Dear SheWriters,

Less than a month left now for Oleander Girl’s birthday! Things are heating up.

This is the week to fine-tune the book tour and plan media outreach, so I’m on the phone a fair bit with my publicist at Simon and Schuster, discussing strategy. We’re going over media that I’ve done before in cities where I’ve been on book tour, so that she can approach them (in addition to others that she’s approaching on her own). We’re discussing reviewer venues where finished copies of Oleander Girl should be mailed. We’re keeping in close touch with my agent, who has some great ideas and additional contacts. S&S has an online publicist, too, and she’s reaching out to sites to see if they want me to be a guest blogger. And since the rest of the world doesn’t stop just because my book is coming out, I’m going in to the university, where we are deciding right now on next year’s graduate student admissions for the Creative Writing program.

Here, by the way, is the cover of the actual book, which was waiting for me when I got back from India.

Friends who have books already, you know what an amazing feeling that is, to hold your published book in your hands, tangible proof at last of the many hours you dedicated to imagining, creating, agonizing over, and revising it.

This is also the week when my article "The Novelist's Guide to Writing What [Only] You Know” came out in the latest issue of Writer's Digest magazine. In it I discuss some of the personal memories and expertise I mined while writing my novels. My publisher is very pleased because of the additional publicity it’ll bring to Oleander Girl, which is mentioned in the byline.

I didn’t exactly plan this—how could I? But about six months back I started contacting magazines and journals where I’d been published before, asking them if they’d be interested in having me write something for them. And this one just worked out because, serendipitously, Writer's Digest was doing a special issue on writing that comes out of personal experience. So I guess the moral for me is that you have to knock on all doors—and you have to start it early—because you never know which one the universe will open.  

I’d love to have you share with me—and the other readers on this page--strategies that you’ve used, or are planning to use, to bring some extra attention to your book.

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"Hmmm. I'm definitely sensing a trip to California is in order - Oakland, Berkeley, Bay Area Bookfest, with a swing to the Midwest. Delightful."
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