Friday, December 19, 2008


It's snowing.

It started about four hours ago, and it's going to keep snowing for a while. The last I heard, they were predicting 6-9 inches for around here.
I love snow, and I could use a snowday, so I'm not complaining. I meant to spend the day tidying my apartment, which really needs it, but it's 4 PM, and things remain messy. Maybe I'll tidy tomorrow.
The students and faculty in Romeoville, Illinois could not have been nicer. They showered me with presents, including a Moon Goddess mug, and a black and silver bead bracelet. Four of the silver beads have been inscribed: Love, Family, Believe, and Hope, four of the themes the students identified in Life As We Knew It.

My friends Christy and Renee, sensing that I could use some cheering up, sent me flowers on Wednesday. They look especially bright and springlike today.

And Harcourt sent me a very special present, a leather bound copy of Life As We Knew It.

This has been one of the most stressful weeks of my life, starting last Wednesday night, when my flight to Illinois was cancelled, through Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, when I arrived home from Illinois just before 2 AM.
A week ago I learned that my editor is leaving Harcourt, for a wonderful new job at a different publishing house. She suggested the possibility that I go with her, and write B3 for her new house.
I've loved working with her, and she's been an integral part of the success of both Life As We Knew It and the dead and the gone. I don't know who will replace her at Harcourt.
This was a very very tough decision for me to make. I feel great loyalty to my editor and also to Harcourt. It felt very strange to picture B3 published by a different house than the one that has done such a great job with LAWKI/d&g. But Harcourt has real financial problems, and it's a little disconcerting not to know what editor would be working with me.
I thought about shelving B3 altogether, or at least postponing it, and coming up with new books that my editor and her new house might be interested in. But then my agent informed me that Listening Library, the publisher of the LAWKI/d&g audio books, was already requesting the rights to record B3. They'd learned I was working on it last month, when they cohosted a dinner for me at NCTE, and I gleefully spoilered all about it.
I've wanted to write a sequel to LAWKI since before I finished writing it. I wanted to know what happened next. And I love the characters in d&g (which, by the way, is now in its second printing). I have the extraordinary opportunity to write a book that I know other people are already eager for, and have it published by a house that has treated me with great respect and caring.
So This World We Live In will live at Harcourt. I'm taking the next couple of weeks off. I could use a little decompression time, and I really do have to rethink the beginning of the book. I'll start writing again Monday, Jan. 5, a month later than I'd originally intended.
Who knows. Maybe by the time B3 is finished, the snow falling today will have finally melted!


Texas Pixie said...

Wow- your snow pictures are beautiful. I've only seen snow once in my life, when I was seven. Hope you're doing well.

Anonymous said...

I know you're slightly annoyed by my suggestions, but I've got just a tiny one today; maybe you could have Miranda receive a bracelet like the one you were given, as a sign to her to keep going. After all, you yourself DID say those were the themes of the story.

I'm sorry for the loss of your editor. I hope it'll continue to go well for you at Harcourt.

We got less than an inch of snow a couple of weeks back, but -- typical Louisiana -- it'd melted by afternoon.

Have a good holiday!

Anonymous Santa Fe

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Texas Pixie and Anonymous Santa Fe-

I'm always taken aback by how big this country is, with so many options for weather.

For those of you who really want to see snow, come on up. Apparently the eight or so inches we got on Friday wasn't enough; they're predicting another five to seven for today (and yum yum, maybe some sleet mixed in).

I intend to stay snowed in for today, and maybe even tomorrow, but by Tuesday the roads and I should have made a complete recovery. My brain is slowly coming back; this morning I started thinking about the beginning of B3 again.

Being snowed in definitely has its advantages!