Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Following Tom

I love walking across the street to our tiny village post office. My proximity to this lovely little outpost of civilization is particularly convenient just before Christmas, when I remember what a nightmare the pre-holiday post office was when we lived in cities. These days, I stroll over, wrapped presents in hand, and chat with Jewel, our postmistress about the news of the neighborhood as she tabulates my postage. Today was particularly lovely, however, as I received a package. I handed Jewel the "you have a package!" yellow slip from my post office box and she handed me an envelope from HarperCollins. I ripped it open, and there it was. My advance copy of the Following Atticus paperback.

I flipped to the P.S. section to find my part in the book: an interview with the author, Tom Ryan. Yes, I get to do interviews all the time, and yes, seeing my name in print has lost a teensy bit of the lustre and thrill I felt when I saw my first published pieces, but it's still pretty damn cool.

What makes this particular project special to me is that my involvement in this book is a gift from Tom. Tom discovered my work - through Twitter, I think - and we started corresponding about our writing. At that point, Following Atticus was not out in hardcover yet, so I got to watch Tom's progress through the gauntlet of book publicity and appearances. When it came time to prepare the paperback edition, Tom went out on a limb and asked HarperCollins to allow me to write the author interview and its introduction. Normally, the publisher has someone in-house write this section, and it's unusual for the author to be named, but Tom pushed. Fortunately, his wonderful editor, Cassie Jones, was game, and they supported me through the process of producing the P.S. section.

Authors can be a snarky and divisive lot, and it's unusual to find the ones who will share their success with writers who have not yet broken through. Tom is one of those authors. He is not only a talented writer, he is a kind and generous person, and I am grateful for his faith in me.

Following Atticus comes out in paperback on August 7, and Tom's blog has all the details of his book tour, if you want to come on out to get a book signed and meet him (and Atticus).

Happy reading!


  1. Can't wait to read your intro and interview with Tom! Love the way you write! I will be checking your blog from now on. Congrats to you!

  2. Silvia G.Soos-KazelJuly 18, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Jess Lahey, just reading your blog gives me such good vibes about you. As they say, reading between the lines, I can understand why Tom Ryan chose you as his interview partner for the release of his paperback version of his well written and greatly admired book, Following Atticus. I am now in total anticipation of receiving my own copy to turn immediately to PS section. You and Tom have definitely wet my appetite for a good read. Also looking forward to your own book, for which I wish you much success.
    Warm wishes, Silvia

  3. Delores and Silvia,

    Thank you so much for your kind comments. Tom's fans are just the nicest people! I am, at this moment, pounding away on my book and hope it lives up to Tom's faith in my writing. Thanks again, Jess.

    1. You're quite welcome, Jess! Much luck to you with your book. Can't wait to read it! Can you give away any particulars about it?

  4. Tom seems to have pretty good taste in authors, so I suspect his faith in you is well-placed! Good luck on your book.

  5. Jessica -

    I am looking forward to reading your interview with Tom. You blogs are wonderful! Good luck with your book.