I used to pride myself on my animal training skills. In Psych 101, I taught a rat to tap two buttons in a seventeen-step left-right sequence. My pet guinea pig, Rusty, used a litter box. And don’t get me started on Duffer, who could have been created by BF Skinner.
In seven weeks and six days, IF YOU WERE HERE will hit stores in the United States. These are, strangely, the hardest weeks for me in the publishing cycle. They certainly don’t involve the hardest work, but I find comfort in work. If I’m conceptualizing a book, I am creating a world, getting to know new characters, and figuring out who does what and why. If I’m writing, I’m doing everything I can to tell an interesting story in the best way I can. If I’m editing, I’m in heaven because I’m weird that way.
But seven weeks and six days before publication, there’s nothing left for me to do. The book’s off to the printer. The reviews will start coming in. The book will either find readers or it won’t. What’s this control freak to do? Deep breaths. Walk dog. Try. To. Chill.
But the next weeks will be easier for me than this same period ten years ago when I published my first book. They will be easier because I know that someone will read my little story that I poured myself into. In fact, I’m now fortunate to have a lot of loyal readers who will buy IF YOU WERE HERE early, read it as soon as it comes out, and tell their friends to do the same. That’s a pretty blessed place to be for a writer these days.
So if you’re one of those early readers, I want to thank you. Although I can’t send a personal token of my vast appreciation to all of you, I will be sending THREE lucky readers a custom tote bag, designed by me and filled with signed books. One of those lucky readers will also get to NAME A CHARACTER IN THE NEXT ELLIE HATCHER NOVEL!
A lovely bit of news: In a starred, boxed review, Publisher’s Weekly calls IF YOU WERE HERE “outstanding.” “Burke’s accuracy in legal and judicial technicalities is impressive although most readers will find simpler pleasures in her sharp writing, well-constructed plot, and dimensional characters.” The full review is here.
I’ve also been in blurb heaven recently, thanks to some very kind words from two of my favorite authors:
“IF YOU WERE HERE is a winner: a suspenseful, tightly plotted story of friendship, lies, and betrayal. Alafair Burke writes deftly about secrets buried close to home. An accomplished novel by an assured author.” — Meg Gardiner
“After finishing IF YOU WERE HERE, I don’t feel I can trust anyone ever again, except Alafair Burke to provide a cracking good read.” -Linwood Barclay