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Book Deal!

by Susan Henderson on July 19, 2009

The deal: My novel, THE RUBY CUP, will be published by Harper Perennial!

litparkharperperennialolive

A few details: On Friday, I got a call from my agent with an offer from Harper Perennial. It’s my favorite publishing house (everyone who knows me best knows this), so it was an extra thrill.

Earlier in the week, I’d spoken with the woman who will be my editor to see if we’re on the same page with edits. Do you know the feeling when someone talks about your work with ideas that are so in-line with yours but with an original twist you never considered? It sets off fireworks in your head. You can’t stop the new ideas; they find you when you’re driving and while you’re sleeping.

I always thought, when I got a book deal, that I’d shout it from the rooftops. My reaction surprised me. It felt intensely private, like giving birth; and then, after something full of seemingly endless pain and worry and utter exhaustion, you’re holding this baby. And he’s healthy and looking at you. And in the back of your mind, you know you have to call everyone to say he’s born and tell everyone his name and how much he weighs and all about the labor, but you kind of can’t move. You just want to stay in that quiet space for a while, just the two of you, and let it all feel real.

I spent the weekend cleaning. Can you believe my first real urge after getting a book deal was to wash and fold all the laundry?! And I just hung out with the family and gardened and threw a tennis ball to the dogs. Hardly went near the computer.

I feel good. Feel like getting to work. And I want to tell those of you who feel like Sisyphus, pushing that boulder up the hill, or who feel like a mother in some kind of cruel false labor, that I hope it happens for you soon. Because the second you’re standing on the top of the hill, or you’re holding that newborn, all that pushing doesn’t seem so bad.

Thanks to all of you for being here. xo

{ 145 comments… read them below or add one }

EllenMeister July 19, 2009 at 9:01 am

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

THIS IS THE BEST NEWS!!

I’m jumping up and down in my seat!

Sue!

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maryannestahl July 19, 2009 at 9:03 am

WOOHOO!!!!! wonderful news. I am thrilled for you!

and I completely understand your reaction–and your insights to your reaction.

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Jim Tomlinson July 19, 2009 at 9:04 am

YES! I’m so thrilled for you, Sue. Absolutely thrilled!

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Jessica Lipnack July 19, 2009 at 9:04 am

Oh, Sue, this is on the far side of wonderful. Writers and friends around the world are cheering. Deserving has about 35 too few syllables to capture it. Enjoy every annoying minute of the publishing process – something just like kids, sorta, kinda…sometimes it even loves you. Meanwhile, we all do and are so happy.

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ThomasAJackson July 19, 2009 at 9:05 am

:-) My sincerest, most delighted congratulations, kiddo!

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jessicaK July 19, 2009 at 9:13 am

This is the grandest news! I am beyond thrilled for you. And I can’t wait to hold your novel in my hands. I’ve read a bit of it and the writing is so astonishing, moving, delicious and wonderful. What a treat for future readers! And lucky Harper P for snapping up your novel! They got a great catch!

You’ve worked hard, Susan! Congratulations!

Jessica Keener

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robinslick July 19, 2009 at 9:17 am

I can’t think of many more occasions where I’ve been more thrilled or proud of someone. As I’ve already told you privately, I think success is so much sweeter when it’s something you have worked so hard for. It proves you are no flash in the pan and the entire universe is going to know your name sooner rather than later. I also want to add heartfelt thanks for your support and inspiration to authors all over the world and I hope you realize how much you mean to all of us.

Here’s to a long and glorious career! You have so, so earned it.

Now about that party in New York City. Who is up for a major celebration?

xo

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Aurelio July 19, 2009 at 9:17 am

Yay! Such great news!!!

As one of many boulder-pushers out here, it does me well to see you on top of the hill, flag planted, now catching your breath.

Well done!

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pelwork July 19, 2009 at 9:19 am

Congrats, Susan! I know just what you mean and had a similar experience myself–well, except for the urge to clean. Congrats, again!!

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Robert Westfield July 19, 2009 at 9:21 am

Awesome! So happy for you and so happy for all the future readers of your fireworks!

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MyfanwyCollins July 19, 2009 at 9:27 am

Yay! Great, great news! Congratulations to you, dear Susan!

