The BookSisters are coming for dinner this week. Nothing pretentious like a Gertrude Stein gathering (although if Hemingway wants to drop by he is most welcome)- just a fun girls night in to catch up on family news, works-in-progress and the state of the book biz (sigh- we will kiss our Borders Rewards cards goodbye).
We began meeting three years ago - relative strangers brought together by mutual friends and a shared passion for novel writing and novelists.... Carol Hoenig, Debbi Honorof, Brenda Janowitz, Ellen Meister and myself locked arms immediately, understanding the power of bringing great ladies together with great ideas.
There was so much to share over lunch, it spilled over into phone calls, emails, extra lunches and the occasional Red Mango.. Aside from motherhood our other common connection was that we lived on Long Island. An hour from the heart of Manhattan's publishing scene but akin to Siberia in terms of respect. "Oh... You live in the suburbs?"
Every few months we'd meet to talk shop and lend support. "Another rejection? Don't worry. You'll get this published." "Agent issues? Here's what I did..." "Anyone want to be my gentle reader? YES!!!!"
We have shared good times, scary times, challenging times and victorious times. We have laughed and cried, pushed and encouraged, and mostly proved that life and careers are so much sweeter when kinship keeps you afloat.
Now our little group has expanded to include other dynamic, talented women who bring new and different experiences to the party. Book publicity, feature films, lecture circuits... Welcome Susannah Greenberg, Susan Henderson, Debra Markowitz, Alix Strauss and Vivian Swift. Can one room take all this heat and talent?
We're about to find out. Everyone has offered to bring wine tonight and only good can from that! So like the brilliant authors who gathered in parlors of the past, we will talk craft while toasting the sweet life (Brenda we will miss you and will raise our glasses to your fabulous book deal and growing family!!).
I never pledged a sorority in college, but so appreciate being surrounded by a family of sisters who care, share and never fail to bring me back to center.
Books are our business but friendship is our salvation. Here is to the BookSisters! Long may we publish!
P.S. Writers unite. If you don't have a BookSister, reach out and form a group in your community. There will be no looking back.