Today I'm participating in the very beautiful movement to support a loved writer named Patry Francis. She's someone I don't know but feel I do know, and today is her day.
I'm happy to contribute to the blog carnival supporting the paperback release of her book, The Liar's Diary. This posting appeared on her good friend's site, and we authors have been encouraged to post it on our own.
THE LIAR'S DIARY Blog Day
January 28, 2008 – 5:00 am
Today, over 300 bloggers, including bestsellers, Emmy winners, movie makers, and publishing houses have come together to talk about THE LIAR'S DIARY by Patry Francis. Why? To give the book the attention it deserves on its release day while Patry takes the time she needs to heal from cancer.
Before I talk about this book, I'd like to tell you a story about how this extraordinary day happened.
First, you need to know something about Patry Francis.
What if you worked for years as a waitress and then went home at the end of the day to your husband and four kids, and in those rare minutes of free time, you dared to dream that one day you might write a book? This is the story of my friend, Patry - a story that leaves out years of false starts, revisions, and rejection slips. It's a story that writers know intimately, though the details are different. Every one of us is well acquainted with the struggle of getting a story on paper, of honing it and believing in it enough to send it out, only to receive rejection, or worse, silence for our efforts.
Imagine, after many years, you beat the odds. You finish that book. You find that agent who sells your manuscript. Your dream is about to become a reality. But just as your book is due to be released, you discover you have an aggressive form of cancer.
Patry's story struck such a deep chord with many of us, not just because she is our friend, but because those of us who know her or read her blog have relied on her company through the ups and mostly downs of trying to write and sell a book. She is our buoy. She has shown us time and again her great gift for shedding light in the dark. Even her blog post about her cancer showed this - in her greatest time of need, she was still somehow comforting all of us and showing us glimpses of joy.
Patry is part one of this amazing story.
THE LIAR'S DIARY in paperback.
Now you need to know something about Laura Benedict:
On New Year's Day, or thereabouts, Laura wrote to me, calling my attention to Patry's publication date. "Perhaps we could do a 'Patry Francis/Liar's Diary' blog-o-rama or carnival or something to promote the book?" she wrote. "I'm such an amateur at this stuff that I don't know what's possible."
I didn't give a moment's thought to what we might try to pull off, or how; I simply said, "Yes! Let's do it!"
It's very important to me that Laura is recognized for her initial gesture - not just because she's a great and generous woman, but because it says something about the strength of the heart over the kinds of power most of us are without. When you see the amazing outpouring of support and the high-profile people who joined this effort, remember it started with one small voice.
Laura is part 2 of this amazing story.
THE LIAR'S DIARY in hardcover.
Now let's talk about you:
In less than one month, over 300 bloggers, writers, readers, and just big-hearted people signed on to take part in this day. I am overwhelmed and grateful for every single person who said yes or helped spread the word, but let me reserve some enormous thanks for the people who traded hundreds of emails with me to put this together: Karen Dionne of Backspace, Jessica Keener of Agni and The Boston Globe, Dan Conaway of Writers House, and Alice Tasman of the Jean Naggar Literary Agency.
What began as a personal gesture of caring for a friend became an astonishing show of community - writers helping writers; strangers helping strangers; and most surprising of all, editors, agents and publishers, who have no stake in this book, crossing "party lines" to blog, to make phone calls, and to send out press releases.
This effort has made visible a community that is, and has been, alive and kicking - a community that understands the struggle artists go through and rejoices in each other's successes. It's a community made up of many small voices, but - guess what? - those many small voices can create some noise. So while today is for Patry, it's also a symbolic gesture for all of you who work so very hard for little or no recognition, for all of you who keep going despite the rejections, and for all of you who have had illness or other outside factors force your art or your dreams aside. We are in this together.
Time to talk about THE LIAR'S DIARY.
Whether you like text, audio, or video, I have a taste of the book for you. Let's start with an audio clip of THE LIAR'S DIARY. This audio clip comes courtesy of Eileen Hutton at Brilliance Audio.
Causes Beth Kephart Supports
PumpAid St. Christopher's Foundation for Children National Book Foundation's BookUpNYC Dancing Classrooms