When was the last time you took a journey? A drive across country or a trip to Europe? Journeys can be measured in miles, but also in changes; a new job, adding to your family, or entering retirement after a long career. I am embarking on such a journey with the May 15, 2014 publication of my novel, A Southern Girl.
Like every trip into the unknown, there are the butterflies of anticipation, anxieties about what could go wrong, and the knowledge that you are leaving the safe for the risky, the centered ground for the edge. I welcome those feelings, and in important ways have been pointing toward them for much of my adult life.
As with most writers, I want readers to like and appreciate my work. But unlike many who prefer their studios to a crowded room, or an afternoon in isolation to a throng of bookstore patrons, I enjoy the social aspects of publishing. I like people, and I like learning from them. The single most import element of any fiction, mine or another’s, is human nature and its endless variety and fascinations. In the coming months, I will give talks, shake lots of hands, engage interviewers and, hopefully, sign stacks of books.
I begin this journey in high spirits and with tempered confidence. I believe I have produced a good book that readers will enjoy. The team around me is talented and committed. The publisher, University of South Carolina Press (Story River Books), has supported me in all the vital areas. I anticipate a warm welcome from bookstores everywhere the tour takes us. All the elements are in place for a joyful, fun and satisfying journey. Consider this your invitation to join us. We want you there, we need you, and you’ll be glad you did.