Wednesday, March 28, 2007

And the Publisher is...

Welcome to my blog, a public diary chronicling the writing and publication of my newest book, Daddy’s Little Girl: True Stories about Fathers and Daughters (HarperSanFrancisco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers).

My purpose in keeping this diary is to give Story Contributors updates about my progress. If other writers should derive any benefit from reading of the twists and turns I encounter while working under a deadline, well that’s good, too.

What is a Story Contributor? A Story Contributor is someone who was willing to share with me an autobiographical account of his or her father-daughter relationship. I then use those stories in the writing of Daddy’s Little Girl.

Now on to today’s dairy entry…

I spent much of the day completing tax paperwork and checking off the To-Do’s on the list my wife and our kids always have for me: took out the garbage, cancelled a dentist appointment, bought groceries, unloaded the dishwasher, made dinner reservations, booked flights for the upcoming summer vacation, turned down an appearance on Wife Swap, e-chatted with my cousin Drew Brown a military reporter for The Washington Post, talked with my Atlanta Journal & Constitution editor (Tasgola) about my blog-column, corresponded with my original publisher, searched though Jill’s files (yeah, if that’s what you call them) for important documents, and took the dog out to poop. This writer’s life, it’s very, very glamorous.

The good news is that at 1:00 my phone rang. It was Cynthia, my editor with HarperSanFrancisco, calling for our first planning meeting about the new book. We spoke about twenty minutes and agreed on the general direction/concept of the book, its page length, their editorial and print scheduling process, and a bit about how we will work together. I thought the call went very well, and I’m excited about working with Cynthia.

So what is this book going to be about?

Daddy’s Little Girl will be a celebration of father-daughter relationships, a telling of true stories that share wisdom and inspiration for others who are striving to be the best dad possible. As I wrote in the proposal:

“Sometimes the lessons fathers should teach their children are obvious and rather easy. Other times, important lessons are abstract, if not elusive. Now and then the lesson isn’t a didactic exercise between father and child, but an example given by the father that the child will later emulate. Often the father must undergo change before he can be the example his child needs. Sometimes the child is the teacher. In all cases, certainly life is the classroom where the lessons learned can have benefit for both the father and child, for a lifetime.

What are the essential lessons a father must teach a daughter, either directly or by example, to assure she matures into a capable, well-balanced woman? What can she teach the father? What do they learn together? These are the questions to be answered by Daddy’s Little Girl.”

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about becoming a Story Contributor, please visit my website, next week after the new Story Submission page is operational.

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