Redesigning the Traditional, Boring Reader’s Guide for The Art of Floating

Flüchtlingsfrau mit WägelchenA few weeks ago, I decided to write the reader’s guide to THE ART OF FLOATING myself. Sure, I could have handed off this task to the editorial team at Penguin Random House | Berkley Books, but who knows the book better than me, right?

Anyway, while working on the reader’s guide yesterday, I realized that most reader’s guides included in novels read like those terrible, boring, kill-me-if-I-really-have-to-answer-this-question literature guides teachers used to pass out in high school English class. Ugh! As I read through example after example, I tore most of my hair out.

Books rock! They’re fun, funny, heartbreaking, scary-as-shit, chock-full of words, energy, crazy-ass characters, unusual plot lines, death, birth, love, sex, and all kinds of great stuff. Right?

So why in the world are the reader’s guides that accompany them so damn boring? Most sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher reading obituaries out loud.

Therefore, I am writing a new kind of reader’s guide for THE ART OF FLOATING…one that matches the voice, tone, and verve of the book. I want book groups and classes and individual readers to have an f’in blast hashing out the whys and wherefores of this story I spent nearly 5 years writing…whether or not they love the book (fingers crossed) or hate it (inevitable for a few).

Boo-yah!

No idea whether my editor will buy into my creation, but fingers crossed for that, too.

 

 

Confession: I am officially THAT writer…

Confession: I am officially THAT writer…a strung-out mom who is working a fulfilling but demanding full-time job who has a book coming out and who is trying like hell to get the next one written.

But you know what? I love it. I’m loving my new daytime gig (director of publications & editor of the alumni magazine at Phillips Academy); I love (LOVE!) that Penguin Random House|Berkley Books is publishing my new novel (THE ART OF FLOATING) in April 2014; and despite the fact that writing another new novel is like venturing into the jungle without shoes, water, a match, a map, or moisturizer, I’m loving that, too.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, my hair looks like hell most days because, honestly, spending an hour taming my crazy locks is the thing that gives. And, no, I don’t sleep a whole lot (thus, the sizable bags I’m dragging around under my eyes). But you know, I wouldn’t trade a piece of it.

Raise your hand if you can relate!

(besides, I take a wee bit of comfort in the fact that on most days, despite horrid neglect, my hair looks slightly better than that of this poor woman)

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