Two bits of news:
The Fiction Class is coming out in a large print version and the cover is completely different than either the U.S. or UK version, as you can see below.
Also, The Fiction Class was chosen as a selection for Reading Group Choices 2009 (www.readinggroupchoices.com) This is an annual anthology geared to book clubs, and so it’s a wonderful boost to my book.
TFC has now been out in print for nine months, which is about 3,000 years in publishing terms. One of the major things I’ve learned as a new author is how little time you have to make an impact. Basically four months. And by that point, you’re either selling or you’re not. So it’s a great relief to me that I’m still selling and that TFC seems to have some traction. In fact, one of the things I like the most is seeing the way my book is seeping through the country. I love getting e mails from all over the place, and I get a kick out of the fact that so many are from small towns in the South.
When I was writing short stories, almost every magazine that published me was from the South—Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, and so on. And what struck me as odd at the time was that I was connecting with southerners and yet I could not be more of a New Yorker—born and raised in Queens, studied in Rochester and Manhattan, live in Westchester. And I think I conform to just about every stereotype I have about New Yorkers, so it is intriguing to me that my writing connects with people who I imagine as being so different. Maybe it’s my religious background? Maybe it’s the topics I write about? Maybe it’s a statistical fluke? I don’t know, but I treasure that connection because I think writing should about building bridges.
How about you? What surprises have you had as a writer?