Bett Norris


Live From New York

Michele Karlsberg new Publisher at Bywater Books


By now, you all have read and lamented (rejoiced) with me about the news of the great Kate Clinton joining Bywater Books.  We won’t revisit that topic, as it is bound to be entangled soon in legal joinders.

Much more exciting (and terrifying) is the news of Michele Karlsberg joining Bywater Books as one of its publishers. Bywater authors just received our first email from our new publisher, and it was full of some great ideas. No, really. I’m not just kissing up.

More blog tours, involving some great new writers. The Lambda literary awards coming up soon. Several Bywater authors will be at the GCLS conference in June. And we are already making plans for Women’s Week in P Town in October, as well as for the tenth anniversary of the Saints and Sinners literary festival next May in New Orleans.  All very exciting stuff. Our new publisher likes to plan things. She is a planner.

Michele (I trust I may be so familiar as to use her first name) is from New York (which terrifies any Southerner) and she is live, just full of ideas and lists of things to do, and instructions, and advice (orders) and hits the ground running every day. She is a detail-driven person.

I am not. So I didn’t really catch any hard facts like dates, places, and times for these upcoming, exciting events, like when I am supposed to do what.  Michele did explain how to use Hootsuite to me.  I got that.

I get the big picture. Michele is a mover, and she will move us along, me trailing sometimes, asking, “Where are we going? What’s happening? What do I do next? Where’s the bathroom? Will there be chocolate? What’s a deadline? It sounds scary and terminal, like you die if you can’t find it.”

In this imagined scene, I picture Michele not as a comforting guide or den mother, but more as a general or some sort of official who will not be swayed by those trailing behind, asking questions. She will meet that deadline and call its bluff.

A writer is a person who writes wonderful, good stuff that gets published and makes lots of money for everybody. That’s how Michele sees us. I see a writer as a person who sits around in the same clothes all weekend, surfing the net, researching (wink) and watching every episode of Firefly just in case there might be some good lines I can steal.  We may be a bit far apart on those two descriptions.

I tell myself not to be afraid. What’s to fear? A fast-talking New Yorker is now in charge of my writing career. What could go wrong?It’s not like I would show up at a conference in my bathrobe. (I live in Florida. Too hot for bathrobes.)

In any case, it’s great to have Michele join us at Bywater Books. We love her. We obey her every wish. Nothing to worry about. Move along, folks.





7 responses to “Live From New York

  1. Sally Bellerose May 9, 2012 at 5:39 am

    HA – I am so reposting this!


  2. Barrett May 9, 2012 at 6:31 am

    Oh dear, Bett…snickering…I sure hope to see you again in a few weeks. Good luck, Michele, might be rough herding this cat.


  3. Michele Karlsberg May 9, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Dearest Bett –

    Right On! and THANK YOU for the warm welcome.

    Now get to back to writing another GREAT book.


  4. Andi Marquette May 9, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    WOO HOOO! I’m not a Bywater author (sigh…perhaps one day…), but they so kindly deign to hang out with me now and again. Welcome aboard!


  5. Pingback: Link Round Up « The Lesbrary

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