Just after I found this quote, a friend sent me this little guy.
You're definitely gonna think this is weird, but this pig made me cry. Yep, seriously, I cried over a pig. Before you think I'm completely crazy, I'll explain my reaction in a nutshell.
1. I had been trying to write novels for teenagers for a number of years.
2. I had succeeded at writing the novels, but failed miserably at getting them published.
3. My mother died. I was 40. She was 64. I cried over everything.
4. I took the discovery of this Steinbeck quote and the arrival of said pig (almost simultaneously) as a hopeful sign. Maybe it wasn't the time to give in to sadness and grief. Instead, perhaps I should, as Dory from Nemo says, "Just keep swimming." Or, in my case, writing.
Not too long after the winged pig's arrival, I got not one book contract, but TWO. Yes, T-W-O. I
half-expected to look out my window and see flying pigs all over the place. And then I got another book contract and still another. Before you go thinking I'm all la-ti-da, miss published author, please, please stop. I am not la-ti-da. Most published authors aren't la-ti-da. Most of us are scared little pigs shouting wee-wee-wee all the way home, trust me.
This was my first baby, a series novel. It's called When Irish Guys Are Smiling.
I love this book for a number of reasons. For starters, it takes place in Ireland. Secondly, it's about a girl who has just lost her mother. Rather than stay home in Nashville during the season of debutantes (and lots of mother-daughter activities), Delk escapes to Ireland for a semester of study. It's part of a larger series called Students Across the Seven Seas. Each book takes place in a different location.
Baby number two, Artichoke's Heart, was released just a few months later.
What's not to love about a book with chocolate on the front? Oh, how I love this cover! Rosemary Goode, my protagonist, works in her mother's Tennessee beauty shop. Unfortunately for Rosie, she is surrounded by mirrors and not at all happy with her reflection.
Two years later Somebody Everybody Listens To arrived, and Dolly Parton blurbed it. Oh, the pigs were really flying high then, let me tell you. Dolly is one of my personal heroes for a number of reasons.
A year later when the paperback was released, my publisher gave Somebody a cute new cover!
Dolly said, "Reading about Retta Lee Jones's journey to Nashville was a lot like reading my own diary, except she had prettier boots. It's a story about dreams and determination that reminds us all to squeeze the most out of every single day." Yes, Dolly said that! I still get a thrill every time I think about it.
And here they are—my little pigs with wings…
When I started this blog, I swore I was gonna keep it separate from my book stuff. Books are fun and all, but they are work sometimes. I wanted this blog to be FFO, for fun only. I guess I'm posting about this because it's who I am. And if you blogger buddies are reading about my rugs and curtains and pigs, you might as well know about my books, too.