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Book Deal!

By Posted on 145 2 m read 880 views

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

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145 Comments
  • EllenMeister
    July 19, 2009

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

    THIS IS THE BEST NEWS!!

    I’m jumping up and down in my seat!

    Sue!

  • maryannestahl
    July 19, 2009

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

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

  • Jim Tomlinson
    July 19, 2009

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

  • Jessica Lipnack
    July 19, 2009

    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.

  • ThomasAJackson
    July 19, 2009

    🙂 My sincerest, most delighted congratulations, kiddo!

  • jessicaK
    July 19, 2009

    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

  • robinslick
    July 19, 2009

    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

  • Aurelio
    July 19, 2009

    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!

  • pelwork
    July 19, 2009

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

  • Robert Westfield
    July 19, 2009

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

  • MyfanwyCollins
    July 19, 2009

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

  • CliffG
    July 19, 2009

    Great news!

  • MyfanwyCollins
    July 19, 2009

    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!”

  • kalaodia
    July 19, 2009

    wonderful!

  • MaureenMcGowan
    July 19, 2009

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

  • Ric
    July 19, 2009

    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.

  • Meredith Resnick
    July 19, 2009

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

  • RAC
    July 19, 2009

    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

  • lorioliva
    July 19, 2009

    CONGRATULATIONS, SUSAN!!!! Fantastic news!

  • Kimberly
    July 19, 2009

    This is the best. news. ever.

    Next dinner’s on me!

  • NoraLumiere
    July 19, 2009

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

  • Patry Francis
    July 19, 2009

    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!

  • KatrinaDenza
    July 19, 2009

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

    xoxoKat

  • Nathalie
    July 19, 2009

    Well done, you and congratulations!

  • Anonymous
    July 19, 2009

    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?

  • Brian Dear
    July 19, 2009

    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!

  • David Habbin
    July 19, 2009

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

  • Lance Reynald
    July 19, 2009

    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.

  • Tanya Egan Gibson
    July 19, 2009

    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.

  • Kirk_Farber
    July 19, 2009

    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.

  • djtuffpuppy
    July 19, 2009

    That is so awesome! Congratulations!!

  • Marilyn Peake
    July 19, 2009

    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.

  • Carolyn_Burns_Bass
    July 19, 2009

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

  • Xujun
    July 19, 2009

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

  • Laura_Benedict
    July 19, 2009

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

  • terrybain
    July 19, 2009

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

  • terrybain
    July 19, 2009

    Congratulations, Sue. And blessings.

  • Carmelo Brian Valone
    July 19, 2009

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

  • Heather_Fowler
    July 19, 2009

    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

  • bevjackson
    July 19, 2009

    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.

  • blisti
    July 19, 2009

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

  • liesl
    July 19, 2009

    Oh, Sue. This is just the best news.

    Hearty congratulations. I’m delighted for you.

  • SusanHenderson
    July 19, 2009

    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.

  • Anonymous
    July 19, 2009

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

  • Jim Simpson
    July 19, 2009

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

  • PD Smith
    July 20, 2009

    Congratulations, Susan! Great news…

  • mlakers
    July 20, 2009

    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!!

  • Georgia McBride
    July 20, 2009

    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

  • RnBE554
    July 20, 2009

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

    RAJ
    http://twitter.com/FollowMe_RnBE

  • 5speener0
    July 20, 2009

    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!

  • maria
    July 20, 2009

    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)!!!

  • Joe
    July 20, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    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!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Joe!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Maria!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Despina!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Oh yeah on that NY Times Bessseller, Ray!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Georgia!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Jim!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Laura!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Brad! For lots and lots of things.

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Bev!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Carmelo!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Xujun!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Colin!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Carolyn!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Wondertwin!!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

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

  • robinantalek
    July 20, 2009

    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!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    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!!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Nathalie!!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Kat!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Love you, Patry.

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Nora! (It’ll happen!)

  • Kimberly
    July 20, 2009

    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.

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Lori!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Richard!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Meredith!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Hee. Thanks, Ric!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Maureen!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Claudia!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Cliff!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Myf!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Robert!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

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

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks you really and truly and from the beginning.

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    I love it when you call me kiddo!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Aww, thanks, Jessica!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, Jim!!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Thanks, MAS!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    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!

  • Aurelio
    July 20, 2009

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

  • Heather_Fowler
    July 20, 2009

    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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    xoxo

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

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

  • Lisa McMann
    July 20, 2009

    Congratulations, Susan!

  • Darlin
    July 20, 2009

    Sue,

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

    Darlin’

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Lisa! Thanks!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    xo!

  • rlewisauthor
    July 20, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 20, 2009

    Aww, thanks, Richard!

  • Shelley
    July 20, 2009

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

  • medusa542
    July 20, 2009

    Congrats Susan! I am so happy for you! YAY

  • Richard Madelin
    July 21, 2009

    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.

  • SusanHenderson
    July 21, 2009

    Thanks, Richard. And hi!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 21, 2009

    Thanks, K! xo

  • SusanHenderson
    July 21, 2009

    Thanks, Shelley!

  • Petula
    July 21, 2009

    That’s wonderful! Congratulations.

  • gailsiegel
    July 21, 2009

    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.

  • SusanHenderson
    July 21, 2009

    Hi Petula, and thank you!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 21, 2009

    Paris with no internet = heaven.

    Dying to see you do a cartwheel!

  • Lee
    July 21, 2009

    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!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 21, 2009

    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.

  • Lee
    July 21, 2009

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

  • Rachael King
    July 21, 2009

    Congratulations Sue! HP published my novel in paperback too!

  • Lee
    July 21, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 22, 2009

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

    I’ll return the favor next Monthly Wrap!

  • mariaschneider
    July 23, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 23, 2009

    Thanks, Maria!

  • rachelkramerbussel
    July 23, 2009

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

  • Jimnichols
    July 23, 2009

    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.)

  • SusanHenderson
    July 23, 2009

    Thanks, Rachel!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 23, 2009

    Thanks, Jim!

  • billiehinton
    July 24, 2009

    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.

  • rogernmorris
    July 24, 2009

    That’s wonderful news, Susan! Many congratulations!

    Roger

  • SusanHenderson
    July 24, 2009

    Thanks, Billie! Glad you’re inspired!

  • SusanHenderson
    July 24, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 27, 2009

    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.”)

  • helengeorgiedowdell
    July 28, 2009

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

  • SusanHenderson
    July 29, 2009

    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/

  • Tish Cohen
    August 5, 2009

    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.

  • SusanHenderson
    August 6, 2009

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