Saturday, February 7, 2015

Memory Lane

Ever since I sold my first book a million trillion years ago (okay, okay...1991), I've kept scrapbooks of book-related stuff.

I call them my Ego Books because during those times when I'm feeling insecure and inadequate, like a has-been and a loser (You know you've been there, right?), I can whip one out and thumb through it and I sometimes feel better about myself. (Saves me a ton of money on therapy.)

I read the nice letters folks wrote and see how blessed I am to have lovely, supportive friends and to have achieved some wonderful goals, I'm back in my groove.

So I recently decided to look through them.

Here are some of the highlights from the first one, which is 1991 to 2000.

This is my very first acceptance letter. It was for a biography of Maria Montessori. I remember that day so well. I was over the moon excited:

 This is a letter from David Freaking Small, y'all!! He did the cover art for my first novel, Beethoven in Paradise. I wrote him a note thanking him, and he wrote me back. I love that he told me how lucky I was to have "that great lady, Frances Foster" as my editor and FSG as my publisher.

This is my very first review of my very first novel (Beethoven in Paradise). It's a little hard to read because it was faxed to me. (Remember fax machines?) It's a Kirkus POINTERED review, which back in the day, was their version of a starred review. (Anybody remember those pointered reviews?):

This is a note from my son telling me I did a good job. Awwww. Better than a starred review!

This is a letter from Cynthia Freaking Rylant, y'all!!! We corresponded after I sent her a copy of my second book, Me and Rupert Goody:

This is Cynthia Freaking Rylant telling me that my novel "was lovely." Swoon. (I cropped out her signature cause I don't like to post that on the internet, but trust me, it's her. In fact, she signed it CYNDI RYLANT.

And this is from School Library Journal. Me and Rupert Goody was named a Best Book of 1999. I was beyond thrilled for that!

So, those were good years and I am blessed.


Kimberley said...

I just love these Barbara. Real true letters say so much about two people. I love the book world. Thank you for sharing these. Your ability to be humble is such a lovely characteristic. You should see how I get when something you've sent me arrives. My kids are like, "from Barbara O'Connor, huh?" "YES!" I say. "I love her!"

Barbara O'Connor said...

Awww, love you back, Kimberley. Teachers rock big time.