Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I went with the hot pink photo
in honor of Laura & Lisa's
Liar Society
Yeah, yeah, you were hoping I said undies (I do suppose I heart undies too...).

Speaking of indies with an I, the fabulous Lisa and Laura Roecker (authors of The Liar Society) have declared May 31st I <3 Indies Bookstore Day, and have asked those of us willing to give a quick blog shout out to our favorites.

I have a few. So, here goes:

First and foremost, there's the wonderful Book Revue, in Huntington, NY, a landmark of sorts in Huntington Village. The best of the best have been there, from Alice Hoffman to Elmore Leonard, from Bill Clinton, to -- ahem -- me. That's right, Book Revue was kind enough to host my Pull of Gravity launch party and you'd better believe I love them for it. 
Signing books, assisted by the lovely Anne Davidson of
Book Revue
Of course, there are a few other Indies I love and would be remiss if I didn't give them a shout out today, too.

The Strand Bookstore. The Strand is a definite NYC landmark on 12th Street and Broadway.

In my twenties, I lived in NYC and was probably inside the Strand at least twice a week.

The Strand is books. Walking in, you feel as though you've entered the belly of a book. It just smells, breathes, lives books.

Me, in the Strand Bookstore on 5/10/11
in front of the shelf bearing TPoG

As it is still primarily known for its used books, I was actually shocked and honored when they ordered TEN copies of The Pull of Gravity in, and, indeed, I chose the Strand as the place to spend the quiet

Stack of signed copies now residing in
the Strand.

morning of my actual book launch day signing a few copies and marvelling that I had, somehow, made it in there. . .

Books of Wonder. BOW was one of two magical Indies that hosted The Class of 2K11 in and about NYC
last week.

Books of Wonder is really just that: a bookstore
of wonder.

If you take a trip inside you'll see why. It is a beautiful, beautiful bookstore. There, we read to a packed house (they even ran out of chairs!).

My dear friend, Amy Fellner Dominy
author of OyMG, in front of the fabulous
display welcoming us on 5/25
The place is enchanting and I hear they have cupcakes to die for in the connected Cupcake Cafe. BOW is often voted the Best Bookstore in NYC, and, trust me on this, there's a very good reason why.

The Voracious Reader.

And, last but not least, if you happen up to Larchmont, you must stop in and meet the lovely Francine (and Rose!) of The Voracious Reader there.

Her bookstore is a beautiful, cozy haven for children, teens and grown-ups alike! And, soon it will include the addition of a tea shop.

Class of 2K11 books on display at Voracious Reader

From l -r: Alissa Gross, Amy Holder, me, Geoff Herbach and Angie Smibert
after our readings at Voracious Reader.
Tell me Herbach wouldn't look just spiffy in an apron
serving tea. :)
(Without permission) I have already promised her the assistance of Geoff Herbach (Stupid Fast) in an apron, because what better way to be served tea? 

And there you have it. A few of my favorite indies. I'd love you to share a few of yours!

- gae

Monday, May 23, 2011

Writing, Swimming and trying to regain FOCUS.

I've spent the last two months pulled by [The Pull of] Gravity - blogging, marketing, and the past week and future week launching and "appearing."

It's been good and busy and exhilarating and exhausting, but I really (really, really) need to refocus.

I need to get back to regular swimming - my pool heater is broken and, given the less-than-springlike temps in NY, the water remains at 66 degrees. Doesn't matter, seems I like it this way now anyway.

And I need to get back to regular writing: am mid-revision on Frankie Sky, and will ultimately need to do an overhaul on my other two YA manuscripts: Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me and In Sight of Stars. But really, I am anxious to get back to my women's fiction too. Swim Back to Me needs a new title (*sigh* Ann Packer took mine) and a bit of a tweaking to add some hook to the beginning.

And of course, there are the kids in there - and the crazy end of the school year, and spring sports and planning for summer. And the start of the Open Water Swim season. And I am behind in it all.

So, I need focus. I need focus really bad. Gonna go in search of it where I always do: in the quiet, cool bliss of underwater.

- gae

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Some Rambling and Random Thoughts on a Big Deal

This is me standing in front of an already shelved copy
of THE PULL OF GRAVITY at the Strand Bookstore, NYC. 

So, after nearly 12 years of trying, and nearly 18 mos. of post-success waiting, my book came out yesterday.

Cool? Yes.

Surreal? Yes.

A big deal? Sure.

Nothing in the scheme of things? Yeah, that too. (at least in the zen, drop in the ocean sort of sense. . . ).

So, how to celebrate something that's everything and nothing? I knew it was important for me to get away from the computer yesterday (and the sort of incessant "checking on things" a computer allows us to do). I wanted to try to do something to make the day stick -- to have it be something more than anticlimactic if I could.

