Thursday, April 26, 2012

About the book that is now FALLING FOR YOU

I want to tell you a little bit about this novel I wrote back in the summer and fall of 2010.

Originally it was titled CHERISH.

As is usual when I begin writing a book, I had a few seeds of ideas that I started with.

First,  I wanted to do something in and around a flower shop. I'd written two previous novels where a flower shop played a role and neither of them were ever published. I hoped that maybe the third time would be a charm. I loved the idea of the flower shop being my main character's safe place. And so, where Rae's job is sunny and bright, her home life is dark and sad.

In fact, there are strong themes of dark and light throughout the novel.

Check out this flower shop in Vienna. So adorable, yes?



I love it when there are mysterious notes or clues or something like that in a story, so I decided to add mysterious, anonymous flower deliveries to the story. Who is sending flowers to people throughout town and why do the instructions always have Rae's name on them?

Finally, I wanted to try and challenge myself, and wanted to write this book in a bit of a different format. Rae's story is primarily told through flashbacks. This is a tricky thing to do, in case you're wondering. The reader learns on the first page, something bad has happened to Rae, but it's not revealed until the end of the book what has happened.

My first draft had Rae doing a project in Language Arts called The Cherish Project (thus the previous title CHERISH). My editor had the brilliant idea that instead of the book reports she was doing, which were kind of boring to read, I could somehow have poetry play a part in the story.

And so, Rae is a poet. Through her poetry, she can express her feelings about her abusive step-father and her distant mother. And then something happens at school, and poetry begins to play an even bigger role in Rae's life. So although it is my first YA novel not written in verse, poetry still plays a part in the story.

There are also two boys in the story. A good looking boy who is new to school and takes an interest in Rae right away. They start going out. There are things she really likes about him and other things... not so much. There is also a boy who works next door to the flower shop, someone who is Rae's friend. And as time goes on, she begins to lean on her friend more and more, as Rae's affection for her boyfriend begins to turn to fear.

If you were to think of my book like a cake, the recipe for making that cake was not a simple one. There were a lot of ingredients and the preparation required a great deal of complicated steps. It's a unique kind of cake. Different. I can't even describe the cake very well, and so, I have to just tell you that I hope you'll try it, and see what you think.

It's the publisher's job to decorate the cake and make it something that will hopefully appeal to a wide audience. There were so many choices here, as you can imagine, with a book that has a lot going on. In the end, they decided to focus on the romantic aspect of the story for the cover, and I can now share that cover with you:



In December, 2010, right before my sweet friend, Lisa Madigan, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, she read an early draft of CHERISH. Her e-mail back to me, with a critiqued manuscript, had one word in the subject line.

Cherishable

Coincidentally, today is Lisa's birthday. She would have been 49 years old. (I love and miss you, Lisa).

Soon reviewers will be sent galleys. Some bloggers, teachers and librarians may read the book through Simon and Schuster's galleygrab program. And next January, thanks to my publisher Simon Pulse, the book will be available to the public to purchase.

I think one of the hardest parts of being an author is letting a book go. But it's time. The book doesn't belong to me anymore, and so, I have to let it go. To let it be what it will become out there in the big, scary, exciting world. My work, with the help of my friends, my agent, and my editor is (mostly) done.

And so, I will end this post by simply saying ~

Best wishes, dear book. My greatest hope is that you touch the lives and hearts of those who read your story.

50 comments:

  1. I can't wait to get it!! GORGEOUS cover :D Happy Birthday to Lisa, wherever she might be. *hugs*

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  2. Love this and love the cover. Congrats, Lisa and best wishes to you AND your book.

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  3. I love reading about the evolution of this book, and learning that you deliberately challenged yourself with a new format. Always growing! Congratulations on launching it, Lisa.

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    1. Thanks! I definitely challenged myself, that is for sure! I just hope I did the story justice.

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    1. Fans of The Notebook will surely approve. :)

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  5. I'll embrace this story. :) Can't wait to read it!

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  6. Amazing cover Lisa!!! I CANNOT wait to read! You have never failed to write a book that hasn't blown me away and touched my heart <3

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    1. Thanks so much for all of your support - it means a lot, really and truly!

