I am thrilled to report that I just signed a contract with Riverhead Books (Penguin) for my first book, a memoir/non-fiction work about facing fears, tentatively titled : SOME NERVE: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave. Pause for pinching of self and freaking out. I still can’t believe it!
How did this happen? My mother wants to know. Who thinks you can write a book?
I don’t know, Mom. They must be crazy! So many crazy people to thank, including:
My agent, Brettne Bloom, of Kneerim & Williams, who I met at the tail end of a Women’s Media Group lunch last spring. It was my first networking event in 10 years; I felt like an aging mare stumbling into the Preakness. All the women were so polished and clever, discussing movies I haven’t seen and books I haven’t read. Coffee was being poured. “If I leave now,” I thought, ‘I could window shop my way back to Grand Central.” But then Brettne asked what I did, and upon hearing about this blog exclaimed the words writers' dreams are made of: “That is so interesting! We must have lunch!”
Brettne reps the New York Times bestselling J. Courtney Sullivan, National Book Award finalist Mary Gabriel, and delicious bloggers like Christine Coppa and Luisa Weiss - and she still makes me feel like the center of the universe. God bless her. The moral of the story? ALWAYS STAY FOR DESSERT. It sometimes leads to lunch.
My editor, Rebecca Saletan, Editorial Director of Riverhead Books, for believing in my proposal and for being a strong, smart woman who isn’t afraid to admit she’s afraid of heights. Becky is already guiding me through my fear of not being able to write this book. I am so thankful to be in her expert hands.
My friend and FFUD publicist Laura Rossi, who started this whole ball rolling a year ago when Good Housekeeping published my blog. She asked “Do you want to be an author? Because you could be, you know. I see a book coming out of you.” Thank you, Laura, for believing in me.
And all of you - fans, contributors, partners-in-crime, thank you for reading, sharing, and making this blog a community. Hooray!
And…Help! Tell me. Have you faced fear in your life (public speaking, swimming, driving, crowds, heights, etc.) and lived to tell about it? Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but are just now starting to think about trying? How could the rest of your life be different if you did? Email a brief paragraph to me at ankerATverizonDOTnet - your story could one day appear here or in the book.
For the next year, I have a dream job, researching why certain things scare us and how to keep our fears from holding us back. I’ll be reflecting on my own cautious upbringing and how I want to be braver for my kids. I want all of us to approach life in a more adventurous, courageous and joyful way. How can we do that? Strap on your bike helmets, pick up your paddles and let's find out together!