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CliffG July 19, 2009 at 9:37 am

Great news!

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MyfanwyCollins July 19, 2009 at 9:41 am

Oh and not that this is important right now, but just FYI that when I posted my above comment (using my twitter log in), it came up on twitter as this: ” RE: @TerryBain Yay! Great, great news! Congratulations to you, dear Susan!”

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kalaodia July 19, 2009 at 9:48 am

wonderful!

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MaureenMcGowan July 19, 2009 at 10:04 am

This is such fabulous news. And I completely get your reaction.

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Ric July 19, 2009 at 10:10 am

Congrats! And your reaction to the news is so special – well, actually, very Susanesque. Thanks for allowing us to jump up and down on the bed with you.

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Meredith Resnick July 19, 2009 at 10:27 am

Susan, Congratulations to you! I cannot wait to read it and look forward to your book’s birth, launch and growing up!
Meredith

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RAC July 19, 2009 at 10:38 am

Susan,
All your hard work and deep thinking and long hours of pondering and writing and editing are paying off now, and you certainly deserve to feel gloriously joyful about your book deal! Congratulations!!
Best,
Richard

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lorioliva July 19, 2009 at 10:47 am

CONGRATULATIONS, SUSAN!!!! Fantastic news!

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Kimberly July 19, 2009 at 10:48 am

This is the best. news. ever.

Next dinner’s on me!

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NoraLumiere July 19, 2009 at 11:10 am

What a lovely post and thanks for thinking of us at such a joyous time for you!
(Sisyphus)

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Patry Francis July 19, 2009 at 11:19 am

What a sane and beautiful reaction. I could almost feel your calm serenity–and strength–as you threw that tennis ball and folded that laundry. And of course, you end by encouraging others, rather than celebrating yourself. Love you and can’t wait to read The Ruby Cup!

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KatrinaDenza July 19, 2009 at 11:34 am

I love this post, Sue!!! I can’t wait to read your new baby and woweee what great news for all of us!!!

xoxoKat

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Nathalie July 19, 2009 at 11:47 am

Well done, you and congratulations!

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Anonymous July 19, 2009 at 12:04 pm

I don’t even know you, but as a Zoetroper, I am very happy to hear about your great news! I am currently writing my first novel after years of journalism and your great news is another spark to my own motivation. I’m sure you spent years of hard work toiling away with your writing before you got to this great achievement. I’ll certainly buy the book as soon as it’s out! BTW, what’s the book about?

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Brian Dear July 19, 2009 at 12:06 pm

BTW, I’m in Seoul, Korea.. it’s great to have some encouraging writing news for a fellow writer as I toil away here in the Far East.. Once again, congratulations! I hope that you get to do a nice signing tour!

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David Habbin July 19, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Congratulations to Susan Henderson on her book deal with Harper Perennial for her novel, THE RUBY CUP! Follow Sue at her amazing website http://www.litpark.com and on Twitter @litpark

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Lance Reynald July 19, 2009 at 12:16 pm

congrats!

I know that feeling well, and I’m so happy you’re getting it now.

from the same imprint even.

so happy for you, wondertwin! I’ll be in the basement if ya need me.

xo.

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Tanya Egan Gibson July 19, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Congratulations, Susan! I’m so happy for you — both for the deal and for the fact that you got to spend the weekend just “being” and enjoying life/family.

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Kirk_Farber July 19, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Alright!!! Congratulations, Susan. That is such wonderful news. So glad your novel will be with Harper Perennial. And I love your reaction. And I hope everyone here gets to go through it too. Looking forward to hearing more. Congrats again.

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djtuffpuppy July 19, 2009 at 12:45 pm

That is so awesome! Congratulations!!

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Marilyn Peake July 19, 2009 at 1:13 pm

WOO!! HOO!! Congratulations, Sue! I’m so happy for you! And your announcement was so moving, it made me cry. You deserve this wonderful success. Enjoy every minute of it! I’ll Retweet your announcement on Twitter.

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Carolyn_Burns_Bass July 19, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Congratulations, Susan. Here’s to YOU and faithfulness and hard work and talent. This is YOUR time. Blissings.

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Xujun July 19, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Huge congratulations, Sue! I look forward to reading the novel!

