When I sent in my application to The Debutante Ball to see if I could be one of the five lucky writers to participate this year, I knew I was putting myself in that familiar, yucky position we have all been in many times before: waiting nervously for either good news or bad. “How perfect,” I thought. My book, Small Admissions, is about exactly that — those absurd moments of waiting to find out if you’re going to get accepted to something you really want or if you’re in for a big, fat disappointment. And then there’s the next step: rejoicing when you’re accepted or coping (or perhaps not coping so well) when you’re rejected. And we have all been rejected. Whether it’s getting dumped by a boyfriend or girlfriend, turned down by a college we really wanted to get into, or declined by agents or publishers, we have all had those moments of sadness, anger, or bitterness when we don’t get exactly what we want. Do we wallow in self-pity? Throw things? Binge watch Downton Abbey to take our minds off of our troubles? As we get older, we should perhaps get better at handling rejection, learning strategies to help us bounce back and keep going. But for some of us, rejection always sends us into a funk. In my book, as in my life, I try to see the humor in suffering a set back because, I suppose, it helps keeps me sane.
In Small Admissions, coming this December 2017 from Emily Bestler books/Simon and Schuster, the main character Kate is struggling to get her act together after an especially heinous rejection. Working in an admissions department at the revered (fictional) Hudson Day School, she encounters high-strung applicant families that are all in the waiting mode: will their children be accepted or rejected? And how will they handle the news? Rejection hurts but maybe it also plays an important role. It can be humbling, crushing, but at times rejuvenating, forcing us to rethink our goals and gain perspective on what really matters. Maybe sometimes things work out the way they’re supposed to. Then again, maybe not.
How have things worked out for me? I live a somewhat crazy life with my husband of almost 25 years, three sons, a dog I inherited from my mother, and a really overweight cat. I split my time between New York City and Frankfurt, Germany and am beyond excited that my first book Small Admissions will be out this December. I am hard at work on a new novel about Broadway, and like the parents in Small Admissions I know that I may be in for more rejections in the future. I will try to see the humor in that as well.
For today I will simply raise a glass to The Debutante Ball, with deep gratitude to last year’s debutantes Jennifer Brown, Louise Miller, Abby Fabiaschi, Aya de Leon, and Heather Young. And I will thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to get to know this year’s group of writers: Crystal, Tiffany, Jenni, and Lynn. To go through this debut year in such good company is a privilege and a thrill. Cheers!
Latest posts by Amy Poeppel (see all)
- A Tribute to the 2017 Debs: My Highlight Reel - Tuesday, August 29, 2017
- Final News Flash for the 2017 Debs - Sunday, August 27, 2017
- Didn’t See That Coming: My Debut Year’s “OMG” Moments - Tuesday, August 22, 2017
- News Flash: Reading, Writing, and The Writer’s Digest Conference - Sunday, August 20, 2017
- Amy’s Reading (and Bad Mood) Update - Tuesday, August 15, 2017