This past Thursday I had the pleasure of attending one of Mary Kubica’s book tour stops in Atlanta. When she messaged me, seeing that I live in Georgia, my first thought was “Heck yes; night out requiring a babysitter!”, so I convinced my non-bookloving husband that this would be fun and dragged him with me in promises of cheesecake on the way home. (Just saying that he had a blast and we MIGHT make a bookworm out of him yet!) We got in a peaceful, child-free dinner at Mi Cocina (best brisket tacos ever?????) and some walking in downtown before heading over to The Margaret Mitchell House. It was really neat attending such an intimate book event in a mesmerizing historical building. A really nice man offered me his last mint and Mary got up to speak a little on her experiences of becoming a writer and what it has taken to get where she is today.
She opened with a little background on herself; how she always had a spark in her heart for becoming an author but felt a more practical approach to making a living would be to follow her other calling-teaching. She taught high school history for years until the birth of her daughter, when she decided to stay home and try her hand at writing her first book, which became The Good Girl. It took many years of writing, re-writing, submitting, and rejecting before finally finding acceptance from a previous submittal. What a neat story that someone who was impressed by her manuscript 2 years before had remembered it and contacted her once she was in a new position to offer her a contract! Another author friend in attendance, Liz Lazarus (Lamy?! 😉 ) agreed at how special and encouraging this story was. She moved on to tell us how she was offered a 2 book contract where Pretty Baby also came about. She wrote that one in a more reasonable time frame (per her editor) than her previous work, proving she could and would make this author gig work.
My favorite part of the night was when I learned something completely new about Mary. She informed us that Don’t You Cry was actually her fourth manuscript; the third one never became published, but not for lack of trying. After almost a year of hard work, hundreds of pages written, and multiple revisions with her editor, it was agreed upon that they would scrap the story where her characters were fighting her so hard and start with something else. Once the inspiration for DYC came about, it just poured out of her and became what, IMO is her best work to date. She read an excerpt from Alex’s POV, as he was the character she connected with more deeply. (Bonus fact- her character names Quinn and Alex are her children’s middle names!) Its always touching to hear an author read from their own work and feel the heart behind a work that they care so deeply for.
Afterward we got to meet with Mary and have our books signed (and enjoy some laughs along the way). I was able to catch up some with Liz and Mama Dale and learn some tips and tricks to help me with my blog as I go. Overall it was a fantastic night out that was much needed-I highly recommend book related outings as a date night!