What a delight to be invited back to The Debutante Ball. Nice place you got here, filled with interesting, brilliant, and gorgeous women. Thanks for having me, I shall try to recall some of my own dancing skills for my visit so I don’t embarrass anyone.
When the 2009 Debs asked if I’d like to do a guest blog they said I should tell you all about my new book, Matters of Faith, but I always did have a tough time sticking to the topics, didn’t I? I also wasn’t sure what I would tell you that you couldn’t already get at my website, or on Amazon, or at any of the hundreds of book sites that have sprung up like chantrelles in the forest.
I could copy over the reviews (they were good), copy over the information on the back jacket (it’s about a Florida family dealing with a daughter with severe food allergies, and a son whose religious quest wreaks havoc when he brings home a girlfriend who doesn’t believe in medical intervention), and list a couple of great things that happened for the book (like being an IndieBound Notable Title and having Jacqulyn Mitchard give an endorsement), but it all seemed pretty dry.
So last night I logged onto the Ball, just to sort of immerse myself in it again, to maybe take a quick look at a few of my old posts, remember my blogging voice. But I wound up sitting on my sofa until almost midnight with my laptop on my…well, on my lap, and reading all of the Founders posts.
What fun we had! Wow, was that only a couple of years ago? I laughed (remember the week we had to write about bald men and everyone detested the topic and it wound up being our largest trafficked week ever?), and I cried (my iRobot – A Love Story features Niko The Beloved Troll, who we had to put to sleep in December, which I am still quite devastated over), and I shook my head in amusement at our collective nerves over our debuts coming out, oh, and I’d completely forgotten about Butter Daoe MacPherson! Watch for that debut in the future.
And then I read the posts in which we turned to Ball over to the Class of 2008, Danielle Younge-Ullman, Gail Konop No Hyphen Baker, Jenny Gardiner, Jess Riley, Lisa Daily, and, well, Eileen Cook, and was filled with pride at what we’d accomplished and handed over, and then was amazed at all the things that class accomplished!
I got so nostalgic that I e-mailed the founders– Tish Cohen, Anna David, Mia King, Eileen Cook, and Jennifer McMahon– and told them how delightful that time was for me.
So, yeah, do me a favor, go buy Matters of Faith, that’d be great. Because if you don’t buy the book I don’t get to write another one. You know that. Right? But you don’t need a pithy blog entry to convince you to buy the book. You already know if you want to read it or not. So, go do your thing.
No, I decided what I really wanted to say, and it’s to the class of 2009: Most of you don’t know me that well, and hey, why should you care what I think about you? But… I AM SO PROUD OF YOU. Your bravery inspires me all over again.
I know what it took to get here. I know how hard it was. I know how hard it is. I know how hard it continues to be. I know how things might change, how you will lose some friends, gain others, worry over sales and marketing and publicity, and over learning it all. I know how you will struggle to be heard, and, even more important, to be understood. I know you will develop facial tics over reviews, not just from the critics, but from the readers, the one-star, the two-star, even the three-star heart stoppers. And I know the joy coming from the four and five-stars, the fan mail, the signing requests.
I am filled with excitement and happiness for you all, Kris, Eve, Tiffany, Meredith, and Katie. And I am filled with certainty that if you are good to each other and embrace this year with gratitude that you will look back on this time as one of the most fulfilling of your life. Don’t be afraid to stop for a minute and be emotional over it. Nobody who doesn’t understand will know what a goofball you are, and those who do understand will feel all goofbally for you.
Hang in there, it’s worth it, and I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.
My very best wishes to you, Debutantes of 2009.
And thanks for having me.