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Laura_Benedict July 19, 2009 at 2:45 pm

What a beautiful reaction, Susan. You’re so thoughtful, in addition to being brilliant. I, however, am just going to say: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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terrybain July 19, 2009 at 2:53 pm

I just noticed this as well. I’ll have to look into fixing that. In the mean time: woo hoo Sue!

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terrybain July 19, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Congratulations, Sue. And blessings.

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Carmelo Brian Valone July 19, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Congratulations Susan!! That’s wonderful news-ain’t that the truth-when you least expect it-life often works out the best!

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Heather_Fowler July 19, 2009 at 6:07 pm

This is SO awesome and soooooo deserved!! Congrats, Sue! I will buy that novel the second it goes on pre-order. A million hugs and congrats to you!! Love, h

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bevjackson July 19, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Success!!! Wow, this is like watching all the prodigy kids grow up. I’m just thrilled for you, Sue.
Can’t wait to buy it.

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blisti July 19, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Woooooohooooo! Fuck yeah! Amazing news. So happy for you. And so well-deserved. Can’t wait to see it in print!!! XO.

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liesl July 19, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Oh, Sue. This is just the best news.

Hearty congratulations. I’m delighted for you.

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SusanHenderson July 19, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Wow, to all of you, and thank you for the things you’ve said here. Tomorrow I’ll respond to everyone individually, but for now, just know that all of you mean a great deal to me.

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Anonymous July 19, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Oh happy day! That’s just so awesome, congrats!!!

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Jim Simpson July 19, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Couldn’t happen to a more generous, talented writer. Hearty congratulations to you, and thanks for encouraging the rest of us.

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PD Smith July 20, 2009 at 3:27 am

Congratulations, Susan! Great news…

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mlakers July 20, 2009 at 8:57 am

Oh, yayayayay!!! Such wonderful news, Susan. And thank you for once again making it a little bit about all of us in the trenches, too. Such a generous, gracious person you are. Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving writer!!

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Georgia McBride July 20, 2009 at 10:45 am

Congrtulations, Susan! What amazing news! I have not been able to log in since I became a member but saw Maria’s tweet on twitter and wanted to stop by and post my heart-felt congrats! Well deserved! Could not have happened to a more deserving person. Best of luck- Georgia McBride

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RnBE554 July 20, 2009 at 12:06 pm

That’s Great Sue! Can you say NY Times Bess Seller?! 😉

RAJ
http://twitter.com/FollowMe_RnBE

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5speener0 July 20, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Oh, Susan, how absolutely wonderful…and natural–we all expected that it would be so. I’ve been meaning to write and tell you how much I enjoyed “Motorhead”! It’s been months, and I haven’t done it yet. You’re a wonderful writer. You have a way about you in your writing that helps us to “get it”, to be there and to see it as the character/s see it. Even in your blog posts here, I’m amazed at how beautifully, soulfully and efficiently you are able to introduce topics and close things out with your “wrap up”.

I’ve never met you in person, but the internet allows me to see a bit of your sweet self on here and I really like it. I’m glad to know you (even in this limited way), and to know that this couldn’t have happened to a kinder, more deserving person.

Congratulations! Or as we say in Australia, goodonya!

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maria July 20, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Susan, this is too terrific for words!! Super-duper congratulations–I LOVE that this happened for you after all your hard work (and I can’t wait to read it)!!!

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Joe July 20, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Congratulations Susan! All your hard work is starting to pay off. This is a huge accomplishment!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Whoa, I’m behind. And I’m going to start here in the thread since you’re a little to do with why I’m behind.

Remember when we walked from Lower East Side to Penn Station and I was saying, “These probably aren’t the best shoes for this walk”? Well, I thought it was just regular blisters, and that it was cool that I couldn’t walk for a few days because my foot was hurting. And then I was getting fevers and it hurt all the way up the leg bone, so I went to the doctor today. Thank God for antibiotics!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Thanks, Joe!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Thanks, Maria!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Thanks, Despina!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Oh yeah on that NY Times Bessseller, Ray!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Thanks, Georgia!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Thanks, Mary! Hard to forget the trenches when that’s been home for so many years!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Thanks, Peter! (…on phone with my agent…)

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Thanks, Jim!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Thanks, Laura!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Thanks, Liesl! Hopefully the book tour goes through South Africa!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Thanks, Brad! For lots and lots of things.

