To all of my virtual friends who have followed A Bloomsbury Life these last four years, I have big news.
But first I want to tell you a little story.
* * *
A long time ago (we won't say how long) there was a little girl who loved to read.
And when I say loved, I mean with the unbridled passion that all of you who love books will immediately recognize.
They were her food.
They were her water.
They were her everything.
When she was eleven and read Jane Eyre for the first time, she begged her parents to make her gruel for dinner so that she would be able to understand what Jane was going through.
And after she read Jean Plaidy's book about Anne Boleyn, she wore a piece of black ribbon about her neck for remembrance until it got so dirty her mother made her take it off.
When she needed time apart from her four younger and extremely rambunctious brothers and sisters, she would go downstairs to the sun porch and spend hours floating above a roiling sea of shag carpet. Being neither here nor there nor up nor down, it was the perfect place to dream about her future.
(Michigan, August 2012. A time capsule since 1974.)
Because she was little, she didn't put any limitations on her dreams. And so she let herself dream bigbigbig. And she dreamed that one day she would write a book of her very own.
Lots of time passed.
She grew up, went to college and moved a lot of different places.
And her dream was still there, but it had a lot to compete with.
She was an advertising copywriter in New York and then LA and then New York again.
And her dream was still there, but it was on a back burner.
She got married and had a baby.
And her dream was still there, but it was on a very low low flame.
And then she started a blog.
And her readers brought her dream back to life.
* * *
This past March I wrote a book proposal.
For a design book about how our favorite novels (by Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Evelyn Waugh and many, many more) can help us live a more stylish and meaningful life.
I showed it to a friend who showed it to a friend who showed it to a literary agent (the über-wonderful Carrie Kania of Conville and Walsh) who was impassioned about it from the very get-go and took me on.
And the other day, I got a book deal with these fine people:
(More about the fabulous world of Clarkson Potter HERE.)
Note: A special shout-out to editor Angelin Borsics and the entire team at Clarkson Potter who I am going to get to know intimately over the next year-and-a-half. Can't wait.
* * *
So listen to me, you person who is reading this right now.
I want to thank you because you -- YES, YOU -- sparked my dream back to life.
Your comments -- oh, each and every single one of your fabulous comments!
(I can't begin to count all the things I've learned from you.)
You made me believe in the dark of the night that I could do it.
(And there was more than one dark of the night.)
You took my little dream and fanned it and blew on it until it glowed brightly again...
and then you gave it back to me.
I promise not to let you down.
This book is for all of us.
P.S. Mark your calendars for a spring 2014 due date. :)