Dear Journal Friends--
WRITING is a magic journey, but waiting for the book to come out is a nerve-wracking time. Like other writers I know, I'm pretty good at convincing myself that my work sucks and that it won't find its way into more than a few stores let alone anyone's backback, bedside table, or desk.
But sometimes, it just feels good to have a book on the way, and sometimes even my limitless need for reassurance abates.
When I sent OR NOT to a big hero of mine, John Nichols, who is an amazing novelist and a champion of beauty and truth in both the human and natural worlds, I didn't really expect him to read it. Not only is he a busy man with a lot of demands on his time, but he almost never blurbs. He'd much rather be hiking down into the Rio Grande Gorge, with or without a fly rod, than reading some hack's first novel.
So I was pretty much floored to get a note from him only two weeks later--filled with good wishes and praise about my book. Including this:
"Cassie Sullivan is a lovely kid, aware of the earth and how to save it, but nobody's listening. Cassie's voice is funny, angry, sad, sarcastic, and perplexed as she struggles to find her own identity. And to find hope for the future despite all the yahoos surrounding her. You will laugh, you will weep, and you'll really enjoy this delightful and poignant novel about a kooky idealist who refuses to give up as she grows up."
My editor doesn't think Cass would like being called "a lovely kid," but take it from me: though Cassie hasn't read Nichols yet, she'd glow in his words. Nichols' uncompromising integrity shines as a light of inspiration to me. Without him, OR NOT would not exist. That he read it, and approved of it, is not only a personal thrill, but it helps reassure me that I'm on the right road.