Jenn McKinlay's News #51
April 26, 2023
Happy Spring, Readers!
I hope you're enjoying longer days, more sunlight, spring blooms with no allergies, and a pile of amazing books to read.
Book News: Summer Reading is out in just three weeks! I am very excited about this
book, which has been called "pure reading bliss in any season" in a starred review from Booklist. (Yay!!!)
This book is incredibly personal for me as it deals with a heroine who is a chef with dyslexia who dreams of writing her own cookbook, while the hero is a librarian on a quest to find the father he's never known. When their worlds collide, they seemingly have nothing in common...or do they?
Because authors live or die by pre-orders these days, below are the links for you to pre-order the book (I believe B&N is offering 25% off all pre-orders from 4/26-4/28 - just sayin').
04-29-23 Book talk in Avon, Colorado for Books in Bloom at the Eagle Valley Public Library on April 29th at 2 PM. You can find out more HERE.
05-22-23 Book signing - SUMMER READING - at the Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ on Saturday, May 20th at 2 PM with Ellen Crosby and Kate White. More info: HERE.
06-28-23 Book talk happy hour at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library from 5:30-6:30. I heard there will be snacks!
What's on My Mind: We're gearing up on a book release so I'm mostly hard spiraling into a whirlpool of anxiety and self-doubt while at the same time I am super excited to share SUMMER READING with you, dear readers.
This rollercoaster (which happens for every single book release, seriously, EVERY SINGLE ONE) is something I should be used to by now, but no. Every book I write takes months of my life to get it just right so my emotional investment is deep and there's simply no way to change that.
When I stepped back to examine the process and see if there was a way to take away all the insecurity and vulnerability I feel when a new book is about to launch, so that I could just enjoy the process, I realized life simply doesn't work that way.
Every pivotal big moment in my life, no matter how joyous, had an element of stress or anxiety attached. When I married the Hub, I was convinced that during the lighting of the unity candle, I was going to set my veil on fire. This, of course, kept me from obsessing about the six thousand other things that could go wrong that day and once the candle was lit and I didn't go up in flames, the rest of the day was one of the happiest I've ever experienced and all I remember now is how joyful we were...and, yes, I'm still relieved that I didn't end up like an overcooked marshmallow.
Another moment in my life that felt double-edged was when the delivery nurse handed me Hooligan One, I immediately fell in love with this wee pudgy person. In fact, I was shocked at the amount of love I had for such a tiny being. This was followed immediately by an absolute all consuming terror that they were going to let me leave the hospital with him. What were they thinking? How could they entrust such a precious package into my care? And with Hooligan Two, I felt all that all over again -- tremendous love tempered with terror.
I was talking to the Hub about this, trying to work through the pre-release anxiety, and he said he felt the same way. He went even farther back to when he was a musician slugging it out in the clubs in the 90's, opening for big name bands, getting signed, going on tours, and he said instead of enjoying the epic moment he was living in, he was freaking out about paying rent, keeping the band together, and thinking so much about the next big gig, that he almost missed being present for the gigs he was actually playing in at the moment. That truly resonated with me because it is easy to forget to live in the moment, to recognize the joy, when there are so many moving parts to keep track of and so much of it is out of your control.
I realized that I don't want to let my excitement get squashed by my anxieties. There is no way for me to know how a book about a Portuguese chef with dyslexia who falls for a hot guy librarian on a quest to find his father set on Martha's Vineyard is going to be received - that control thing again - but I really can't worry about it. In fact, I don't want to worry about it. I want to enjoy it. I want to hear what you, my readers, think of the book. I want to walk into my local bookstore and see it on the shelf. I want to sign copies for readers who love the story. Will I still worry? Of course. There can be no light without any shadows, but as long as I don't inadvertently light myself on fire, it'll be okay. Right? Right. LOL.
Thank you so much, as always, for your kindness and support. Your reviews, pre-orders, and social media shares really soothe my anxiety and brighten my days - writing can be a lonely gig - and I appreciate each and every one of you. Wishing you all the best!
Happy Summer Reading (see what I did there?)!