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Thanks, Bev!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Thanks, Heather! And yay that you’ll pre-order it cuz that makes it sound like a real book!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Thanks, Carmelo!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Thanks, t! (Just sent you a note.)

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Laura, I’ve always wished I could say EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! but I get too self-conscious. Thanks for EEEing for me!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Thanks, Xujun!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Thanks, Colin!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Thanks, Carolyn!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Thanks, Kirk! And for what you wrote in your blog… very sweet.

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Thanks, Tanya! And I’ll see you at Squaw Valley, right?

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Thanks, Wondertwin!!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Thanks, David! And so nice of you to send out that tweet!

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robinantalek July 20, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Susan,
Congratulations! My first novel, The Summer We Fell Apart was bought by Harper Perennial as well and will be published January 2010. They are absolutely AMAZING to work with – my editor is a dream -the entire team is more than a first time (or anytime) novelist could ask for!
Funny, I had the same reaction to publication… altho my call came when I was standing in a big box store buying party supplies for an anniversary celebration I was throwing for my in-laws that weekend. All the years we toil away writing in earnest and you think you know exactly how you’re going to feel when THE moment arrives… and yet, I know for me, I held it close like a secret, at least for a little while, just reveling quietly….
Enjoy the feeling!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Thanks, Brian! And I owe Zoetrope so much for teaching me to write better and edit better and care about community as much as self. I hope I go to Seoul on my book tour!!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Thanks, Nathalie!!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Thanks, Kat!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Love you, Patry.

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Thanks, Nora! (It’ll happen!)

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Kimberly July 20, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Seriously??? That’s terrible! Fevers from blisters??? Wow! Who knew? Hope you’re feeling better soon so you can fully enjoy the wash of success that’s about to hit.

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Thanks, Lori!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Thanks, Richard!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Thanks, Meredith!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Hee. Thanks, Ric!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Thanks, Maureen!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Thanks, Claudia!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Thanks, Cliff!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Thanks, Myf!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Thanks, Robert!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Thanks, Paul! I didn’t realize you were at Writers House, too.

Let me link you so others can spy: http://www.paulelwork.com/

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Thanks! I had a dream about your Easter eggs. They were rolling. I think this is good, right?

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Thanks you really and truly and from the beginning.

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Thanks for picking me up whenever I was face-down on the ground.

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:31 pm

I love it when you call me kiddo!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Aww, thanks, Jessica!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Thanks, Jim!!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Thanks, MAS!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:34 pm

I just now got your phone message because I’m totally retarded with picking up messages. And thank you!!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Hi Robin!

Look, you already have your slot at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/You-Should-Have-Said-Hello/dp/0061782165

Can’t wait to see the cover!

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Aurelio July 20, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Gee, I hope so. Were they rolling up hill or down?

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Heather_Fowler July 20, 2009 at 4:34 pm

It’s the realest real book there ever was. I’ll even make a spot of honor for it ON TOP of my desk in the book-infested reading and writing room. :) *grins* Fifty times congrats! Love, h

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm

xoxo

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 5:45 pm

I don’t remember. But it’s possible they were rolling around in ecstasy after crossing the finish line!

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Lisa McMann July 20, 2009 at 6:10 pm

Congratulations, Susan!

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Darlin July 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Sue,

This is so awesome and so deserved! I can’t wait to hold that baby in my arms!

Darlin’

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Lisa! Thanks!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 7:32 pm

xo!

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rlewisauthor July 20, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Congratulations, Sue. Great news and so well deserved — I’m not surprised but that doesn’t lessen the delight!

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SusanHenderson July 20, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Aww, thanks, Richard!

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Shelley July 20, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Susan! Beautiful news. Congratulations. I love your description of this as a birthing.

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medusa542 July 20, 2009 at 11:13 pm

Congrats Susan! I am so happy for you! YAY

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Richard Madelin July 21, 2009 at 3:21 am

Great news, Sue. Couldn’t happen to a better person.
Haven’t talked to you in ages. Not since Night Train. You’ve done so much for other people. I’m so pleased.
Richard Madelin.

