Monday, April 09, 2007

You call that Spring?

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 updates about the book’s progress to those who have shared their stories with me.

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to have a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner on the home page.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

The Spring Break road trip through SC, NC and VA was a mixed bag of results. Although I did have several opportunities to chat with dads and daughters and actually collected a few stories or commitments to send stories, the weather was a big deterrent to meeting people at random. Only the brave ventured outside into the areas where I expected to meet people – public parks, pools and porches of the inns, tourist venues and the beaches – and most wanted to stay in motion rather than visit. I did hand out quite a few cards, though, and am hopeful those people will visit the website to read about the book project.

I guess I can’t blame anyone; as I was scraping ice off the windshield, I, too, wanted to rush back inside and escape the wind. I’ve heard last week was colder than Christmas. I believe it, and I should have packed more than just shorts.

One story in particular I did hear about moved me a great deal. I won’t go into it now, I want to think about it a bit to assure I do it justice when I write it up, but one father told me of a phone call he received late one evening about his daughter. The young woman was in trouble and needed help. Dad immediately jumped into the car and drove 14 hours to reach his daughter, to rescue her. I couldn’t help but wonder what went through his mind as he drove on in the darkness. I can tell you that all turned out well in the end, and it will be a great story for the book.

The two other things that also worked out well were the photo opportunities and book signing events. I got many great shots of the storm swells at the beach, three historic lighthouses and surrounding grounds, and the wild horses grazing in the salt marsh on Assateague Island. I plan to add them to my stock photography portfolio on istock.com.

I lost count of how many books I signed and had a great time meeting the booksellers. It is always satisfying to hear that they recognize my name, and especially uplifting when I see an end cap display in the store. I hear the new books are selling well, and I am grateful for that. It is funny how after five years, I still get a kick out of seeing my books on a retail shelf.

My website update is almost complete. I had new graphics added and a way for visitors to upload their own stories for the book. Although there have been a few technical difficulties and the official announcement to my mailing list has been delayed as a result, I am very happy with the way the site looks. Hopefully I can broadcast the book announcement in a few days. Good, I’m eager to get started on the project!

I have had a few brainstorms since becoming “unblocked” on the introduction for the book Why I Still Love You (quality time spent with my wife was very inspirational!), and have more than doubled the word count. Now I have to cut it to get it just right; I think I’ll finish it tomorrow. Cumberland House has finalized the cover design for this book, and although I do wish they were using one of my photos for the cover shot, I do like the stock photo they have selected. Like they say, if you want to control every aspect of your book, publish it yourself.

Thanks for visiting, and have a damn good day!

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