• Ilie Ruby
  • Countdown to Publication—Your Book's Birthday—Day 1
Countdown to Publication—Your Book's Birthday—Day 1
Written by
Ilie Ruby
August 2012
Written by
Ilie Ruby
August 2012

Dear SheWriters, Today marks my final Countdown post here on SheWrites. After several weeks of blogging about the pre-publishing experience I am thrilled and relieved that my second novel, The Salt God's Daughter, officially hit the shelves yesterday, September 4th. While this book is in many ways an American coming-of-age story, it is at first glance a complicated pitch (I knew that going in)—it is feminist, it is mythic and all too real.

Like many of you, I've been a writer my whole life. My journey has taken me from the Guatemalan jungles with PBS to the elementary school classrooms of Long Beach, CA, to the publishing offices at Houghton Mifflin. But I was wholly unconnected when I wrote my first book, The Language of Trees, and when I signed with my agent. I was not part of a FB group, nor was I teaching at a university. I did not know any established writers. I was an Outsider with a capital "O." While much of that has changed, I keep the knowledge of that fiery white existence close to my heart. We are all, amidst the chatter, alone with our words on the page at one point or another. It is necessary and nothing to be afraid of.

Today I can (and do) turn to an amazing group of supportive writers and readers, but on some level each new book marks a beginning. What has not changed is my commitment to this beautiful and soul-wrestling work.

This is not a foot race—no, you don't win by reaching the finish line. But to not acknowledge the competitiveness of the literary marketplace would be almost profane. This is a crowded city. You absolutely must stay true to the craft and the art. You must not give up. Passion, in its purest form, is what fuels the resolve to keep on. 

I have tried to cover in these weekly posts not only the blissful moments—but also the challenging times as well. She Writes is a grand community, one we're lucky to have thanks to Kamy and others. In the best cases, SheWriters find themselves among kindred spirits. I did, in this piece on Feminism and Mysticism in which Leora Tanenbaum shares her incomparable insights.

Thank you so very much to everyone who has read, commented and sent heartwarming hello's via email. Notes and kind words really do matter. Please say hello here or on Facebook. Even though I'm not an ENTJ I'll be checking in through my book tour, which starts this weekend. I've enjoyed getting to know you. Mostly, I hope this has all in some way helped.

Wishing you inspiration. 



Ilie Ruby is the author of The Salt God's Daughter (forthcoming from Counterpoint/Soft Skull 8-21-12) and The Language of Trees (HarperCollins 2010). Ilie's first novel was a Target Emerging Author's pick and First Magazine for Women Editor's Choice. She won the Edwin L. Moses Award chosen by T.C. Boyle and the Phi Kappa Phi Award for Fiction, and a Davidoff Scholarship, among others. She has written for the New York Times and CNN and teaches writing in Boston. You can connect with Ilie on Facebook and Twitter, or on her website: www.ilieruby.com.

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  • Ilie Ruby

    Lovely, many thanks.

  • Kathleen Kern

    Well, if you ever need a place to stay while visiting your old stomping grounds, there's a room for you on Chadwick Drive. (Our backyard adjoins the Briar Manor apartments.)  I have often accidentally turned on WIntergreen Way when picking up my stepson from the JCC in the winter (since it's the left right before) and turned around there when I've wondered whether I've remembered to lock the door.

  • Ilie Ruby

    Kathleen, I grew up right there! In an apartment complex called Brighton Colony on Wintergreen Way, off Edgewood.

  • Kathleen Kern

    I live off of Edgewood, in the Viennawoods neighborhood, about, between Westfall and French Road.

  • Ilie Ruby

    Kathleen, I grew up in Brighton, which some might say is out there in the ether :). Boston is home. Perhaps we'll meet next time.

  • Kathleen Kern

    I was at the monthly Jane Austen meeting at the Pittsford Barnes and Noble and saw the Salt God's Daughter on the shelf for Local Authors.  It was actually a little shocking, because I was thinking of you as being somewhere out in the ether…

  • Ilie Ruby

    Tina, Danyelle, and Lee, much much strength and perseverance to you! I'm so touched, and grateful to have been part of this process. Lee, you are truly just amazing—for many reasons—and I'm glad we've begun corresponding. Danyelle, you're not alone. Hang tough through that writing program, and feel free to call on me if I can offer an ear. Tina, you are so right and I appreciate your words!! Love, Ilie

  • Tina L. Hook

    I am very much an outsider, though making small strides to build a community every day. It has been challenging to keep all sides of this journey in balance and stay focused on the real work--how easy it is to get caught up in the noise.  This post resonates with me on such a deep level I could almost cry. Thank you for keeping the light on.

    PS I've read the first pages for The Salt God's Daughter and I look forward to finishing it.  Well done.

  • Danyelle C. Overbo

    So glad I'm not alone in feeling like an outsider, even in the middle of an undergrad writing program I felt like the odd man out much of the time.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts.  I will definitely be picking up your book soon!

  • Lee J Tyler

    Oh, Ilie, I have been undergoing chemo and have been off SW while you have written your insightful and soul-baring posts. This book is close to my heart already. I hope that SW will keep it up for awhile. Meanwhile, I am heading over to your author site to sign up for yet another email notice, but this one very dear to me. Similarly, I feel Ruthie, and you will become even more dear to me. Thank you for such an inside look into the writing and publication, review, and touring schedule and please do share nuggets with us along the way, if it be only 140 characters or less. (re: the message, not tome ;). Warm regards, Lee J Tyler

  • Ilie Ruby

    Thank you so much Kamy and Pamela! I'm so gad you let me know. xoxoxo

  • Pamela Olson

    A thousand congratulations! Wishing you all the luck, success, and fun in the world as you introduce your baby to the world...

  • Kamy Wicoff Brainstorming

    Oh Ilie! What a beautiful, brave and honest post. I feel so lucky to have you as part of this community, and I am absolutely sure you've given hope and provided great insight to all of us. And may The Salt God's Daughter find its way through the crowded marketplace to all the readers who need to hear its tale. Warmly, Kamy