"Michelle O'Neil is a true writer, dedicated to sharing her story and experience with others. To read her work is to be inspired. She is a truly perseverant spirit." –JENNIFER LAUCK, author of New York Times Bestseller, Blackbird, Still Waters, Show Me the Way and Found.
There is a brief reference in Daughter of the Drunk at the Bar to a feud my brother and I had when we were growing up. On Wednesday evenings, I wanted to watch Eight is Enough. I loved that show. He wanted to watch The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, starring Dan Haggerty. We had to alternate weekly and it really chapped my ass.
What are the odds that Hollye Dexter, one of the writers I would ask to endorse my book, would be the niece of Mr. Haggerty? And how apropos that she alone, of all the many editors and persnickety writer friends who read it, noticed my typo.
In Hollye's good nature, she pointed out that Grisly Adams would be an excellent name for a bearded serial killer, should I ever want to venture off in that direction with my writing.
So I am thrilled with my new back cover blurbiness. Seriously. My back cover has gone through a complete metamorphosis over the last couple of months. Previously, I was still apologizing for existing and for writing this book at all. Trying to make it "light." Trying to assure the reader that, hey, I'm okay, you do not have to be afraid to read this book! The story is not too dark. Promise.
It was pitiful.
Now, I am endorsed by rock stars. Each one a true and brave writer whom I admire. Each one giving me a jolt of confidence with their nod of approval.
Jennifer Lauck, my first true writing teacher and the most beautiful memoirist. Queen of memoir. Blackbird, Still Waters, Show Me the Way, and Found. Every word, pure poetry. I am so honored that a writer of her vast wisdom and talent would endorse my book. She is and always has been so very generous to me.
Amy Ferris, author of Marrying George Clooney and A is for Ambien. Co-editor of the powerhouse anthology Dancing at the Shame Prom. Amy is a nurturing, loving, force for good in the world. She is a champion of other writers, other women, men, humanity. She is hilarious, and a heart breaking writer. She's got the funny, and the poignancy. All of it. I'm still pinching myself that she said yes to my blurb request.
Monica Holloway, her way with words, her books, make you feel like you are sitting down having a chat with a dear friend. She is one of those writers that is so good, she makes writing look easy. Her memoir Driving With Dead People about her dysfunctional childhood, and her memoir Cowboy and Wills, about her son on the autism spectrum and his special dog. Yeah...we have much in common. She's soul sister material.
And speaking of sisters, what about Carrie Wilson Link, author of Wil of God. We've been blogging sisters for over seven years. Her book is a beautifully written testament to blooming where you are planted, and embracing the relentlessness of special needs parenting, and life. Her constant championing of me over the years is humbling and I am so blessed to have her in my corner, and on my cover.
Hollye Dexter is author and co-editor of Dancing at the Shame Prom and also head of media relations for Moms Demand Action (for gun regulation). I blogged about the Shame Prom, and then kept bumping up against her work, her blog, her piece in another anthology, etc. I so resonated with her work. She is a beautiful writer and fierce advocate/activist for children (and animals) and the world. I am so honored that she agreed to blurb me. She's quite the human.
Thank you to writer Jennifer Margulis, author of The Business of Baby who had the guts and the honesty to mention that my previous back cover was hideous. Because of her candor, I trusted her when she said the work was actually good. She is a tough editor. She wouldn't lie just to be nice. Every writer needs someone like Jennifer in their life!
I'm still not sure about the author photo. I've switched it up a couple of times. I'm kind of in transition looks-wise and don't feel I even know what I look like these days. I cut off all my hair, and stopped coloring, thinking I'd just be gloriously grey, and turns out I'm hardly grey at all, so now I'm just letting it grow out again. I decided since the goal is to grow it back down to shoulder length, this was the closest photo. I might change my mind.
But for now, the back cover is looking so much better. I can't believe I am swimming in the sea with these talented, tenacious, writerly women. People who say the writing industry is cut-throat, don't know these folks. Generosity abounds. I am full to overflowing with love and gratitude.