellers, reviewers and at Book Expo America, so I’ll be able to give the book a listen before it’s actually published.

This will be helpful considering I never read any my own novels after they have been published. It’s too painful. I cannot help but continue to revise sentences and word choice in my mind.

I live in a tragic state of perpetual dissatisfaction.

But I am able to listen to my books on audio and enjoy them without the inner critic sounding off in my head, which is important considering how easily I can forget what I’ve actually written. Recently I was asked a question about a minor character in my first book, SOMETHING MISSING, and I could barely remember who the character was or what role her served in the story.

It was a sign that it was time to give the audio version of SOMETHING MISSING a listen again. I can’t tell you how embarrassing it is to realize that a reader has more knowledge about your novel than you do.   

March 28, 2012

Gratitude journal: The ticking of the clock

I find myself struggling to find gratitude this evening.

I left the house at 6:30 this morning and returned at 8:00 this evening, thanks to a day of teaching followed by a series of parent-teacher conferences. As a result, I spent about 90 seconds with my daughter today, who was already in her crib and nearly asleep when I finally returned home. 

I can’t tell you how upsetting this is to me.

And I get to do it again tomorrow.

And I already did it yesterday.

Nevertheless, there were things to be grateful about today.

  1. My conferences went very well.
  2. My students worked very hard throughout the school day.
  3. One of my colleagues is keenly aware of the number of hours that a classroom teacher works during the week of parent-teacher conferences and has done her very best to ease our burden throughout the week, including today. I can’t tell you how much this means to classroom teachers. For this alone I should be supremely grateful.    
  4. I received great news from my agent regarding sales of my new book in the UK, Australia  and New Zealand.
  5. My audiobook publisher sent the audio recording of the first two chapters of my new book, and I loved it.

In truth, there was much to be grateful for today, but the almost complete absence of my daughter looms large over everything else.

So I try to find gratitude for all the good things that have taken place today, but instead, I find myself grateful for every minute that ticks off the clock, for each minute that passes brings me closer to the moment when I can pluck my daughter from her crib and squeeze her again.

March 26, 2012

Gratitude journal: The best of friends

As you may know, my next novel, MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND, has already been released in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and even places like Dubai and Singapore.

Anywhere that my British publisher, Little Brown UK. might ship books.

In the US, however, the book doesn’t publish until August.

Unwilling to wait for the August release, several of my friends have decided to purchase the UK edition of the book, despite the additional cost of shipping from overseas, and despite their assurances that they intend to purchase the US edition as well.

I find these decisions quite humbling.

Tonight, one of my friends received his overseas shipment and sent me this photograph.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the friends that I have in my life.

image

March 24, 2012

Blurb!

In the wake of Jodi Picoult’s exceptionally generous blurb comes this one from Carol Kranowitz, a teacher, a leader in the autism community and the bestselling author of THE OUT-OF-SYNC CHILD and THE GOODENOUGHS GET IN SYNC:

“Here is a perfectly crafted treasure! While it is shaped around autism, it deals with much more—courage, loss, love, human development and relationships—the very stuff of real life."

I didn’t write the book with the intent of specifically appealing to the autism community, but this endorsement means a lot to me, particularly in terms of the portrayal of Max, the character who is on the autistic spectrum.

It’s good to know I got him at least a little right.

March 23, 2012

Insightful and hilarious confirmation that my publisher and I are a perfect match

In a recent meeting with the sales, publicity and marketing team of my publisher, St. Martin’s Press, I was asked about the decision to publish in the UK under the name Matthew Green.

I explained that my British publisher, Little Brown UK, felt that my last name might serve as a hindrance to book sales and a new, less potentially offensive last name might serve me well.

Thus Matthew Green (Green is my wife’s maiden name) was born.

I was not so sure about the need to change my name, but in most things related to publishing, I am keenly aware that my expertise does not extend beyond the ability to write clear sentences, so I tend to defer to the professionals on all other things.

The St. Martin’s team found this situation amusing, and this morning a member of the sales team sent me this list of authors who have all published books with St. Martins at some point in the past.

He indicated that this list was clear evidence that I had found the right publisher for me, and while I knew this well before seeing this list, the confirmation was both validating and hilarious. 

Names

March 21, 2012

Radio New Zealand interview

I did an interview with Radio New Zealand this evening. I think it went pretty well. You can listen to it by clicking on the link below.  

The most impressive part of the entire interview was my ability to keep my daughter occupied during the fifteen minutes that I was on the phone.

My strategy:

I put Dinorsaur Train on the television and handed her an iPhone with a one hour Winnie the Pooh episode. She literally sat on the couch, desperately trying to maintain concentration on both shows at the same time.

It completely paralyzed her. 

New Zealand interrview- Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend

March 14, 2012

Gratitude journal: Readers live-tweeting my book

Tonight I am thankful for the enthusiastic readers who have been engaging in a new form of live tweeting whereby they send me tweets as they make their way through my latest book, MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND.

My first two books, SOMETHING MISSING and UNEXPECTEDLY, MILO, were published during Twitter’s infancy, so I had decidedly less contact with readers via social media. Back then (just two and four years ago), email was the primary way that readers contacted me, and a few even wrote letters longhand. But today, I am only a tweet away, and readers are taking advantage it.

This afternoon, readers in the UK and Australia tweeted about their experience with novel thus far, sharing their thoughts and feelings about the book at that very moment with me. One reader told me that she was experiencing an overwhelming sense of dread over what might happen next in the story (she was about halfway finished), and the other was nearing the end of the book and was “terrified” by the potential outcome.

She actually stopped reading in order to drink some coffee and calm down before finishing. 

I’m hoping it was decaf.

The enthusiasm and excitement of these readers and their willingness to engage me in their reading process humbles me. I am so very grateful for their efforts to reach out and allow me to join them on their journey through my story.

It is a brave new world in which readers and authors can so easily comingle, and I like it a lot.

March 12, 2012

Keep Calm and Carry On

The history behind the poster and phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On” is a good one, but the most intriguing thing about this video is the bookstore where the original poster is kept.

Have you ever seen a more beautiful bookstore?

It’s beautiful enough that I may plan a vacation someday just to visit this store.

And since the store is located in the UK, I find myself dying to know if MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND has made its way onto its pristine shelves.

I truly hope so.

March 11, 2012

Budo and company are well traveled

One never knows where your book is going to land after it is published.

This week a reader sent me a link to an online bookstore in Dubai where MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND has cracked their bestseller list at number 10.

And then there’s this photo of my book, taken in an airport in Singapore.

image

It’s strange and wonderful to think my characters are traveling to places I will probably never see.