Monday, June 29, 2015

Who likes Harper Lee?

Are you guys as excited as I am about Harper Lee's next novel? In case you're not an English nerd, let me help you out here. Harper Lee wrote To Kill a Mockingbird in 1960. Well, that's when it was published, anyway.

It became an instant classic. Won the Pulitzer Prize. Got made into a movie starring Gregory Peck. All things good.

But then she stopped writing. Or maybe life got in her way or she didn't feel like anything she wrote would be a suitable follow-up to her wildly successful first novel. I can totally relate. Writing a second book is WAY harder than writing a first book. For lots and lots of reasons that would probably bore you guys so I won't go into them.

To be fair, it would be really hard to top To Kill a Mockingbird. It's a masterpiece. It just is.

I can't imagine that kind of pressure. That would totally kill my writing mojo too.

Anyway, fast forward to 2014 when something amazing happened. Somebody found a treasure: Go Set a Watchman. This book is actually Harper Lee's first novel, but it was rejected by publishers in the 1950s and was believed to be lost for the next 60 years! Obviously as soon as it was found, it was fast-tracked for publication.

I can totally understand how this could happen. Two (or maybe even three) laptops ago, I wrote my first novel, and I'm pretty sure that aside from some email attachments I may or may not be able to locate in my gmail account, the only copy of that book that now exists is a printed out version that's all jumbled up and stuck in a box in my closet. Not a joke.

But back to Harper Lee. Fans and literary peeps the world over are now eagerly awaiting the chance to read her next book, and I am no exception. According to the internet, Go Set a Watchman is actually a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, set 20 years later. Which is kind of perfect seeing as how I first read To Kill a Mockingbird just about 20 years ago. Okay. More like 15. But still.

If you're as excited about all this as I am, or if you just want to join in on a good party with book-y
people, I hope you'll come hang out at the Orem Barnes & Noble on Monday, July 13th for an all-day read-a-thon of To Kill a Mockingbird. This literally means that there will be someone there all day, starting at 9:00 am and ending at midnight, reading aloud from To Kill a Mockingbird. Not the same person, obviously. (That would kill anyone's voice.) Different people—local authors, celebs, cool people like that, and me. :)

I'll be there from 6:30 to 7:30.

So pretty much perfect timing for family night. And I'd be happy to sign your book after if you feel like buying mine while you're there.

But mostly I'm just excited to celebrate Harper Lee, Scout, Atticus, and second novels—even if they come 15, 20, or 60 years later. Writing is a personal journey. And being an author takes a lot of courage. I'm just glad that Harper Lee decided to be brave again so that the rest of us could enjoy more of her words.

Hope to see you there!

For more information about the event, click on this link:

And to find out more about Go Set a Watchman, you can click here:

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