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I'm feeling like Cinderella

Kelly Bowen, publicity director at Algonquin, called me late yesterday afternoon with an odd question: she wanted to get my okay on an update to my publicity package. Her voice sounded a bit strange, and the request did also, so expecting bad news – as any author would – I held my breath.

“Would it be okay with you if we added a line or two about how you’re a New York Times Best Selling author?” Kelly asked, then began to laugh and whoop.

I was dumbfounded. Speechless, which isn’t a normal state for me. The Art Forger is my sixth published novel, the tenth I’ve written, and all the others went down before they had a chance to come up. My first novel didn’t get published, my next five did – although not well – then I wrote four more that nobody wanted. I was ready to give up, but my agent, Ann Collette, wouldn’t let me. She got the manuscript to Amy Gash at Algonquin, and now I’m a Times best seller.

How does this happen? How does one go from dragging her chin on the floor to dancing in the street with a champagne bottle raised over her head – as I did last night? Sure, I did persevere, and I did write what I consider a good book, but I’ve been in this business of twenty-five years and know there are plenty of writers who persevere and produce good books who aren’t getting the break I’m getting.

I can only think it’s the huge number of people who supported me: my family, my friends, my writers group, my agent, my editor, the amazing marketing and publicity folks at Algonquin. So to anyone who’s struggling to make it in a creative field, I recommend that you take whatever support you have and use it keep your self-confidence up, to continue your work, because you never know, someday you might get a call about updating your publicity package.