Okay, I don’t actually have dirt, but I like alliteration, needed a title and figured it might catch your attention. And I do have some behind the scenes tidbits to share that are interesting, if not particularly dirty.
We started as strangers back in July and had to divvy up jobs, learn how to use the site, post our blogs etc. About 200 emails later, with a huge amount of help and advice from Kristy and the other Founding Debs, we went “live” in the second week of August.
I was totally freaked. I feared the site would implode when I hit the word “publish.” I remember getting instructions from Kristy about how to do a link and I was so overwhelmed I thought, Well, I just won’t ever link anything. What do I need to link for?! I will be link-free. And I couldn’t imagine how I’d write something each week for an entire year. It took me about 25 hours to write and edit my first post (I know this because I have 20 hours of daycare weekly for my toddler and I used all of it, plus) and I spent the entire first day glued to the site waiting for comments, responding to them, rereading my post, rereading the comments, etc. This went on for weeks. I was an obsessive lunatic who would clearly never turn in my edits for Falling Under, much less write another book.
Well, we all got the hang of it and you’ve probably noticed we’re having a great time getting to know each other and many of you. But behind the scenes…
There have been 5353 emails between us on our closed Yahoo loop and hundreds more individual and group emails between us plus fan mail, letters from authors, pitches from publicists, applications to various conferences and festivals and a surprising number of people asking if we’ll help them plan a real debutante ball for them in their hometown, at their high school, etc.
We have brainstormed about publicity, title changes and cover art. (We are part of the reason the toenails got painted on the cover of Driving Sideways, for example.) We’ve shared stories about signings, talked about interviews, pitching, getting blurbs (thank you ladies for telling me to get them early and get them myself—my editor was very pleased and so were my publicists) and helped each other through the inevitable emergencies and freak-outs we all have as our release dates loom.
And somewhere along the line these wonderful women, who I’ve never met in person, became my friends–good friends!–and that has made this experience incredibly rich.
A couple of favorite memories:
The day Lisa found out Fifteen Minutes of Shame was going to be optioned (before she could announce it because the details were still being worked out) she emailed the news and we all sent whoops and cheers (via email) and proceeded to celebrate with our food or beverage of choice. (For me I believe it was Port.) The emails flew back and forth that night as we got the details from Lisa and then I believe we went on a wild and funny tangent about hidden talents which inspired Jess & Eileen to give that as our topic a few weeks later.
On Super Tuesday I emailed to let my fellow debs know that, like every good Canadian, I was watching American Politics on CNN. One email turned into 70 as we sat with our laptops in front of our televisions and watched. Jenny had stories from her days working for a Senator, Gail had thoughts about the Democratic candidates and we discussed everything from Obama vs Hillary to Mormon underwear. Another night of thought-provoking conversation mixed with snort-worthy hilarity.
On the site and off, my fellow debs have encouraged me and egged me on, drawn out hidden parts of my personality, challenged me and gained my respect and admiration. And as each book has come out I’ve felt, just a little bit, like it was my book too. And so this year, I get six debuts instead of one, and five new talented, smart, funny, generous friends.
Cheers to you, ladies.
And to all of you, of course
(Hey, did you notice the all the links I put in?! And BTW, I’m still quite obsessive on Thursdays.)