The power of a single phone call...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Good evening all--

Well, I know I've been yakking a lot about my upcoming trip. :) That's what happens when a girl who doesn't get out much decides to fly over several continents. I've had this trip on the brain lately, but of course, there's plenty of other things going on.

In fact, a few days ago, it was my birthday, and I have to say, it was a glorious day. First off, I got calls from all of my family. Now, this might not sound like much, but in a non traditional family like mine, we're often going eight different way and little things slip by. Honestly, I love this about my family. It means that sometimes you don't get calls on special days, but it also means that you don't get in trouble if you're the one who forgets. :) But on this birthday, everyone called, and not only that, I got an especially great call from my younger brother, who said he was proud of me.

Wow. That one comment, made in a short phone call, was really the best present I got on my special day, and it made me think. Especially now, with True Colors coming out, my book about sisterhood, it was a wonderful reminder. Those of us who are lucky enough to have siblings should always be ready to say "I love you," "I'm proud of you," and simply, "you rock!." So in a pass it on kind of way, here's my tip of the day. Pick up the phone or fire up your email and tell your sister or brother how much they mean to you. It's a simple thing that just may make someone's day.



The Countdown begins...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hello friends---

Welcome into the crazy, out of control world that I now inhabit. The last few weeks has been totally insane, as I'm sure those of you who regularly read the blog can imagine. For anyone who might be new--my husband and I are gearing up for our bigtime "our kid went off to college" trip. For reasons that still sometimes feel fuzzy, we picked Africa. South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, and a small island in the Indian Ocean, to be exact. Now, that's a lot like deciding to spend a few weeks in the United States and after a quick look at a map, you choose New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Santa Fe. What were we thinking??? I guess it was just that we thought: well, we're going that far, why not see it all. So, we're seeing it all. :)

What I didn't realize either was the sheer logistics of a trip like this. Truly. We have about nine flights on seven airlines and even more destinations/lodges/hotels, etc. And forget about the shots and meds and everything else we need...all jammed into the SINGLE carryon bag that we are allowed for the entire trip. And then there's all the work required to get house sitters, animal sitters (have I ever told you that we have horses?), and yard stuff. In short, I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

I know, I know, it sounds like I'm complaining, and I am a little, but mostly of course I'm totally jazzed. Can't wait. i wish I could send you all pictures along the way; I don't think that'll be possible, but I'll definitely be storing them up. If any of you have an travel tips, I'd love to hear them. I could obviously use the help. It's funny, because, when I was young, I always imagined that I'd become a world traveler. I started out well--lived in Europe and everything, but then I got married and had my son, and ended up sort of taking root in the Nortwest. I'll bet that's true for a lot of you, too. It's really very exciting to jump into world travel again. I just hope I'm as durable now as I was when I was a kid. :)

I'd also like to really, really thank all of your for your positive comments about the True Colors cover. It's always a nerve-wracking, exciting, frightening time--releasing a book into the wild. Nothing helps like hearing readers' enthusiasm. So I really appreciate it.

One last thing--I've heard from several several of you fireflies about other blogs that you read regularly, and I'd love to know what they are. Since you're all so much fun, I'll bet I'd love checking out a lot of those sites, too.

Aloha for now---

I'll check back in before i fly into the wild blue yonder...


Show your True Colors

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Aloha friends--

Well, as you can see, it's finally really here! The cover for True Colors. What do you think???

As for me, I think its absolutely stunningly beautiful. I love the salmony pink color and the soft focus image of the three women and the shells on the raggedy looking porch. Most of all, I love that they've given me a "look," which just means that this cover is a great match to the Firefly Lane cover.

Here's some of the the information that's on the back of the advance reading copy:

Women across America laughed, cried, and reconnected with their friends after reading
Firefly Lane. Now Kristin Hannah explores the complex dynamics among sisters
in her spellbinding new novel.

True Colors is a novel about sisters, vengeance, sibling rivalry, betrayal--and ultimately
what it means to be a family.

Those of you who check in to the site regularly know what it means that the advance reading copies are ready! It's coming up on contest time. Something along the lines of "share your favorite story of sisterhood" is in the works. In the past week, I've been speaking with the lovely woman who manages and designs this site, and we're gearing up to do an update in early October, but I just couldn't wait that long to show off the cover. I know how impatiently the fireflies have been waiting. :)

And here's just a sneak peek about the story. Set on a horse ranch in western Washington, True Colors is about three sisters whose lives were shaped by the loss of their mother. Raised by a cold, distant, disapproving father, they banded together and became close. There's Winona, who has spent a lifetime struggling with her weight and seeking her father's approval, and Aurora, the middle sister, who just wants everyone to be happy, and Vivi Ann, the beautiful, romantic dreamer, for whom everything seems to come easily...her father's love most of all. But when Vivi Ann makes a fateful decision to follow her heart, events are set in motion that will test the bonds of their sisterhood. It's a story about how easily a family can be shattered, and how hard it can sometimes be to put the pieces back together, and how deceiving looks can be.

