Fact for first-time authors: if you think your work is complete when you turn in a final round of manuscript edits—think again! We Were the Lucky Ones is officially off to print and somehow the last six weeks have been a whirlwind of book-related events and assignments.
The fun began in early October, when Viking organized a media lunch in my honor, inviting literary editors from places like The New York Times Book Review, Publisher’s Weekly, Glamour, Vogue, O, Family Circle, Redbook, and the Jewish Book Council to a private event at the Gramercy Tavern.
“Just be yourself,” my publicist Shannon said, after walking me through the agenda, which essentially involved me talking about my book and the research it’s entailed. For two straight hours. “Of course,” I said, feigning confidence. On the day of the lunch, however, my stomach was doing somersaults. I couldn’t believe so many people would take time out of their afternoons to sit and listen to me talk, and I wondered whether I could possibly hold the attention of all eighteen people in the room for one hour, let alone two.
Luckily, my jitters dissipated as guests began to arrive, and I was reminded by their eager handshakes that they hadn’t been forced to come, that they wanted to be there. As we took our seats, the introductory remarks I’d prepared morphed quickly into fluid conversation. I was asked scores of thought-provoking questions, and the awkward lull I’d dreaded never materialized—instead, everyone at the table seemed genuinely engaged. I left Gramercy Tavern on an adrenaline high, feeling lucky to have had the chance to chat with such an incredible group of people (in such a gorgeous setting!), and immensely grateful to the team at Viking for all that went into planning the event.
Next, I turned my attention to a final round of manuscript revisions, this time for the U.K. edition of my book, which will launch in February with London-based publishing house, Allison & Busby. My experience working with the A&B team has been lovely, and I’m thrilled to give you all a sneak peek at the cover that will hit the shelves of U.K. bookstores this winter!
On the subject of foreign rights, We Were the Lucky Ones, believe it or not, is also in the process of being translated and published for readers in Poland, Italy, Holland, and Romania, of all places. A giant thanks to my overseas publishers, and to the folks at the Jenny Meyer Literary Agency, for finding homes for my family’s story abroad.
Meanwhile, here in the States, Viking has been hard at work promoting both me and my story. I’ve just wrapped an interview with Publisher’s Weekly, I’ve sent off a personal essay for publication, and I’m polishing a talk that I’ll give in December at Penguin Random House’s annual Open Book Event, where I’ll have the chance to present (along with four other authors) to a group of librarians from the tri-state area. Details to come on all of the above and on other upcoming launch events!
Finally, I’m excited to report that We Were the Lucky Ones been selected as an Ingram Premier Pick for November (which means Ingram, the world’s largest book and media distributor, will recommend it to 200 libraries across the country). And, perhaps the most rewarding news of all: I’ve received my first official review! You can read it here. Big, big thanks to Courtney Naliboff of ReformJudasim.org, for taking the time to read and review my book, and to everyone at Ingram and Viking for the Premier Pick honor.
Soooo as you can see it’s all happening—and it’s all I can do right now to keep up. No complaining here, though. I just need to remind myself every now and then to take a breath, sit back, and enjoy the ride.