Friday, March 27, 2009
Almost famous...that's me!
I got a very special ARC in the mail today. It was Lisa See's Shanghai Girls. I've been dying to get my hands on this one because I heard there was something special in the book that pertained to me - my name. Not just the same name as mine but my name.
I've only been blogging since last fall but I've done online book clubs for about three years. Last year I was participating in one of the clubs at Barnes & Noble that included the author. A moderator leads the club on a message board and sets up different topics in different threads. You can participate as much or as little as you want and the author joins when they can. Most are there often but some are there as much as possible. I'm still in awe of any contact with an author/celebrity in my book (get it?) but I find it so amazing to be able to chat for a whole month and discuss their newest book. They usually discuss their other books, their career, their personal life and whatever else they feel like chatting about too. Some favorites that come to mind have been Garth Stein and his book The Art of Racing In The Rain (he was amazing and even his wife joined in almost every day!), Annie Barrows and the book that her aunt wrote The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (so friendly and chatty), Dorothea Benton Frank and her book The Land of Mango Sunsets (she was instantly one of the girls and couldn't have been nicer) and the list goes on and on.
Last year one of the clubs was Peony In Love by Lisa See. I hadn't had a chance to read her first book but I had heard such good things that I was really looking forward to this one. It was a very small group of only about a dozen people but there was great conversation. We also had more one-on-one time with Lisa. I wasn't familiar with very much Chinese history so it made such a difference for me to have her there to explain everything. She is very knowledgeable because this is part of her heritage and she explains it well. I learned so much from her and really enjoyed the chats among all of the club members. Apparently Lisa enjoyed chatting with us too because, 1) she said so, and 2) she said the discussions had given her some ideas that she wanted to include in the next book she was working on called Shanghai Girls. (Are you seeing where I'm going with this yet?) I thought that was amazing enough but then she said that she would mention us in the acknowledgments too! Now I ask you, how very cool is that? She asked us for our real names and told us when it was expected to be released. I made a mental note that I filed away and then kind of forgot about (there's only so much room up there and then stuff starts to fall out). But when I heard that the ARCs would be coming out soon of course I remembered, and someone kind of reminded me too.
So a few weeks ago one of the other girls in the club received her copy and sent an email telling others. Yay! Mine should be coming any time too! I asked her if it really had names in it and she said yes. A few weeks went by and I still didn't get one. I asked the other girl again about receiving hers and just to be sure, were our names really in there? It wasn't our user names or the club as a whole unit? She said YES, they really were our names in there. OK, I believed her. Kind of. I really did, it was just that this was a real, live, famous author we were talking about. Now maybe you people get your names in books every day but I most certainly do not.
Today, it arrived. That handsome man in brown, whatshisname, left it laying on my porch. Of course I didn't know that was the book at the time but when I opened the envelope I swear it glowed. It was beautiful! Like a good little reader I sat right down and started reading every page in order until I found the acknowledgments - NOT! I tore through that baby looking for my section. Of course it was in the very back but it didn't take me that long to figure out. As I turned through all five pages, yes five, of the acknowledgments I found it (glowing again) my name!! Not a user name, not the club name but my name. Sorry to sound like I'm tooting my own horn here but... TOOT, TOOT!
So if you ever get your hands on a copy of Shanghai Girls by Lisa See you can turn to page 314 in the ARC and the first line of the second paragraph has seven names from a B&N book club. I am the seventh name (damn alphabetical order!) - Debbie Wright. It 's right there in black and white, with just a little bit of glow.
Thank you Lisa! You made this fan very, very happy in more ways than one. Best wishes.
For autographed copies please send inquiries to my manager AKA my mommy.
*snicker* I just had to say that.