Advanced Copies Available To You

So, you know what? I have a limited number of advanced reader copies that I can give away at my discretion. Want one?

Here’s the scoop.

Sometimes, as a marketing tool, publishers provide an early release of a book in order to create buzz and spread the word. Word of mouth is one of the best sales tactics, since people usually choose their books based on a friend’s recommendation.

And so, my friends, I have a box of books in my living room. Tyler said, “Woah, that’s a whole lotta-lotta Life Comes Back!”

Would you consider becoming an Advanced Reader?

The book with a small catch: I need to ask you to talk about it after you read it. Share it with others. Tell them about it. Write about it on your blog. Write a review on Goodreads and Amazon. Give it to your local librarians, that they may order for their local districts. Spread the word to circles who might not know about the story, the blog, the book.  All over the country, all over the world.

Do you have some connections? Want to join my marketing team? Or -on a personal level, which is where I live and think – would you join my story by sharing it with others?

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For an advanced copy, email me. Tell me how you can share this book with others – what circles you belong to, audiences can you speak into, circles you read with, blogs you write, blogs you read, bookstores you frequent or work at – any information that would cause my publisher to say, “Wow, Trish!  Great choice in sending a copy to that reader!”

Or just tell me how much you love this book already and your willingness to sing it from the mountaintops.

Waiting to hear from you. Please flood my inbox. :)

tricia@tricialottwilliford.com

Jeans, Today and Tomorrow: It’s good to be an Adult.

There was a careful algorithm, in sixth, seventh and eighth grade, to choose my clothes for the following day. Oh, the mental gymnastics prompted by the peer pressure of the most awkward years of one’s life.

I especially remember needing to space out the calendar for my favorite jeans. I wore them every Monday, so I could work them into the week three times without two days back to back. Because, and maybe this was only true in my middle school, and maybe even then only in my 13-year-old paranoia, there could be nothing more embarrassing than someone noticing I was wearing the same pants I wore yesterday.

Oh, the implications of wearing the same pants two days in a row. Clearly, even worse than no sense of fashion cycles, you have no sense of cleanliness since you wore clothes two days in a row without washing them in between.

Should I be so bold to wear the jeans two days in a row – or worse, to have no choice but to wear them two days in a row – I had my answer at the ready: “Yeah, but it’s okay. My mom washed them last night.”

Or better yet, “Oh – I mean, I washed them last night.” Because I am thirteen and I’m responsible and need absolutely nothing from my parents. They don’t care when I wash my clothes because they’re my clothes and this is my life, of course.

It’s good to be an adult. That’s what I say. There are certain things to celebrate.

Today, I celebrate the freedom to say, I love this outfit so much, I’m wearing it again today.

And I didn’t wash it last night.
Probably won’t wash it tonight, either.
Probably won’t wash it until it seems to be the necessary next step, and then only when the laundry baskets are emptied of folded laundry so I can start the whole blessed cycle again.

Because I’m an adult. (Now, if only someone would do my laundry.)

The Book Is In My Hands!

I have read that a writer shouldn’t expect any fireworks when her book is published. They say, Know yourself well before you become a writer, because you’ll be the same person inside, with or without your name on a book cover.

They say, in the publishing industry, yours is another book. Just like in the wedding industry, you are just another bride.

I have read this advice. I have braced myself for the nonchalance of holding my book in my hands, for the calendar to scroll on by without the declaration of a national holiday.

But, I may have to respectfully disagree. My experience has been different. In fact, there has been no moment in my life quite like when I held this book in my hands for the first time.

I met with my publisher and my agent yesterday morning. We planned to discuss endorsements for this book as well as outlines and ideas for the next manuscript. But before we started, he said, “Close your eyes.”

I love surprises.

I opened my eyes and saw my very first copy of And Life Comes Back. I couldn’t speak. I nearly couldn’t breathe. The moment stood still and I was actually hesitant to touch it, this dream realized before me.

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My name on the cover. My words on the pages. It is wholly other to read my thoughts in a book – not on a computer screen, not printed on 20 lb. 8 x 11 white paper. In a book, like other books I’ve read, by other authors. The text, the font, the headings, the chapters – all there.

I gave my parents the first copy, and placing it in their hands was actually sweeter than holding it in mine.

Last night, I sat down and read the entire book, in one sitting – and I never read a book in one sitting – as if the story were new to me. As if I didn’t already know the plot, the characters, and how the last chapter ends, as if I haven’t already read the entire book a dozen times at least.

Out of the blue, an ordinary day turned into one I will never, ever forget.

This is the first time this has felt real: I’m an author.

Two Dads Leg Wrestling

“Mommy, I don’t want two daddies.”

“Buddy, I’m not going to marry two men.”

“But you already married one.”

“And he’s in heaven, which means it is okay if I marry again.”

“And when you marry again, I will have two dads.”

“One in heaven and one here, though. Not two here.”

“It’s still two! I want one!” He folds his arms, raises his voice.

It is a lot to wrap your mind around, buddy. I’m sorry about that. You’re six. It’s a lot to process.”

“What will happen in heaven, when we are all together? Who will be my dad then?”

“Everything is different in heaven, lovey. It’s not the way we understand it here. We will have them both, and they will have us.”

He pauses thoughtfully. Brainstorming. Problem solving.

“Well, maybe they will leg wrestle to see who gets us. I think that’s what will happen.”

Mean People, I Don’t Understand You.

The best parents are those who haven’t had kids yet. I was guilty of this as well, knowing for sure what my kids would and wouldn’t do.

I knew they would always be dressed in clean clothes with matching socks and tied shoes. They wouldn’t have sugar that first year. And maybe the second. They would never sleep in my bed. They would always speak respectfully to me, about me, to girls, and about girls. Tantrums? No need to mention those, since they wouldn’t be part of our vocabulary.

I had it all figured out. And then I had two boys, and my pride ever erodes with more and more rainstorms of reality.

So there’s a certain grace I have for not-yet-moms, although it’s not a super wide margin in which I want to hear their criticism and idealism. They just don’t know yet how freaking blessed hard this is, day in and day out, forever and ever, and it never stops even when you’re asleep.

But I had a new encounter this week. Twice.

Two moms with grown children said to me, with a tone of judgment and disgust, “I can’t believe your stories. My sons never, ever behaved that way. And if they had, I would have handled it better than you did just now.”

Isn’t that the most edifying and encouraging way to bless a young mom? You might imagine, I’m not quite over it.

I do not understand mean-spirited people. I am always shocked by their lack of sensitivity and boundaries and willingness to just keep plowing forward, leaving so much damage in their wake. I do not get it.

And right here, right now, God I ask you to put a guard over my lips, tie my hands, so that I may never speak or write such judgement.

Look for a mom to encourage today. Even if your kids never behaved quite as badly as hers. Try to bless and encourage with grace, not judge with self righteousness. She’s got a long road ahead of her, and it doesn’t end tonight at bedtime.