Friday, April 19, 2013

Sometimes The Lines Simply Aren't Parallel

This has been a very difficult week for many people and places in America, the bombings in Boston, the explosion in West, Texas, the NRA's ownership of the United States Senate. Terrible things happen in the world all the time, but they don't hit us (or at least me) in the face the way these events have.

But as it happens, this was a really good week for me. A lot of nice things happened, and I've been reluctant to post about them for fear of seeming insensitive. But I'm off to San Antonio tomorrow, and when I get back, I'll probably be excited and exhausted and this week will seem like a long time ago.

So I'm going to tell you about the good things. I'll start with the personal stuff and then move to the professional stuff. If you're not in the mood for my good news, then wave goodbye and I'll see you next week, when I hope things will be calmer in the real world.

Okay. Personal good news.

Mostly it's my mother. Things are better with her. Things are never perfect with a 101 with dementia, but the situation which had my brother and Marci and me so concerned has definitely changed for the better.

Also, I saw my doctor for my official Now I'm An Old Person Visit (the sole purpose of which seemed to be to give me a pneumonia vaccine shot), and I talked to my doctor about my late lamented thyroid. She said it takes 6 months for the body to adapt to the loss thereof, and if my weight is still a concern to me, I can talk to Dr. Thyroid about changing dosages of medication. So I feel better about that (she also very sweetly claimed she couldn't see the weight gain on me).

On a sentimental note, today is the fourth anniversary of Scooter's adoption of me. Notice what four years of Scooterhood has done to my sofa.
Obviously, he has worked out his escape route.
Scooter is the most difficult, demanding, insecure, noisiest cat I've ever had. But as you all know, I'm crazy about him.
Onto the professional good news.
I had a great time with the Kirkus interview. The young man who interviewed me had read The Shade Of The Moon. I realized that except for my editor, he's the first person I've had contact with who had actually read it, and my editor has never told me what she likes about it, just offered suggestions about what I could do to make it better. In a few months, any number of people will have read it (and, I hope, like it) but it was genuinely exciting to talk to a person who had.
I'm having centering problems here. I think the best thing to do is ignore them and hope you do the same.
I got an email from my agent's assistant telling me we had an offer for the audiobook rights for The Shade Of The Moon. I was delighted to accept. Audible will be the publisher and I'm curious already about how Jon is going to sound.
It occurred to me this week to check out the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's catalog page about The Shade Of The Moon and I was delighted to see what their promotion is going to be. I don't know what a "survival kit" is, but I must have one.
And, there's going to be a display unit. My recollection is I tried to find one of those for This World We Live In and never did, but I love the fact the publisher thinks it's worth doing again.
Finally, I got one of the nicest presents I've ever had the privilege of receiving this week, a truly beautiful painting by a young reader, inspired by Life As We Knew It.

I placed it where I can look at it all the time from my reading chair in the den.

I'm sure you think this is enough good news for anybody, and you'd be right. Besides, I have packing to do and a morning flight to catch.

I'll let you know how things go in San Antonio next week. In the meantime, I hope all your news is as good as mine, although without a mistaken for a scratching post sofa!

ETA: My editor just sent me the very first review of The Shade Of The Moon, from Kirkus itself, and it's a very good one!

Four years ago, a meteor crashed into the moon, altering the Earth’s gravity; the world is an ever-bleaker place in this fourth of Pfeffer’s gripping series.

Seventeen-year-old Jon Evans, the younger brother of Miranda, protagonist in two of the earlier novels, lives with his stepmother and half brother in an enclave called Sexton. After countless natural disasters and proliferating disease, humanity is now plagued by rigidly cruel class stratification, in which a person is either a respected “claver” or a disdained “grub,” a system so ingrained that Jon struggles to understand whether or not he thinks it is right. Featuring a plot that delivers twist after twist, this is a vivid take on the man-as-monster theme common to the genre. While the individual relationships depicted at times stray into melodrama, there is a persistent undercurrent of dread running throughout due to the novel’s realistic portrayals of mob violence and bigotry. Short, dated excerpts from Jon’s third-person perspective lack the immediacy of the epistolary style employed in the installments narrated by Miranda, but they do a fine job of illustrating a young man in a moral quandary.

Action-packed and completely unpredictable, this latest will be widely anticipated by the series’ many fans. (Post-apocalyptic adventure. 14 & up)


Nina Ruit said...

Beautiful painting. Thanks for posting the good news, it's a welcome bit considering what's going on in Boston and Texas.

Thanks also for the Kirkus review! I hope that the audio is out around the same time as the book. I am now going through the series audios once again to prep myself for the next one!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good evening Nina Ruit-

I'm very pleased with that Kirkus review. I can never argue when I'm accused of melodrama, since I'm fully aware of my tendency.

And the painting really is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Stunning painting.

Have a lovely, safe trip. Good to hear good mother news, too.

It's important to keep balance. W.S.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Thank you W.S.

Balance isn't my strong suit, but I'd rather have an excess of good news every now and again!

Emily said...

Every time I see you post I get so hecka excited about the next book! Fun to read the review!

And as far as your appt being an "old person appt" due to the pneumonia shot, I'm 33 and I've had 3 of them so far! Old age is all relative!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good late evening, Emily-

I'm starting to get excited about Shade coming out also. I check the countdown calendar every now and again.

Somewhere there's a joke about all relatives with old age, but I'm too sleepy to work it out!

Nora Durbin said...

It was nice to read some good news with all that is going on.

This post made me realize that I've been reading your blog for more than four years because I was reading pre-Scooter. Happy Scooter Anniversary!

Danielle said...

Ms Pfeffer,
My name is Danielle and I'm 14. I've never visited your blog before and I must say I enjoyed myself very much. Your posts are interesting and witty and I think I just used about an hour of my day scrolling through your blog posts.
Anyway, I simply love your books and style of writing and am eagerly awaiting the release of The Shade of The Moon.
You seem like a very lovely kindred women. Thank You

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good afternoon Nora Durbin and Danielle-

It's getting harder and harder for me to remember a pre-Scooter time in my life, although when he wakes me up at 6 AM, I do fantasize about it.

And thank you Danielle for your kind words. I love my blog, and it always makes me happy to hear that people enjoy reading it.