#129 Mary Laura Philpott
I love having Mary Laura Philpott on the show.
I just couldn't wait to talk about her essay collection, I Miss You When I Blink, coming in spring 2019, so we dive in to the experience she's having now: the book is finished and in the pipeline for publication, and the Messy Middle is in full effect. We talk about the feelings having the book out in the world with early readers brings up, and why you should always bring a copy of your book in your carry-on when traveling.
And, of course, because we are obsessed with books, Mary Laura and I do what we love most: geek out about all the amazing books that are just waiting for you to snatch them up as holiday gifts this year. There's something for everyone on your list in this episode, from non-fiction, to novels to short stories. Happy listening!
The writing process from start to finish and all the feelings that come with it
Receiving responses from your work
Reading for pleasure
Mary Laura Philpott’s newest fiction and non-fiction book recommendations
Discussed in Episode 129 with Mary Laura Philpott
“The Messy Middle”
On describing the process between the book being finished and the book not yet out.
“The book is totally out of your control at this point.”
On the interim between when the book is done, but not yet released.
“I see the book out in the world starting to do things that have nothing to do with me.”
The Advance Readers Copy is out and starts popping up on social media & other places. This lead-up time is nice because it allows the author to “practice” being more of a public figure.
“I am learning how to talk about it.”
On promoting a book is not the same as writing a book.
“It‘s about what it‘s like to be a perfectionist in an imperfect world.”
“That would make sense that Nashville is the literary airport.”
ARCs go to a “curated” group of people - booksellers, people who work in the literary world.
Responses to her book have been very personal emails
“I feel like people are trusting me with their stories.”
On the emails she‘s gotten in response to her book.
“I feel like I‘m carrying around other people’s stories too.”
How writing memoir/personal essays puts a story about you out in the the world, such that people you‘ve never met feel like they know you very intimately.
Almost three year writing process, start-to-finish.
“There were a lot of stops and starts.”
On deciding to write a book of essays.
“In my mind the unifying thread was that they were all funny.”
On her first inklings of what her essay collection looked like.
“I am on page ten and I have cried four times.”
Her agent‘s reaction to her collection of “humorous” essays.
“If I can just get things right, people will love me.”
On writing a memoir that will help all of us perfectionists.
How an agent or first reader can see something in your book that you didn‘t see, and help make it a better book.
“It‘s a long time between when you finish a book and when it comes out.”
Moving into the book recommendation section of the show.
Reading books for work, and finding time to read “non-required” books.
“When I read backlist that I had never read before, I feel like I‘m getting away with murder.”
On squeezing in personal reading amongst work reading.
“Here‘s the trick: Hold a pencil.”
On how to not feel guilty about daytime reading.
This episode sponsored by listeners like you via the Secret Library Podcast Patreon