Monday, December 8, 2014

Post Book Launch Blues?

Everyone asks, "Has it been a letdown?"  They're referring to the aftermath of the book launch for my new book, Not Exactly As Planned: A Memoir of Adoption, Secrets and Abiding Love. It was held here in Toronto on November 18 at Ben McNally Books.

My answer?  Not yet.

The launch, as one twitter follower called it was a "crowd scene." I was so pleased to look up from my book-signing desk to see more than 120 smiling faces of family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and people who have worked with out family over the years. They had all come out on a stormy windy night here in Toronto, and they deserve big credit for doing so. It was the perfect eve to be home, sitting in front a fire and listening to the wind howl. But they chose my launch.

There they were, drinking bubbly, eating the wonderful homemade tapas made by neighbours. If you can use the term tapas for  creamed herring and smoked salmon and cream cheese on pumpernickel, among more tapas-like choices.

Fortunately for the bookseller, it was a book-friendly crowd, and more than 100 books were sold at the launch. My understanding is that the number is high for a launch, which added to my pleasure with the evening. The bookseller seemed happy, too.

Forty minutes after the evening began, I did a reading of two short excerpts from my book. Since it's a memoir, largely about our family (with all its joys and challenges), I picked one passage about our son Michael and one for our daughter Sarah. Equal opportunity parenting. I couldn't possibly have honoured one and ignored the other on such a big day. So I picked sweet, and what I would call upbeat passages to read about each of them as newborns. Limited any chance of them squabbling about factual correctness! Though the passages were sunny and bright, when I looked up for a breath from my reading, I barely found a dry eye in the house.  I was touched, and clearly the audience was too.

So to the question everyone asked the next day, and are still asking: "Has it been a letdown?" I can honestly say, not yet.

Response has been wonderful to the book.

I was worried, because the book is filled with raw emotion about raising our son with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; about infertility and adoption, about life going, as the title of the book says, "Not Exactly As Planned."  The sub-theme about the challenges of learning to live with one's reality (as opposed to our hopes and dreams) seems to have struck a chord.

"Can't put it down." "Read it in one reading." "You're so brave to share so much about your life, your marriage..."  "So honest. It's imspiring."  "I relate to everything you say and don't have a child with special needs."  "The narrative just sucked me in. I stayed in the bathtub for hours." Lots and lots of bathtub reading. Along with wrinkled skin, I'm presuming.

Media interest has also been great. I did a wonderful interview on CBC's Fresh Air, their weekend morning talk show.  Here's the link. Interview focuses mainly on adoption.

The Toronto Star is publishing an article this week about the book. More interviews in the make. Interest growing.

The emails and queries keep coming.
I'm still riding high.
Gonna stretch this out as long as I can before my time is up.  "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes," said Andy Warhol. I'm hoping for 16.
Big thanks to all for getting me here.

To order Not Exactly As Planned:   or Amazon. com, or Chapters/


  1. Linda, I finished your book this evening and wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the amazing gift of the story of your family. I was mesmerized by the words on the pages and found it difficult to put my kindle down and pull myself away from your book. I stayed up much too late the past two nights because I just had to read what would happen next! Thank you for your courage, honesty, and tenderness-I grew to care about and admire each member of your family. Yours is a story that needs to be told and people must hear and understand. “Not Exactly as Planned” touched me deeply. Thank you, Linda and thank you to Robin, Michael, and Sarah for sharing your lives and experiences.

  2. Renee, this is music to my ears. I can't thank you enough. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I was writing a "potboiler", but people repeatedly are telling me that they can't put the book down. I am glad you can feel the love. I was hoping the story would resonate with people. Please share! And thank you again.