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SusanHenderson July 21, 2009 at 8:02 am

Thanks, Richard. And hi!

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SusanHenderson July 21, 2009 at 8:02 am

Thanks, K! xo

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SusanHenderson July 21, 2009 at 8:02 am

Thanks, Shelley!

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Petula July 21, 2009 at 11:23 am

That’s wonderful! Congratulations.

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gailsiegel July 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm

I was out of town for a few weeks — no internet — when this all came to pass. I am so happy for you Susan. You have been such a kind and generous spirit, a shining light. I am doing cartwheels here in my office.

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SusanHenderson July 21, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Hi Petula, and thank you!

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SusanHenderson July 21, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Paris with no internet = heaven.

Dying to see you do a cartwheel!

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Lee July 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Thank you Susan!
Reading your post is a fresh breath of inspiration, even if I am still stuck at the estranged end of being ready for an agent or publisher.
This is a nice chance to wonder what it will be like when I “break on through to the other side!”
Thanks for keeping some of us going during these times when burning old manuscripts might be more gratifying than useful!

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SusanHenderson July 21, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Hi Lee! Just remember: every successful writer today was once without an agent and without a publisher and had a manuscript they thought of burning.

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Lee July 21, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Oh how I smile when I’ve been on temporary mental vacation here!

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Rachael King July 21, 2009 at 7:44 pm

Congratulations Sue! HP published my novel in paperback too!

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SusanHenderson July 21, 2009 at 8:32 pm
Lee July 21, 2009 at 8:39 pm

Nothing shameful here, I just blurbed a short blog about you on my new blog!
http://leecrase.wordpress.com

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SusanHenderson July 22, 2009 at 8:06 am

That is so cool, Lee. And that you linked to Lance and Frank.

I’ll return the favor next Monthly Wrap!

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mariaschneider July 23, 2009 at 9:30 am

Wonderful news! I can’t wait to read it!

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SusanHenderson July 23, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Thanks, Maria!

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rachelkramerbussel July 23, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Congratulations, Susan! Fabulous news, I so look forward to reading it and HarperPerennial publishes so many amazing books, it sounds like the perfect fit.

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Jimnichols July 23, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Holy smoke, Susan, I should stop by more often. That’s wonderful, terrific news. What good sense Harper Perennial is showing! Looking forward to reading it. (Oh, and edited to say you deserve it for all you do.)

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SusanHenderson July 23, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Thanks, Rachel!

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SusanHenderson July 23, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Thanks, Jim!

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billiehinton July 24, 2009 at 10:33 am

Wow!! Huge congratulations! I’m so very happy for you, and can’t wait to read The Ruby Cup. Like you, my reaction would probably be something very quiet and private. It’s such an intimate thing – writing a book and then having it sell. (not having gotten to the sale part I’m speculating on that bit, but all the rest leading up to it is, so I can’t imagine the sale changes that aspect).

What a great mid-summer announcement – inspires me to keep pushing.

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rogernmorris July 24, 2009 at 1:06 pm

That’s wonderful news, Susan! Many congratulations!

Roger

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SusanHenderson July 24, 2009 at 3:39 pm
SusanHenderson July 24, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Thanks, Billie! Glad you’re inspired!

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SusanHenderson July 24, 2009 at 5:43 pm

P.S. The poem you tagged me on is gorgeous.

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SusanHenderson July 27, 2009 at 11:15 pm

Cool write-up about my book deal in Publisher’s Weekly: http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6673043.html?

(…though “1950’s” should read “1970’s.”)

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helengeorgiedowdell July 28, 2009 at 11:49 am

Super congrats, Susan! We’re celebrating for you over at Backspace as well. What a terrific thrill this must be, no doubt.

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SusanHenderson July 29, 2009 at 7:18 am

Aww, that’s so nice to hear. Thank you!

And let me link your blog here so others can have a visit: http://biscuitcream.blogspot.com/

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Tish Cohen August 5, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Susan!!! I’m wildly happy for you and believe the world is finally in order. Even better is that we’re both with the same house. Harper Perennial is simply the best. Huge congratulations.

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SusanHenderson August 6, 2009 at 10:56 am

Aww, thanks, Tish. I’m so so happy about it!

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