Launching The Good Sister

Well, there’s nothing I can do about it now. The time for alterations and refinements has passed. THE GOOD SISTER has stepped into the world for all to see and read and talk about and must now float, fly, skid, sink or swim on its own merits. How do I feel about this? Well, anyone who’s had a child go off to college in a distant, dangerous city can probably approximate the emotions: excitement, anxiety, satisfaction, hope, thrill, worry. In the case of this book which was so exhausting to write, I’m relieved and a little bit amazed that I survived the experience.

Readers often ask about my work habits and process. I don’t light candles or pray or throw down a slug of whiskey before I open the computer. I just go in my office and get started which means I pretty much immerse myself in story and characters all day, from the first day. After a few months of this, the men and women and children, even the streets and houses and landscaping, become almost as real to me as my own family and the neighborhood outside my window. It can get intense.

Writing Simone Duran’s life for the roughly year and a half it took was like sharing my small office with a deeply troubled sister and her family, all of whom told me their deepest secrets, dreams and memories. Now that they have cleared out, taking their pillows and photographs and old candy wrappers, I’m relieved, of course. But upon reflection, I wonder if I will ever again feel such kinship with another fictional character as I do Simone. I love Simone and her good sister, Roxanne, and Merell and all her aggravating little sisters. I wish them well and trust you’ll care for them too.

A footnote: My sister and I took my mother into Bookstar to show her the first copies of THE GOOD SISTER. Though she’s read all my books, for some reason she’s never actually seen them on display in a bookstore. I will treasure forever the memory of the look on her face and the incredible hug she gave me. At ninety-three she’s still plenty strong!

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