News from Heidi
Here you can find news about the book, festival, and what's happening with Heidi.
The day after I wrote this passage:
And I am getting better at covering up the middle parts. When Anthony Miller kicks the back of my chair in class, I focus on the bump bump bump until he stops. I can focus on the bump bump bump and not say anything. I hear the smile on his face as he bumps my chair. Is he counting the number of times he can bump before I tell on him? I don’t tell on him. And when Antoine mocks me in a baby voice when I answer the questions right, I don’t have to cry anymore or be so tender. When something starts to feel like hurt, I put it in this imaginary bottle inside me. It’s blue glass with a cork stopper. My stomach tightens and my eyeballs get hot. I put all of that inside the bottle.
I found this bottle in a Venice, CA thrift store. Freaky, right?
When they recorded the audio version of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky a couple of weeks ago, they needed help with the pronunciation of the Danish words. I brought in the best resource I could find: my mom! She called in and was recorded saying a list of some three dozen words that the actors could use as a guide. Tak Mor!
Reading over the book recently, I was struck by how often I write about photos or paintings. Many of the images I write about are real photos or paintings. I was fascinated by this photo of my Aunt, who I think was part of the Rose Festival court, and John F. Kennedy--it gets a brief mention in the book. Here's the actual photo. My aunt is on the far right. Oh, and that's JFK on the left!
When I read through the second pages (the second to last draft of the manuscript before it goes to print), I was so excited to see that yes, it was indeed a book. All the words were in the right order and made a story. Maybe even one that people liked. But, I also realized there were some passages that I loved that didn't make the final cut. Should I post some of those "lost passages" here?
The downtown bookstore mentioned in The Girl Who Fell From the Sky is Powell's Books even though it's not mentioned by name. That was one of my favorite places in the entire world when I was in high school. I'd walk in with $20.00 I had saved up and see how many books I could buy. Sometimes I'd walk away with more than 10. I loved that place. I still do.
The Wonder Bread Factory store mentioned in the novel is a real place -- the factory itself is still turning out Wonder Bread in the heart of Northeast Portland. Sometimes the whole neighborhood would smell of baking bread. Just thinking about it takes me back. How about if we all meet up there when I'm in town and grab some Ding Dongs and Twinkies?
Does this count as a fact?: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky is due at the publisher on Dec. 28. I'm hoping to have a copy in my hands shortly after Christmas.
Okay, so this isn't really a fact. But it is pretty cool. Here's part of the new online ad campaign my publisher's rolling out for the book targeting booksellers and librarians. Pretty sporty, huh?
And just a note: only click the ad to request a review copy if you're a bookseller. librarian, book reviewer, or book blogger--that's who they're targeting for this promotion.
The audio book rights to The Girl Who Fell From the Sky were bought by HighBridge Audio. Today, they finished off the recording with a cast of at least 4 readers I think. The audio book will be released simultaneously with the hardcover book on CD and as an mp3 download. (I won't be doing a separate countdown for that -- I probably won't even get a chance to hear it before it hits the stores!) I'm happy to report that the audio book was produced and directed by award-winning producer/director Paul Ruben, whose credits include the audio book productions of Philip Roth's The Human Stain (ready by Debra Winger and Arliss Howard), Terry McMillan's How Stella Got Her Groove Back (ready by McMillan) and many many more. I'm thinking:
I submitted a couple of chapters of the manuscript as stories to the Reynolds Price Short Fiction Award. One chapter was a finalist in the 2004 contest; and the other placed as a finalist in 2006. If you want to apply for 2010, hurry. The deadline is February 1, 2010. More information here.