Thursday, June 21, 2007

Linda Jacobs: Funny, Crazy, Upsetting Publishing Stories

My first novel, Summer of Fire, came out in June of 2005 from Medallion Press. Of all my family who had known I was writing for publication, I had lost my mother in 2002 and my aunt in 2004, leaving only my father. When my author copies came, I signed the first one to my husband and the second to Dad. Dad was already quite ill and never a fiction reader, but he started reading Summer of Fire immediately. "I can't believe how good this is," he said over and over. "Not at all like that stuff you had me read years ago."

My father died on July 11, 2005 without finishing the book. On his last trip to the hospital, he insisted on taking his copy along, though, calling it, "My most prized possession."
When he was laid out in the funeral home parlor, I went in alone with some final gifts. Waiting carefully until, Shirley, the gal from the funeral home, was out of sight, I inserted some family photos into the satin lining of the coffin. Last, I slipped in his copy of Summer of Fire.

Then I went to the bathroom to have a cry. Waited a while until my red eyes were merely pink and returned to the parlor.

Shirley was standing beside the coffin. She turned and I saw the book in her hands. My, God, does she have some kind of poblem with people putting things into coffins?

"Wh . . . where did you get that?" I quavered.

Shirley smiled. "At the bookstore," she said. "Would you autograph it for me?"


Blogger Missy Sue said...

What a beautiful story. You made me cry! Thank you so very much for sharing it.

12:10 PM  

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