Books Have Birthdays

One of my favorite Sugar columns on The Rumpus is:  “Tiny Beautiful Things.” It’s a letter to her twenty-two year old self. In it, she says:

Your book has a birthday. You don’t know what it is yet.

A few weeks ago, I was up late at night reading Dear Sugar columns that I had missed. When I read that sentence burst into what were almost hysterics.

I am elated to announce that my book of personal essays: “Legs Get Led Astray” is going to be published by Future Tense Books in April of 2012. The book will be a full length paperback and we will be taking pre-orders for it in December or January. Hopefully, we will have the books ready for AWP in Chicago this February.

Last March, when I was living in Seattle, a friend told me about Future Tense Books out in Portland, Oregon. I was immediately hooked.  So I bought the publisher, Kevin Sampsell’s memoir, A Common Pornography, and I emailed Kevin. He was busy with a million things but still took the time to read some of my work and gave me encouraging feedback.

He said he liked my stuff but he also said something along the lines of “Don’t wait for me.”

I decided then and there that I sort of wanted to wait for him. I liked the way he operated.

He told me about some cool things in Seattle, like the indie bookstore Pilot Books. I went there, took a free writing workshop and bought Everything Was Fine Until Whatever by Chelsea Martin and The Man Suit by Zachary Schomburg.

About six months later, after I moved back to New York, we corresponded again. I felt a strong kinship for Kevin and the books he publishes and I told him that, creepy as it may be. I knew submissions for Future Tense were still closed and I periodically checked the site, waiting for them to open back up. They never did.

So, when I woke up last week to an email from Kevin, wanting to read my work, I flipped. I immediately sent him my manuscript, I stopped talking and eating, (the only thing I felt I could keep down were avocados) and my sleep was restless.

Kevin called me on Monday and said he would like to publish my book. I wanted to say to Kevin: “I always knew it was you.” Instead, I said, “Oh my fucking god!” and he told me to take deep breaths.

You can hear what he has to say about the upcoming book: here.

As usual, Sugar was right. Books have birthdays; you don’t know what they are yet. My book’s tangible birthday is going to be the same month as my own birthday—April. But today is my book’s something. It’s also freaky Friday. And the birthday of my  now five year old cousin and muse: Henri. It’s a fantastic day.


11 thoughts on “Books Have Birthdays

  1. Congratulations, Chloe! Your writing is so wonderful, you totally deserve it. Consider this a copy already purchased 🙂

  2. Hi Chloe\
    No email for you but:
    We have a group of fiction writers coming together here in town.
    Short notice but it will have its first meeting Tuesday.
    If you are free to join us you may find it interesting.

    Fiction Writers Collective
    135 Gallery, 2nd Fl, Hudson NY
    (Corner Warren and 2nd Streets)
    Tuesday, September 6th, 6 PM.

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