In which Ms. Wednesday introduces herself, and her book!

temp headshot 2I once heard an inspiring piece of writing advice: “Write the book only you can write.”

That was my aim with my debut novel, All Come Home—to create a story that’s bighearted, accessible, and totally, authentically me.

A week after Hurricane Katrina, I was hired at a regional newspaper, The Landmark, in my hometown of Holden, Massachusetts. For months my colleagues and I wrote about volunteers from our area helping the people of New Orleans. That spirit of community outreach inspired All Come Home. I asked myself, What would happen if one of those Massachusetts volunteers didn’t return? And the book grew from that question.

All Come Home is peopled with lively small-town heroes. You’ll meet a chainsaw artist in her seventies. (Because really, isn’t it time American literature boasted a strong, chainsaw-wielding older woman?) And you’ll meet Ingrid, a young girl scheming to get to know world-famous TV chef Polly Pinch, coquettish star of a hit cooking show. You’ll meet other characters too.

All Come Home comes out in August 2010 from Penguin’s Dutton imprint.

More about me:

1. I’m married to my college sweetheart, novelist Matthew Quick. In 2004, with the shared goal of becoming full-time novelists, we quit our jobs, sold our house, and moved in with my parents. Five years later, Matt and I are on our own, back in the Philly area, publishing novels and doing everything we can to continue living the dream.

2. I can’t wait to be reunited with my piano, which is very quietly waiting in what was my parents’ dining room in Massachusetts. What caused the separation? More on that in future posts.

3. Does it have something (anything) to do with France? Or dogs? Movies? Music, of any kind? Yoga? Travel? If so, I’m probably very interested!

You’ll learn more about me—and I’m eager to learn more about you, dear Readers!—in  the coming months. I’m so thankful to attend The Ball. Let the dancing begin.

~Alicia Bessette

37 Replies to “In which Ms. Wednesday introduces herself, and her book!”

  1. Wow, what a great story about you and your husband! I hope sometime you’ll tell us more about that part in your life, making such sacrifices to pursue writing. And how did you deal with competition with each other? It’s just…wow, now you make me want to write a book about two aspiring novelists married to each other 😉

  2. I was just thinking how I was looking for a good book with a chain saw wielding older woman- this will be perfect! : ) Add me to the list of people impressed with you and your husband’s willingness to risk it all to pursue your dreams.

  3. Can I just say I adore the character name Polly Pinch? I can see her already. I already adore your music; can’t wait to get more of your writing.

  4. Massachusetts is in da HOUSE! Welcome aboard Deb Alicia and I look forward to learning more about you and your book. Rock on with your bad yoga-doing, francophile, dog-loving, writing self!

  5. I’m so glad to meet you Alicia! I look forward to reading your posts this year. My husband and I are living out our artistic dreams, too–not always easy but so worth it. Now if we could all just take a trip to France for a little writing retreat… Les Debutantes de Paris!

  6. Howdy, Alicia! Your book sounds awesome, you and your husband are smart and brave and hurrah that it worked for you! And um, Philly? I’m a Pittsburgh gal, but did spend my summers in Philly, so that’s fine. Can’t wait to read more about you and yoga and France and piano and your book and all that stuff. And I am SO down with Debs in Paris. Can we divert to Italia for a week or two as well?

  7. Hi, Al. I really enjoyed your blog entry and look forward to reading more. Having listened to both of your wonderful CDs I know what a talented composer/pianist you are and am really looking forward to reading your novel. You and Matt made a bold leap and are now starting to reap the rewards. Way to go. Do keep all chainsaws away from your piano.

  8. Hi Alicia!

    It’s nice to hear more about the novel. I can’t wait to read it! And yes, we do need more strong older women characters in literature; so thank you for giving us one. Especially one that is wielding a chainsaw! How empowering!

    I can’t wait to hear more about your writing life, your artistice life, your traveling life, and your life with Matt, and how you balance it all.
    Congratulations, and may you enjoy this amazing journey you’re on.

  9. Thanks, all, for weighing in. Yes, much more about my husband’s and my journey to publishing in future posts! Signing off from Duck, NC, where I’m vacationing, and “hooked on quack,” to quote my new coffee mug.

  10. “Les Debutantes de Paris!” I’m there.

    I can tell this is going to be a year of fascinating Wednesdays! Those “what-if” questions are powerful, aren’t they? Love to hear about the gestation of a novel.

    Can’t wait to read it!

  11. Hi Alicia,
    Boy, your book sounds great! So glad I’m a Deb and I’ll get a sneak peek. I don’t want to wait. Congrats on everything and here’s to a fun hear of Debs Together (followed by The Debs Take Paris? Anyone? Anyone?).

  12. Hey Alicia…what a great format! I look forward to daily dances with amazing authors. So happy to meet you here each Wednesday. ALL COME HOME is an anticipated treat…can’t wait. But these blogs will help pass the time. And your life with Matt…seems like there’s a story to be told somewhere there also! Let’s hear it for strong, older women….with or without chain saws! Love it!

  13. Alicia has been a great writer since high school–I am thrilled she’s followed her dream and published a novel! I can’t wait to buy it! I hope there will be some kind of celebration in Holden…

  14. Really looking forward to reading your novel in 2010! Your brief description of the characters has already begun to intrigue me and wanting more. Can’t wait for your next blog!

  15. Alicia, the two characters you describe here intrigue me. Can’t wait to read about the others. I particularly love the idea of the strong senior woman. I identify with such people more every year. I admire you and your husband for following your dream. May you and your piano soon be reunited (What’s that story, by the way?).

  16. Alicia, you and Matt continue to inspire not only with your talent but also your determination and persistence. I am so excited that you have the chance to dance on Wednesdays, and I’m glad to be in the audience watching every minute of it.

  17. I’ve had it up to here with those sexist male dominated chainsaw archtypes. Thank heavens for a female role model for mature women with power tools. Congratualtions Alicia, looking forward to reading your book!

  18. I can’t wait to read about the chainsaw-wielding granny! Congratulations Alica!! And, the same to all the Debs. Anxiously await further news.

  19. Hi Alicia,

    Congratulations from Germany to your successful start in the world of literature!!!
    It is pretty exciting to read about your first novel and we nearly can’t wait to learn more. We are sure we’ll enjoy it as much as your music.
    All the best for the time at the ball.

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