On October 5, 2005, I gave birth to my third baby: MY DEBUT NOVEL! It was truly a dream come true. I had worked on Uptown & Down since 1998 and spent over two years querying agents until a very nice woman based in Pennsylvania wrote back to say she wanted to represent me. It took her another eighteen months to sell the manuscript but it finally found a home at the New American Library (NAL) imprint at Penguin. I also had the good fortune of a terrific editor who possessed an intuitive sense for my characters and the themes of my novel. You can read more about my inspiration and publishing journey here. Achieving the goal I had set my sights on for so long was particularly poignant as it came a year and a half after my mother’s untimely death from cancer. I dedicated Uptown & Down to her.
The release party was held at a wonderful independent bookstore/cafe, Just Books, close to where we were living at the time in Old Greenwich, CT. I had only been in town for a little over a year, but some local press had spread the word and new friends in the community joined long-time friends and family for the event. I was floored by the turnout and good vibes! To this day, it remains one of the happiest nights of my life.
It would take almost a decade before I completed my second manuscript and as I’ve described in a previous post, it was not picked up by a traditional publisher, so I chose to self-publish in 2018. I’ve now completed my third novel and feel the seedlings of a new, fourth story growing in my mind. I finally feel like that magical night at Just Books wasn’t a fluke.
I had so much fun unearthing pictures from the book launch. I tried not to focus on how much younger I looked (or on the length and luster of my hair haha), but what struck me most was my unbridled joy–something I didn’t think possible after my mother’s death. Sadly, Just Books no longer exists, but I remain ever so grateful to everyone who came to support me.
Please indulge me as I take a trip down memory lane…