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secret life of bees

Book Deal!

by Susan Henderson on July 19, 2009

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

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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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