Part family drama, part legal thriller, part love story, I think True Colors is story that will really suck you in and keep you reading. I hope so, anyway! Well, more on that later...

I wanted to thank everyone for the input on the Fireflies T-shirts. We're definitely moving in that direction. I'm talking to people and figuring out which way to go. Keep giving me your input. I really appreciate all of it.

Finally, I'd love to ask you all what you'd like to see on my website. Is there anything that's missing? Anything that bugs you? Speak up! Let me know...

Aloha for now--


Welcome aboard!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hello friends--

I'll bet you wonder where I've been for the past week. Perhaps you imagine that I've been deep in my writing, or pondering how to begin the writing series I've promised you this month, and well, it's true that that's what I should have been doing, but...well...actually I've been on a fabulous and relaxing vacation. I know, I know, it seems as if I'm always going somewhere lately, and I can't quite figure it out. Normally I'm practically a shut in. Maybe it's the empty nest. These days, when someone starts a sentence with "Hey, can you and Ben go..." it's hard to find a reason to say no.
That's exactly what happened last week. One evening while we were watching what passes for television in the summer, we got a call from some old friends, who invited us to spend five days on their boat. Now, as you can see by the photos above, this is no ordinary boat. She's the Olympus, and she was built in 1929. For many years Harry Truman used her as the Presidential yacht. So while I knew I should say no (I'm halfway through the first draft of the book for 2010 and I'm trying to get a big chunk done before leaving next month, I've commited to saying something relevant about writing to my fireflies, I'm supposed to be working on the reader's guide for the back of the trade paperback edition of Firefly Lane, I'm traveling next week for work, and there's still a bunch to do for the trip), I was tempted. I mean, we all know that life is short; we're reminded of that every day. Opportunities and experiences--especially with friends--should never be taken lightly. So I said not only yes, but OH YEAH, and accepted the gracious invitation.
Everything about the Olympus is special. From the moment you walk on, it's like slipping back in time. Her owners, John and Diane, are wonderful hosts who know how to instantly make you feel at home. No one had any problem with the "crazy author" who, even while on this fabulous yacht, needed to work for a few hours every morning. Take a look at the photo above (not too closely please, that's me first thing in the morning with no makeup :) and you'll see a glimpse of what it was like: the flowers by the bed, the customized oh-so-soft robe, the fruit plate and tea beside me. Wow. Big thanks to John and Diane and the great crew of the Olympus for giving us such a special getaway. And Charlotte, if you're reading, it was great to meet you.
The other photo is an example of the kind of place we visited. I believe that picture is of Deer Harbor in the San Juan islands. Those of you who have read me before know that the San Juans are a very special place for me, almost spiritual. Perhaps that photo explains a little bit of the allure. That, and of course the fact that my husband's family homesteaded San Juan island in the days before the Civil War when this was really the wild west. For our part of the country, that's showing up early. :)
So that explains where I've been and why I haven't begun the writing series. Now that I'm home, though, my first job was to post this blog entry, and my second is to read your recent comments and get to work on the writing series. I'll shoot for Thursday or Friday to post the first one, so please, if you have thoughts, let me know. I really want to tailor this to your questions.
By the way, just as an aside, those photos are taken with my new camera---the one I bought to take pictures of animals in Africa. As I think I've said before, my expectations have lowered to photographing sleeping animals. I do not expect to be good enough to get anything that's actually moving, but I have to say that I'm happy with the camera. Hopefully I should bring home some great pictures of a life changing trip to share with my firefly friends.
Also, I was gone for the Stand Up For Cancer special, but watched it when I got home. As you all know, cancer is a particularly important issue for me and definitely one of my causes. My mom was only a year older than I am now when she died. I want us all to join hands as women and march for this fight. I am honestly surprised by how often I hear from women that they didn't know what IBC breast cancer is. I say bravo to all the organizers and celebrities and viewers who made that program a success. We all can help; even the smallest support matters.
On a lighter note: Prison Break has started up again. And I say Hallellulah! The summer tv drought is coming to a close. What programs are you all looking forward to? Anyone going to watch Fringe? Anyone watch True Blood on HBO this week? What did you think?
And what did you all do for the holiday weekend? Anything fun?
Will write again soon, so check back!