Dear Friends and Family,
I am thrilled to welcome you to my brand new website! I am particularly excited because it supports a blog feature, and I have so much to tell you.
The biggest thing in my life right now is that my memoir has been picked up by a fantastic publisher --Seal Press, an imprint of publishing powerhouse Perseus Books (publisher of the year in 2007). Look for the book in hard cover in Spring 2012 all over the place - -Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, etc. My book has been picked up by my new publisher as a "lead title," which means that they strongly believe in the book -- so you will be hearing a lot about it when the time comes. My publisher is going to put a lot of muscle into promoting it. (YAY! Can I get a "dream come true!"?)
Ever since I was probably eight, I've had a very specific and tangible dream about becoming a published author. I used to write little novels in blank journal books, and I'd fill 'em up. My first book was called "Josephine." My second book was called "Josephine Returns." I still have them on my book case, filled with my little kid handwriting (in pencil!). I suppose it took me a little while to get here, for really reals, but I'm here. I'm HERE! And I'm going to enjoy every moment of the journey.
Many people have asked me, "So, what's next? What happens between the book deal itself and getting the book onto the shelf at Barnes & Noble?" Well, I've never done this before, so it's all new to me! From what I hear from my publisher, it's a fascinating process, actually. I'm just as curious as anyone to see how this thing plays out. So much goes into making a book a reality, from what I am told, and I am thrilled to have a front row seat for this process!
I figured some of you might be interested in following this journey, too. I'm always interested in behind-the-scenes stuff, from movies to books, to coaching a winning team. I've decided to share this journey of bringing my book to publication with you on my blog. I think it will be interesting for you all to watch the book-publishing process unfold, so that when the time comes to read the finished product, you will know what went into making the book a reality. And perhaps it will make you just a little more excited to read the book when it finally debuts in glorious hard cover in Spring 2012 at a bookstore near you!
Let me tell you how this book came about: Throughout my cancer treatments, I wrote a bunch of songs. Then, in 2010, I recorded those songs for my album, "I'm Still Here," with my cousin, Matthew, as producer. Well, Matthew is a rolling stone, I can tell you that, he never grows any moss. His band, Rx Bandits, was in the midst of a world tour that year, so he was constantly popping in and out, from Australia, Europe, South America, U.S., etc. In between each leg of the tour, he'd be home for a few weeks, and that's when we'd record. Then, he'd be off again, leaving me home and bursting with creative energy and frustrated at the wait (though not frustrated with him, personally, of course). During those "off" times in recording the album, I needed an outlet. But I don't like to write new songs while recording an album, or else I fear I'll get distracted and fall dangerously inlove with the new songs. So, I thought, "I guess I'll just write a book." Whenever Matt was away, I sat at my computer and wrote. And when he was back, we recorded the album. In this way, the album and book became one and the same to me -- different means of telling my story. They are borne from the same place in my heart and soul. It was a magical year.
And now, fast-forward, and here I am! The album's been released with much success, and the book's been picked up for publication, and I'm just pinching myself on a daily basis. My new album, "I'm Still Here" has propelled me onto the Billboard chart for indie artists for fourteen straight weeks. I can't believe it. Radio in the U.S. and overseas have picked up my new music. I'm being played in London, Boston, Philly, Baltimore, Aspen, Iowa, Oregon, and more. A friend of mine said he was on vacation in Steamboat Springs and when he turned on the radio, my song was playing. I have yet to randomly turn on the radio and hear one of my songs playing . . . that continues to be my (not so secret) dream.
I've signed a deal with my London-based label, Right Recordings, for my album to be released overseas in late June 2011. That, too, will be a source of fun news to share. (Yet another great reason for this blog.)
So, there are good things to come in the months ahead, and I'd like to share them with you.
Thank you so much for all of your support and love throughout my recent journey. What a crazy life. Three years ago exactly, I was recording my first album on a lark, not realizing I was mere weeks away from a devastating breast cancer diagnosis. One of the driving reasons that had urgently compelled me to record that first album was a song I had written for my young daughters, "Little Daughter," in which I told them everything I wanted them to know in life in case I wasn't around to tell them in person. I almost think I'd had a subliminal premonition of the cancer growing inside of me.
Once diagnosed, I was suddenly emersed in many long months in treatment, and I didn't know if I'd live to see another day, let alone to make more music. You were all by my side, sending me love and support (and food!) and teddy bears, and giving me the strength to push ahead and kick some cancer ass. And now, here I am, such a short time later - -strong, alive, feeling great. New album, new book, dreams being fulfilled left and right. What a testament this journey has been to following your inner voice. If you figure out who you are -- who you REALLY are -- and then, GO WITH IT, there is immense power in that, in standing firmly on your own two feet, in your own skin, and declaring confidently, "THIS IS ME!" At least for me, it has changed my life.
SO much love to you all, and I can't wait to share this new adventure with you!! I'm gonna be a published author, folks!!!! Dreams really do come true!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Please tell your book clubs you've got the perfect book for your Spring 2012 read!!)