There’s a moment that’s hard to describe, when you receive an email with a subject line that includes your name, the title of your next book and the words “Booklist Review.”
For my third novel, Sweet as Cane, Salty as Tears — which is being released next week — the thought process was a three-step one that went something like this.
1. “Hmmmmm. Booklist Review.”
2. “Sweet! Someone reviewed the thing!”
3. “Oh shit. Someone reviewed the thing.”
And then my finger just hung there over the phone. Do I open it? I’m at work. What if it’s bad? What if it shatters my fragile writer’s ego? Equally bad, what if it sends me into a panic the entire three weeks leading up to release?
We’re coming up on the one-year mark since the release of my very first book, The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival. And i just want to take a moment to thank every single person out there who read it, bought it, borrowed it, used it in book clubs, talked about it, and gave it to others as gifts (hey, there’s still time for that!). Thanks too for the help on Twitter and Facebook, for taking photos of my baby in places like California and Ohio and Georgia and the Carolinas and Brooklyn and Ireland and even Manhattan.
Way back in my freshman year in college, I was so stupid I didn’t realize how stupid I was. And to be honest, so were my friends. But we all were. We were, 17, 18, 19 and didn’t know any better. And that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Startling insight, I know. How did I ever come up with that? And why am I boring you with it now.
One thing writers like to do is cast the movie version of their own books. It’s especially fun when you have absolutely no sign of a movie deal on the horizon. At any rate, people have asked me before who I’d see playing various people in The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival. And I’ve typically been stumped with the part of Father Steve.
Vicky, I always sort of saw as Jennifer Aniston. Don’t judge me.
But Father Steve? George Clooney’s too old and John Krasinski was too tall (and goofy) for my liking. Then, yesterday, while walking up Third Avenue, I saw a movie poster and Paul Rudd’s face was on it.
It’s totally him. I think. Someone make that happen.
Anyone else who read the book, who’d you cast in the various parts?
Miss Rita’s tough as well. Only person I can kinda come up with is Alfree Woodard. Someone who can play older and pull of comedy as well as gravitas. Problem is I picture Miss Rita as pretty skinny. (One Facebook, someone suggested Wanda Sykes, which I kind of dig. You know how comedians like that crossover dramatic roles)
Brother Paul. Hmmm. Robert Duvall. But he’s getting up in age. Maybe John Goodman?
A little joy in your morning. The Huxtables lip-synching Ray Charles’ “The Night Time (Is The Right Time).” This is like getting your chocolate in my peanut butter in someone else’s cocaine. It’s that awesome.
I was listening to Ray Charles on the way into work this morning and as I thought about what this bit of entertainment — one snippet from The Cosby Show — meant to me, I became certain I’d written about it before. And I had. After a similar commute on Jan. 7, 2005, I wrote something for The Subway Chronicles, created by my friend Jacquelin Cangro, who now blogs here. (You’ll have to scroll down as there were no permalinks on the site.)
What I wrote then — I don’t know if I’d be capable of writing it the same way today.
The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival starts shipping in eight (8) days and the nation is just bursting with excitement about it. OK, so maybe a handful of people are bursting with excitement and everyone else is just bursting from too much holiday food and the mental strain of the New Orleans Saints making the playoffs.