Bett Norris

Perspectives

GCLS and More

I had a great time at the GCLS conference in Orlando. It’s fun getting to meet some of the people who have read my book, and to talk with some of the writers I enjoy reading.  I am afraid that I joined a gang of some sort. Andi Marquette, a great writer and editor,the incomparable and irrepressible Joan Opyr, myself, and a few others comandeered a table in the book vendors room and held forth. If not exactly the Round Table at the Alquonquin, we tried. Of course at times we regressed to high school, trying hard to be the cool kids, not the mean ones. No.

There are pictures all over Facebook, even one of us doing our best at the table. I started to steal some to post here, but that would be mean. And I’m cool.

I met with Marianne K. Martin and Kelly Smith of Bywater Books. It’s always great to see them and get to talk with my publishers. It helps that they are both very friendly and funny people, very generous with their time and indulgent of our lapse into high school.

I also had great converstaions with writer and editor Greg Herren, who drove all the way from New Orleans. Soft-spoken, witty, droll, and very smart.

It was great to meet Georgia Beers too. Classy, smart, playful, lots of fun. She fit right in with our crowd, and actually added some real cool to our gang. I stood up and cheered when she won a Goldie for the anthology Outsiders. That was just great.

I had a chance for a meeting with Kelly Smith about my next book, What’s Best for Jane. It was intense, a pop quizz like you wouldn’t believe. Questions flew at me, and apparently I answered them sufficiently. So then Kelly peppered me with ideas for some (more) changes, which I (of course) agreed to, and then she said she wanted them in a couple of weeks. What did I just agree to? Yikes! I think she likes to torture me in this way. I am source of entertainment for my editor. Oh, well.

Also, I found out that Bywater is jumping onto the ebook bandwagon. They said by the end of the summer, you’ll be able to purchase Bywater titles in ebook form. Yea!

Let’s see. On the home front, the kitty had a head cold and a warm nose. We worried, she slept, we waited on her, she got lots of tuna, which she told us would make her feel better. A full recovery has been achieved. She is back to her usual disdain of the whole world, but especially me.

Back to What’s Best for Jane. I’ve already made the (drastic) changes suggested, and I am giving it a final read through (aloud!) and proofing, and off it goes to the editor.

We’re aiming for an October release, hopefully in time for P Town Women’s Week. That would be optimum. Awesome. Delicious.

What I am most excited about is Marianne’s next book, a sequel to Love in the Balance. I think she’s getting close to finishing it. That is one of my favorite books, and a sequel that picks up those characters ten years after a devastating event in their lives will be a must read. I can’t wait.

I am also all tingly because Georgia Beers’s next book will be published through Bywater Books. That’s simply great news. I love her writing, and I have read every one of her books.

Sally Bellarose won this year’s Bywater Prize for fiction, and her book The Girls’ Club will be published in 2011. The deadline for entries is October 31, so get writing. Winner gets a contract and $1000.00. Not bad at all. See details at www. bywaterbooks.com.

Joan Opyr’s (suddenly) untitled next book will also be published through Bywater. I also can’t wait for that one, also to be released in 2011.

Ya’ll take care now. More later.

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