Monday, October 1, 2007

Happy Birthday Dear LAWKI

Today is the first anniversary of the publication of Life As We Knew It.

When I wrote LAWKI, I hardly told anyone, not even my mother, that I was writing it. I was doing it completely on spec, and I had no idea if I'd even finish the book, so I kept it to myself. Eventually I sent it off to my agent and she sold the book to Harcourt. Only then did I let people know I'd written another book.

In December of 2005, surrounded by friends at an annual Chanukah party, I announced that I had a new book coming out. "It's nice," I remember saying, "but it's not going to change my life."

I've never been so happy to admit I was wrong. In so many ways, all wonderful, LAWKI has been a life changing experience. I don't want to say this has been the happiest year of my life, because on the whole I've had a very happy life, but Life As We Knew It has certainly been the best publishing experience of my life, thanks to all of you, the people who read LAWKI and told the world, and me, what you thought of it.

A few weeks ago, I tried to name the five best things that had happened since LAWKI was published, and I couldn't do it. As soon as I'd hit five I'd think of one thing or another. Finally I quit trying, and just smiled. Of course I've been smiling for the past twelve months. But if I had to select just one thing, it would be how happy my friends have been for me. For the past twelve months,they've been smiling too.

Next Tuesday I'll be going into New York City to have lunch with my editor and other staff members from Harcourt. I'll pick up my brand new pants suit from the tailor on Thursday and spend the weekend debating which blouse to wear with it. And I'll smile. Why not. I've been smiing for the past twelve months.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on this very special anniversary (This is Kerry from SC).
Enjoy it -- and keep smiling!

Paige Y. said...

And you have every reason to smile -- what a wonderful book! I am listening to it on CD right and discovering an entirely different (though equally wonderful) experience. I love books that make me think, and this one certainly does that. I cannot wait for the companion book -- is it coming out soon?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations-it's a great book, I can't wait for Dead and Gone!

Marci said...

Keep smiling! It's gonna get even better!


Librarina said...

Congratulations and happy anniversary! Too bad we still have to wait for the dead and the gone... I am *so* looking forward to reading it!
Chrissie Morrison
Tween & Teen Librarian
East Greenbush Community Library
East Greenbush, NY

KMV said...

So happy that you're so happy because your writing has made us so happy. :)

Lee said...

Congrat's Susan! Our copy is up to the letter "H", and who knows what'll happen when the paperback comes out.

Also thank you for joining the blog universe, so we can tell you congrats directly!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Wow! Letter H. I'd love to know what the print runs are (the things they never tell authors).

Here's the basic rundown of the dead & the gone schedule:

March 3- The Dead And The Gone UK publication date

April 22 or thereabouts (I'm doing this from memory)- the dead & the gone audiobook

June 1 or thereabouts- the dead & the gone US publication date

Thanks for all your posts. I always appreciate hearing from you!

Marci said...

Interesting! The British edition is going to be the true first! I want one!

Letter H is AWESOME! Ask your editor to find out and let you know how many copies have been printed. Inquiring minds want to know.

No wonder Harcourt is treating you to lunch. Most books don't get past first printing. Yours is not only a critical success, it is a bona fide financial success and for a publisher that is what counts.

For the rest of us, it is just that LAWKI is an imaginative and engrossing book that provides food for thought and one of the best adolescent characters in many years. Kudos!

Nancy said...

Congratulations on the anniversary for LAWKI!! I just finished listening to the Audiobook version read by Emily Bauer and was fascinated all over again, though I'd read the novel several months ago. It really stood up to a re-reading (or re-listening) as I found myself catching elements of the story that I'd missed the first time. I loved the fact that you developed so much background for Miranda's mom and Mrs. Nesbit and that you let Miranda's mom be a real person - flawed, with excellent judgement on some points, but blind to others.

After I finished LAWKI (the first time) I discovered a number of your other novels - as excellent in their own way as LAWKI - "The Year Without Michael", "About David" and "Starring Peter and Leigh".

Again, congratulations on your success. It's very well deserved!