It is quite a thrill to be invited to blog on the Huffington Post. I wrote this little essay about becoming an accidental advocate of pit bulls. See what you think. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-wilson/how-in-writing-ione-good_b_544784.html
I was taken to task by two readers for using, what they termed, potty language in ONE GOOD DOG. In both cases, I defended myself by saying that 1) I write for adults and, 2) in order to draw authentic characters, one must write as real people behave. Yes, there is an f-bomb or two, but used exactly as a man would use it, under the circumstances that would make it unthinkable that a man wouldn’t use it. If I’d substituted ‘doggone it,’ well, it wouldn’t have been believable and it would have diminished the carefully constructed character that used that language. Dialogue isn’t random, it’s chosen to reflect the character that’s being written. If a word is out of character, the illusion that this is a real person is threatened. I did put that word in the mouth of an angry teenage girl; but again, it’s what a furious, frustrated, young woman at the end of her rope might scream as she runs out the door. And, yes, I did use a term for excrement that might have offended. But, again, when Adam steps in it, that’s the word that comes into his head–wouldn’t it come into yours?
At heart, I think that a generational disconnect is partly what prompts this complaint. And the fact that woman has written those words. But I can assure you, the use of ‘bad language’ isn’t gratuitous. In today’s world, when used judiciously, such language is authentic.
I think that it’s finally stopped raining. Watching the news last night makes me feel so lucky, no washed out roads, flooded basements or power outages that I know about here. That seven miles of water that separate us from them also seems to separate us from the disasters that befall other communities, especially those close to moving water. We may get high tides and barrier beach openings, but we’re already cognizant of the hazards of coastal living. We watch miles of beach erode, and keep moving lighthouses back from the edge, but it’s never a surprise. For us it’s a dramatic ride along the beach road, observing the fury of nature first hand. Then go home and make dinner. We aren’t out on the water; we aren’t watching the river crest and fill our basements. We are safe and just enough above sea level to go to bed without worrying. If only our insurance companies were so complacent. By examining their computer models, many of them have dumped island homeowners on the once in a millenium forecast that the island might sink. True. I wonder now if those people in Freetown or Stonington’s Birdland will be dumped by their insurance companies now that their roads have washed out and their homes are swimming pools. Let’s hope not.
Next to the birth of my granddaughter, or that of my own children, the launch of ONE GOOD DOG has been the most exciting thing to happen to me in a long time. I remember being so excited at the launch of BEAUTY in 19whatever, but I can honestly say that OGD has received so much more enthusiasm and love from everyone involved, that I’m humbled. When I received word that the book had made the New York Times bestseller list for the week ending March 13, landing at #30 out of 35 on the extended list, well you could have knocked me over with a feather. I honestly thought that I’d drempt it. When the fabulous bouquet of flowers arrived from my friends at St. Martin’s Press, I knew that I hadn’t. Their cheering squad is the best ever. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/books/bestseller/besthardfiction.html?ref=bestseller
This week and next (March 22-April 4) I’ll be chatting on Library Thing. www.librarything.com. Go to the author chat button and scroll down till you find me. I’d love to hear what your thoughts are and answer any questions you might have.
A lot of people have compared a book launch to having a baby. It’s a fairly apt analogy: conception, long months of growth and a few ultrasounds along the way. A couple of scares. Finally, finally, something to show. But, that’s a very tired, if comprehensible, simile.
I prefer to think of it as planning a wedding. You meet your intended, in my case, a new editor introduced to me by a yenta, otherwise known as my agent. A long courtship follows, promises made, a common goal in the future. A date is set. Like most modern weddings, the date is nearly two years in the future, but that allows for lots of dresses to be tried on, cakes to be tasted, wedding party to be chosen. My bridesmaids are my marketing maven and, if he’ll excuse the gender bending, my publicist. Maid of honor, my agent, naturally. Today I walk down the aisle (of my bookstore) and on the altar of commerce is ONE GOOD DOG. Sweet!
What’s next? After a suitably long honeymoon….a new book!
Next week I get to guest blog on Booktrib.com. This on-line resource for readers is just full of book giveaways and author blogs. You really get a feel for what everyone out there is reading–and thinking about reading–in a clever format with up-to-the minute opinion and buzz. Take a look following www.booktrib.com and watch for my guest blog next week.
If my life was a movie, the soundtrack would consist of beating drums, the volume and intensity letting the watcher know something is coming……
And that something is the launch date of ONE GOOD DOG. After what seems to be an eternity, suddenly March 2 is on the horizon and OGD mere days away from appearing on shelves and tables at every Barnes and Nobel, Borders, and independent bookstore.
I’ve been invited to participate in a number of blogs as a guest blogger. I’ll be visiting Library Thing, Bookbloggersdiary, and Bookreporter next week. Also, and so far this one has been my favorite…Bark ‘n’ Blog. I was interviewed by a dog. Sounds corny, but it gave me a chance to use Chance’s voice one more time. How sweet is that?
Here’s a list of the blogs and the expected date of my visit.
Bark-n-blog.com March 2
4theloveofanimals.com/blog March 4
Blog.theloudlibrarian.net March 5
Freshfiction.com March 8
ABookBloggersDiary.blogspot.com March 10
I’ll post others as I get them.
Visit the Martha’s Vineyard Times today and read Jack Shea’s oh-so-nice words about ONE GOOD DOG. http://www.mvtimes.com/marthas-vineyard/news/2010/02/18/in-print-one-good-dog.php
Thank you Jack!
With ONE GOOD DOG coming out in the very near future, a lot of time and energy is being spent on my behalf to get the word out. As part of my ‘homework’ I visited Bookreporter.com and, lo and behold, there’s OGD right up there as a ‘one to watch.’ I am so thrilled to have this on-line connection and I hope that you’ll go see what Bookreporter.com has to say about the book. The best part is that I will have an opportunity to have a conversation with Bookreporter in a few weeks. I’ll let you know my blog tour schedule as it develops. In the meantime, please visit www.bookreporter.com.