Ohhhh yeah…I made my co-author weep last week. That’s a pretty damn good feeling, to write a piece in such a way that evokes tears from someone who already knows the story. That was the culmination of a productive week in which I actually got to write two profiles for the same chapter. That hadn’t happened before, since we’ve been doing interviews out of order, but it was a pleasure to be able to do two in a row on the same topic.
We’re down to our last three interviews, and the final one is scheduled to happen on Saturday. I’ve already finished the questions for all three, so that’s cool that we’re winding that part down. Writing stories from the interviews is a privilege, and I’m tremendously honored that people have entrusted us/me with that privilege. I try to do justice to the stories people have so generously shared with us, and I hope and pray that what I put together makes each person pleased and proud. I listen to the interviews (and read back the transcripts) with an open heart, and I try to use discretion and warmth in crafting the profiles. These people are truly our personal heroes, and it’s been an amazing experience to have them speak with such candor, and at times, vulnerability. I wish I could figure out a way to do this for a long time!
On the business front, we’ve had a rather interesting week. You may remember that we are committed to donating 50% of the royalties to breast cancer research, but you’d be shocked to find out how many of the obvious charitable organizations don’t want our money if we can’t commit to them receiving at least $50,000 – and one organization actually wants a $100,ooo commitment! Our book editor has experience with mentioning charitable recipients on a book flap, and contrary to what these pompous organizations think, she says it actually does diddlysquat to sell books. We’re sure as hell not looking to use an organization’s name to sell books – believe me, you need to write a New York Times bestseller to make money as an author; we honestly just want to do some good! But a lot of the big players have these inflexible, bureaucratic policies. So screw ‘em. One smaller organization that we support was instantly honored by our inquiry, and very graciously and enthusiastically submitted a proposal for us to consider, and there are two other organizations we’re going to approach. If there’s a particular breast cancer research organization that you respect and think we should take a look at, please send along the name and we’ll be happy to consider it.
We are very excited to have engaged talented illustrator Noli Novak to create small, intricate stipple portraits of our interview subjects to begin each profile. Noli is one of the staff illustrators for the Wall Street Journal, and she uses pen and ink to hand draw the “hedcut” portraits that appear in the publication. We really want our book to stand out from the sea of all-text business tomes out there.
Our editor asked us for specifics on our cover design idea, and we told her our concept, which is another departure for a business book. We can’t actually produce the concept for a few weeks, but the publisher is putting together its sales catalog soon, so they may need to use a placeholder graphic for the cover in the catalog. She also wanted details on some of the people we’ve interviewed, as her rights people are going to the London Book Fair later this month and they may be able to sell translation rights there.
It’s back to the trenches for me…well, after my manicure, of course. Hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!