News from Heidi
Here you can find news about the book, festival, and what's happening with Heidi.
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.
The diary entries in the book were the hardest to write. I studied my own journals as well as published writers' diaries to figure out what the rhythm should be to make the words seem like they had just been dashed off --and weren't carefully phrased and crafted.
It was easy to avoid working on the manuscript--I felt so often stuck--so the Poets & Writers magazine calendar of contest and submission deadlines became my task master. The first deadline I met was a September 2003 deadline for the Bronx Writers' Center Chapter One Contest. Of course, the deadline came in the middle of a week I was working away from home for the NBA. But I kept focused. I did a final re-write on the way to the site -- and once I arrived I printed out the chapter in the hotel business center at an ungodly price. But it was well worth it! I won!
After the trauma of almost losing the manuscript, I used to email it to myself every day at two different email addresses. That meant my mailbox got really big. So big, in fact, that my Outlook just crashed the other day with little hope of recovery. This is a sad fact rather than a fun one. :(
I almost lost the manuscript while I was working on a major revision a couple of years back when my laptop crashed to the ground and died. Luckily after several days of working at it, Bharthi Hornat was able to recover the manuscript file as well as most of the other files on my computer. Now I have an external hard drive to save back-up files and use an on-line back-up service! I learned the lesson well.
On Thanksgiving Day one year ago, I had about a week to go before the final manuscript was due to the publisher. I was panicking! I had a terrible cold that not even the Viking Warrior treatment could cure (the treatment is my cousin Laila's invention, but I named it). And here is what I was writing in my Moleskine journal: "It's weird to have created these characters who--who need to be real people . . . but I guess I would say that I feel a sense of hope because I read-I read the manuscript and it really is a book. There are threads I need to put together but I feel more certain that I can get it done. What if I have--what if I have written a story that other people can enjoy too?"
The character's name "Brick" is lovingly inspired by my friend's son, Brick, who was born the same week I came up with the character. (Also, this little cutester was just named "Student of the Month.")