The more things change, the more they stay the same… by Founder Jennifer

Lately, I’ve been into lists.  There’s something very solid and matter-of-fact about a list.  When I make a list, I feel much less wishy-washy, more like a person who takes charge and gets stuff done. Especially if I get all fancy and have bullets.  So here then, is my list of writing-related things that have happened since my days as a Deb:

  • My second novel, ISLAND OF LOST GIRLS, came out
  • My first novel for young adults, MY TIKI GIRL, came out
  • The wonderful folks at HarperCollins bought the rights to my next two books – the first is set for release in May 2009
  • ISLAND OF LOST GIRLS got wonderful reviews in places like People and The Boston Globe. And (drum roll, please) made it onto the New York Times Bestseller list
  • PROMISE NOT TO TELL came out in the UK, where it is an ASDA Book Club selection — early sales have been fantastic
  • The clever folks at Writers House have sold the German, French, Italian and Dutch rights for one book or another
  • I’ve met or heard from many, many readers and booksellers who have been incredibly generous and insightful
  • Did I mention the part about the NYT Bestseller list?

So a lot of amazing things have happened, things I never dreamt were possible and which have thrilled me to pieces.  What’s interesting is that, really, not much has changed.  I’m still me.  The grass in our yard always gets too long before I mow it.  The dishes sit undone in the sink.  I stay up nights worrying about a thousand and one things like whether or not demonic possession is real and what my neighbors think of my unkempt yard.  I don’t feel particularly special or different.  You’d think that I might have a little more confidence – that I’d have every faith that I’ll get my next book done on time and it will be wonderful.  But still, here I am, scrambling to meet deadlines, questioning every last detail, worried that I’ve written 500 pages of complete crap, racking my addled brain for a good title.  (Yes!  There’s title drama!  Surprised?)  I tell myself that the insecurity helps the work.

It is wonderful to be posting at The Ball again.  I had such an amazing year as a Deb – and though I don’t miss having to come up with a post each week, I miss the sense of community.  Everything was so new, so scary, so big and unknown, and it was much easier to go through it with five amazing women and to have such a great, supportive response from our readers. 

I’ve never gotten it together to start my own blog and I kind of doubt I ever will.   But I am thrilled to see the Debutantes still going strong and honored to have been there at the beginning – I can’t wait to see what the 2009 group brings to the dance floor.

15 Replies to “The more things change, the more they stay the same… by Founder Jennifer”

  1. Wow, Jennifer! NYTimes is so HUGE! It’s so lovely to see your success continue. And it’s almost reassuring that everything sort of stays the same. I read a thing in US Magazine I think about Kathy Griffin–that comedian who got a bit addicted to plastic surgery. And now she says she’s off of the “stuff”–all of the face lifts and the tucks and the lipo and the everything didn’t make her feel any better, or look much better, didn’t bring on world peace, didn’t do much of anything. Sometimes progress is simply stasis. Congratulations on your wonderful success and welcome back!

  2. Hi Jennifer!! Great to “see” you here!! I’m so happy for you and thanks for reminding me that nothing really changes. I think that’s actually very reassuring!

  3. Island of the Lost Girls was one of my favorite reads this year. I compulsively tell everyone about it- including complete strangers in book stores. I’m not surprised at all to hear it hit the list.

    As for your yard- rest easy- I bet mine looks waaaaaaaay worse as we are working hard on a dead plant collection. I suspect small children are afraid of our yard.

  4. Jennifer, from someone who read every one of your posts, there IS something different…you sound happy! And that Deb Ball ’07 community all knew this amazing success was in your future. In fact watching it happen has thrilled me — complete with goosebumps — just as reading your posts used to do. So keep on and forget about the yard! 😉

  5. By gum, I do love seeing us all together again! (I mean, really, when else could I use “by gum”?)

    But hearing all the great news is even better.

    Congratulations, Jennifer, on such an exciting year!

  6. That is astounding Jennifer! Woohoo! A big congratulations to you! What an incredible year! Are you still floating on cloud nine? I sure would be!

    Love to hear that kind of news!
    Michele L.

  7. Kristy,

    I think if any of the current debs would use the phrase, “by gum” it would be Deb Eileen.

    In fact, I think that’s the title of her next book. (YA, of course.)


    Congrats on all of your success, and especially on making the NYT list. Remember to savor every minute of it! 🙂



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