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  7. I was so heartbroken when Lisa died and I know she meant a lot to you. Her books, especially Flash Burnout, were of great inspiration to me. So a Happy Birthday to her, who I'm sure is probably smiling a great big smile down on you right now. :D As for you, my darling, so frikin happy for you! It looks so amazing and I'm sure I'll love it just as I've loved your other books! You are awesomeness!

    ~Briana

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    1. And you are awesomeness too!! Thanks Briana, and now you can read my book knowing there's a little bit of Lisa in there too.

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  8. You are someone that I cherish...thanks for being a writing inspiration to me. This was a beautiful post and I can't wait to read FALLING FOR YOU. <3

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    1. Aw, what a sweet thing to say. I hope we can meet someday, Kim!

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  9. The cover is beautiful, the description gets all my interest, but the back story is the one that really touched my heart. I am sorry to hear that about your friend.

    Can't wait to read this book :)

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  10. Congratulations Lisa. This story sounds wonderful.

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  11. What a beautiful post, Lisa. L. Madigan birthday, and the story she found cherishable. A lot to let go in one day.
    May your book be an uber-success.

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  12. This book sounds beautiful and I can't wait to read it. As fate would have it, Twitter suggested L.K. Madigan as someone I should follow. It made me sad. Even though I never knew her I heard so many wonderful things about her there's no doubt that she was a special person.

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    1. Btw, it was yesterday that Twitter suggested this.

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    2. Isn't that strange? She was indeed a special person.

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  13. I love the cover and love the story behind it. I cannot wait to read this and I'm sure it will be amazing because of how much it meant to you.

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  14. Thanks for sharing the story behind the book, Lisa. I look forward to reading it next year.

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  15. Lisa, I've been with you since I Heart You You Haunt Me. I'll be with you for every book you publish and that cover is absolutely sizzling!

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    1. Aw, {{{Laura}}} - can't believe how time flies and you're still here, reading my blog. THANK YOU!!!

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  16. I'm so excited for this book! And I love the idea of the flower shop being the main character's safe place.

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    1. Yes, I love that flower shop. I wish I worked there!!

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  17. That's a great cover, Lisa, I think it's really compelling and will get lots of attention on the shelves! The book sounds great and I'm really looking forward to reading it.

    I had no idea, consciously, that today was Lisa's birthday, but she's been on my mind SO much the past two days that now I'm not surprised at all to learn that today was special. It really does feel like she's still here a little bit.

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    1. I hope you're right about it standing out.

      As for Lisa, that's so strange - me too, for the past week. I couldn't remember when exactly in April, but it is today.

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  18. Can't wait to read this and the cover is breathtaking! So sorry to hear about your friend. I'm glad she was a part of this book for you. :)

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    1. Thank you for your excitement about the upcoming book - it means a lot!

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  19. Wow, Falling for You sounds incredible! I can't wait to read it! And how interesting to hear your process and the evolution of this story. Thanks for sharing all of this.

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    1. Thanks for reading! I always love hearing the back story of how a book came to be, so thought I'd share. :)

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  20. Always exciting to hear about the latest project from a favorite author. Looking forward to this!!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and reading about the new book!

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  21. Gorgeous cover! I can't wait to read this.

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  22. Its so gorgeous! I have no doubt that it will be an amazing story!
    I think the cover and title fit you and your books. It'll look gorgeous next to the others in my shelf.
    Oh and I'm happy to hear poetry plays a part!

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    1. Thanks Candace!!! The cover is almost like a movie poster, and people tell me it's very eye-catching, so fingers crossed it does its job. :)

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  23. So fun to hear more about this book, Lisa. I wish I'd had more of a chance to talk with you these last few days, too.

    And I'm quite taken by your love for mysterious notes in a story because I am, too - in spades! CIRCLE OF SECRETS has secret notes in a blue bottle tree - notes that are connected to the girl's mother and a ghost. And next year's WHEN THE BUTTERFLIES CAME is about mysterious letters that begin showing up from a dead grandmother as well as a box of keys my MC has to find the locks for where there are more letters and clues to a mystery.

    :-)

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    1. So you like mysterious notes too!!! I really need to read CIRCLE OF SECRETS. I'm always so behind on my reading. Hoping to take a writing break soon and spend lots of time reading soon.

      I know, I'm bummed we didn't get more time together. Hopefully we will meet again someday soon!!

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  24. Can't wait to read it, Lisa!

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