November 8, 2007
The latest on the book is this. The bad news, not entirely unexpected, is that aside from a possible Texas schedule, there is not a book tour in the works. I won't lie to you; I'm disappointed, although for entirely personal reasons. The fancy pants book tour is part of every writer's publication fantasy. It's right up there with imagining the girl who broke your heart in high school, now sitting in her trailer with her six kids, watching you share a tender moment with Oprah on her Rent-to-Own television. (I have never claimed not to have Issues.)
But the publishing world is changing, and effective marketing is happening in other places. Radio, television, and especially the Internet are far more effective media tools, and St. Martin's thinks (and I agree) that because of my years of online troublemaking and exposure, this book is uniquely placed to thrive in this shiny new media world. Book tours are expensive, and their effectiveness in promoting books or authors is questionable. Also, it's worth pointing out that since I began this whole journey over a year ago, this is actually the first time I've wanted something from St. Martin's that they've not given me. I've been treated like a pretty princess so far, and I'd be a jerk to turn all Veruca Salt on them now.
Mostly, though, I just thought it sounded like fun.
There are some other things coming down the pike, however, all of which I will share as they firm up. (One of them, a magazine feature, might just make you poop your panties. It did me, at least metaphorically.) And if you live in Texas, I might be coming to your town, by golly, since we're hoping to put together a swing through the Best of the Big Red State. The first reading/signing will take place right here in Plano. Discerning stalkers will want to come to this one, as my whole family will be there. (Trust me, it's much better than just showing up at my home with your kids so they can make friends with Schuyler. And I'm not even making that up.) I also hear that the PR person running the event at the store is extra swell.
It's funny, dealing with all the craziness that accompanies this book, because in a way, it feels like distraction, like taking the monster and dressing it up in a tuxedo. Perhaps it will sing "Puttin' on the Ritz" for us at the signing. I've always maintained that this book was something of a monkey paw, in that it represents a long-time dream for me, but on a subject matter that I would obviously have never picked in a thousand years. But as this process continues, I am making peace with it. Sometimes, I am learning, the book picks the author.
My publicist needed some current information on polymicrogyria, so I contacted the doctors who are in the know. As I look through the information they sent me, all the old feelings come rushing back, that dread of the monster that we felt the first time we were introduced. It's weird, looking at it in ugly medical terms, the same ones that scared us so badly four years ago. (Can it really have been that long?) Much of it is written in medicalese that makes little sense to me. But some of it still jumps off the page.
"Developmental language disorder can be associated with BPP (bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria), and its severity depends on the extent of the cortical damage. Patients with marked dysarthria are often labelled as severely retarded, although they may have normal comprehension."
"Most patients develop multiple seizure types, and seizure control is poor in more than half the cases. Frequent seizures may aggravate speech dysfunction and result in progressive deterioration. In patients with severe and disabling seizures, especially drop attacks, callosotomy can be considered."
"Epilepsy was found in almost 90% of cases..."
I'm ecstatic to have this book coming out; we all are, especially Schuyler. (Ask her about it the next time you're stalking us and just watch her face.) But even in the very best of times (and these are surely the best so far), something lurks. It watches my daughter in all her triumphs and all her positivity and her tenacity, but it watches her with cold eyes.
I am reminded once again that Schuyler's monster isn't cute, and it isn't a literary device. It's a motherfucker, and a patient one.