Authors should marry well

I’m working up in my office today (it’s the third floor loft) because it is warm enough to step away from the fireplace today. My husband just brought me a carafe of tea and a hot pad to put under my feet because while it is warmer, it is still a wee bit chilly (feels like 10 degrees outside). Note to future authors: choose your mates with care. The life companion of an author must have the following:

1. The patience of all the saints, combined.
2. A fondness for inexpensive clothes and peanut butter sandwiches.
3. A wicked good sense of humor.
4. The ability to not be put off when you talk to your characters in your sleep, or when your eyes glaze over during conversation and he/she realizes that you are in your story, and not really listening.
5. A gracious acceptance of the fact that state and national library conventions count as family vacations.
6. The ability to stand at the Staples photocopier for hours and remain cheerful.
7. The courage to return your overdue library books and pay the fines.
8. The willingness to go back to the library and pick up the dozen books you just ordered.
9. The skill to spin the straw of all critical reviews into gold.
10. The sense of when to cheer, when to nudge, and when to brew tea.

I am a very lucky author. Thanks, BH.

I found an amazing mistake in a history book this morning, and lost a half-hour verifying it. But now I know I’m right about the date of a particular invasion and I’m feeling a little smug. (And I have warm toes! And hot tea!) Am anxiously awaiting the news from Seattle about the Big Awards this morning. Good luck to all!!

Yesterday: writing. Today: more of the same.

edited to add: Here are the ALA winners – hearty congratulations to all!

16 Replies to “Authors should marry well”

  1. “Authors should marry well.” Hahahhahaha! That’s what I always say to would-be writers. But I tell them to be sure their spouses have jobs that make money. 😉

  2. It’s always fun to correct “authorities,” if you’re right. I once got to correct my high school history professor, who thought King John was the son and not the brother of Richard the Lionheart. What was the amazing mistake you found?

    1. In Gotham; A History of New York City to 1898 (by Edwin Burrows & Mike Wallace), p. 240, it states that the British made their big push against New York (starting with the invasion of Kip’s Bay) on October 15th, 1776.

      The correct date is September 15th, 1776.

      Small in the grand scheme of things. Enormous to an author trying to set the lives of her characters in and amongst these events!

  3. i’d just like to point out that between this post and your recent post with the picture of “author-in-cool-chair-by-fire”, you’ve officially blown forever any sympathy i may have had for you. ever.

      1. that’s it. laugh. you sit up there in your cool spiral chair surrounded by stone and wood and light and you laugh. laugh. i’m just going to…you know…lick some drywall or something.

        1. Yes, but I am old, Grasshopper. I paid my dues of crap jobs and crazy bosses and Ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and writing in closets (literally!) and basements and in the car and on the soccer field. And hundreds of rejections. And lots of tears.

          Your turn is coming. Keep walking the path.

          1. grumble grumble…

            actually, for real, your house looks amazing, and amy concurred that it is, in fact, over-the-top beautiful. any chance of you having any pictures of it that i could see sometime? i don’t think stef has any.

  4. The Book Thief

    I’m so glad to see that Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief was named a Printz Honor book! LOVED it… one of my favorite books of the past year, in fact. I find it interesting that it was marketed as a YA book here in the States, but back in Zusak’s native Australia, it was regarded as his first “adult” novel.

    Have you had a chance to read it? And if so, any thoughts?

  5. thank you so much for posting about the ala winners! i wouldn’t have known about it for a couple days until i go back to work at B&N. I am very happy about “Flotsam” by David Wiesner. We been showcasing that book for awhile. Consequently, I haven’t heard about the newberry one, but I’ll definitely have to read it.

  6. I will have to show my Husband this list, ahaha.

    And thanks for posting the link! Ever since I was little I liked to stay on top of those big awards (I also wanted to win some of them, heh).

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