I have been bursting to share this news for the last week or so: Australian publisher Text has officially acquired the rights to THE RULES OF INHERITANCE and will be publishing the book next year. In addition to putting out the book, they’re bringing me to Australia for a book tour.
The people at Text are so excited about the book and have written such nice things to me about it that I have ended up teary on more than one occasion in the last week. I seriously couldn’t be more thrilled or more humbled. Every week has brought something new with TRI and each response to the book has been above and beyond my wildest dreams. To not only sell foreign rights in the first place, but to sell them to such an esteemed publisher in AUSTRALIA — a place where so many of my lovely readers are and a place I’ve always wanted to visit — is almost too much to comprehend.
I keep thinking about all the people who are reading about my parents, and about how my parents are living on in other people’s memories all across the world. I read once that a person is truly dead when there is no one left to remember them. After I heard that I used to count how many people were alive who had known my father and since so many of his friends and family were gone already, I always came up with a small number. But all that changes now. My parents and their lives and their stories will exist in larger ways than I’d ever really dreamed.
I also keep thinking about all of my Australian readers. You guys have been some of my most loyal followers since I began this blog, and I can’t wait to meet every single one of you.
Almost exactly eight years ago this very month I woke up one morning in my little apartment in Venice Beach and sat down at my computer. My father had been dead for two months. I sipped my coffee and checked email, all the boring kinds of things you do even though the most important person in your life is gone, and as I was scanning through the statistics for a little blog I had started a few months earlier I realized that the number of hits had quadrupled over night.
I’d started the blog in June after I read about another successful blog in the newspaper. Maybe that’s what I need, I’d thought. I had been out of school for a year and missed having a reason to write on a regular basis. A few days later Life in LA was born. I wrote almost every day that summer, mostly about the experience of taking care of my dying father in his little Orange County condo. It was cathartic to say the least, and the fifty or so readers I’d garnered made me feel a little less lonely.
But that late September morning in 2003, I scanned the stats, trying to see where all the hits were coming from. Finally I followed a link to this article in the Sydney Morning Herald and found my blog listed about five down. In the days and hours following I began to receive emails and comments from people all over the world, the majority of them Australian. They wrote to me about losses they’d had and loneliness they’d felt and they touched my heart in ways I’d never quite imagined.
And it’s never stopped. All these eight years since I’ve been blogging, I’ve heard from all of you. Just yesterday I got the nicest note from a reader in Boston. And last night, an email from one of my earliest readers Carroll in California. Most of the readers preface their notes by saying that I must get tons of these, and while I do get a lot of them, I never, ever grow tired of hearing from readers. You guys are the reason I come back here every day. You’re the reason I’ve become a better writer.
You guys are the reason I have a book coming out and definitely the reason I’m going to Australia.
I can’t wait to meet all of you!