Believe me, you, when you gear up for something for 12 years and 18 months respectively, it's hard to really make it climax. Er. But, ask any debut author and they will tell you the same thing.

Lucky for me, my extraordinary editor, the lovely Frances Foster, invited me to lunch at the Union Square Cafe. I already had an enviable plan. :)

Given that lunch was at 12:30 and I love to train in on the 8:55 am with my dear friend Selbern who is the editor who cleaned up my TPoG book trailer and made it emmy-worthy quality (yes, Selbern has 3 emmys in his house, so, um, yeah -- I'd show you a photo, but he'd get mad), I had some time to kill first in the city.

I made plans to meet two dear friends, Lori and Donna (and a dear tag-a-long -- thank you, Ellen!) at the Strand Bookstore on 12th Street first, in order to take a photo with the book there on the Strand shelves. This is what good friends do: they schlepp across, or into, the city to buy your book they've already bought, so they can buy a copy in front of you, and climb ladders to get a shot with you and the book. (see photo above).

Bear in mind, the Strand was a hallowed place for me -- I practically lived there in my twenties, when I still lived and worked in NYC, didn't have kids or a real career yet, and still had time to read 2 -3 books a week. I'm sure I bought most the used classics there when I went through my read-the-classics phase (I should go through a phase like that again!).

When I got there, only one copy of TPoG had been shelved; the rest were still boxed in receiving. Lucky for me, the Strand is full of awesomesaucey people, like the cute dude with long hair whose name sadly escapes me, and the manager, Laura, both of whom were so very kind to me, told me they'd get them out pronto, and that I should return after lunch to sign all ten copies, and that they'd then display the books on the "Bestseller" table in the YA section. I didn't see a Bestseller table, so maybe they meant the New Arrivals table which would be totally cool with me!  

Lunch with Frances was delightful. Despite a large menu with a variety of delicious offerings, we both ordered the same thing without pre-planning, which made me wonder if the same thing that made us both desire the "spring greens ravioli" made her connect with the early manuscript of The Pull of Gravity.

After the main course, we shared some deliciously-decadent, chocolately-caramelly thing, in celebration of TPoG's release.

I sat in a teeny tiny chair at a teeny tiny table and signed copies. Surreal.
After lunch, Laura at the Strand had made good on her promise, and the copies of TPoG were waiting for me. I sat at a kiddy table in the children's section and signed copies, all the while trying to get it to settle in my brain that I had a book out; that I was signing copies where it would be sold to people from the Strand; that people would read it, and maybe a few people would truly love it, and they would remember it for years and years.

Instead, all I kept thinking was, there are a gazillion books in here. Gazillions of people have done this before. How can it be so hard?

On the train home, I was tired from weeks of marketing, and interviews, and (UGH) photographers, and a general sense of trying hard to get the name of my book out there. Upon return home, my facebook page was flooded with well-wishes, one of the things that has made this journey so extraordinary.

Throughout the evening, people kept asking, was it a good day? Was it a good day? Was it everything you hoped?

And, it was a good day. A lovely day. But, you know, somehow still anticlimactic. I think partly because there's just no way to internalize what it is.

But you know what? This morning, I woke up smiling. The photos from the Strand fill me with joy. I love my friends dearly. And, I will always remember that lunch with Frances.

from a Yoda quote in the book. .  .
Oh, and, if you're in NYC, and you walk into the landmark Strand Bookstore on 12th Street and Broadway in NYC, you can pick up a copy of The Pull of Gravity.

Signed in indelible ink by me.

Anticlimactic? Maybe.

Big deal? Who knows.

But very, very cool.

xo gae

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Fine Line Between Promo and Puking. . .

and I may, or may not be, straddling it well.

I'm not one to be completely selfless (don't get me wrong), but I'm not one to walk around tooting my own horn either. I'm more one of those people who thinks I shine more if I stand next to someone great and reflect off (and on!) their great qualities.

And, honestly, I get really sick of people who do nothing but toot their own horns. To me, there's little worse.

Take One
So, I'm having a hard time figuring out how to be proud and excited

of my little book accomplishment here,

and, moreso, to do this endless promotion thing that I'm supposed to do,

without making myself (or you) puke.

It's definitely that old conundrum:

Enough about me, let's talk about me.  

Times infinity.

I mean, the truth is, it's been a long, long road to get here. And, I'm excited. And I've worked hard. But the bigger truth is, if I ever want another book deal again, I have to. I have to get the word out there.

It's a dog-eat-dog bookworld out there these days, with everyone scrambling to figure out how to stay in the game when the game has sprouted octopus legs jiggling and waggling everywhere.

So, I'm leaving you a barf bag, and I'm taking one myself.

Let me know if you need another.

Otherwise, I'm hoping you'll hang on for the flight.

- gae