Monday, September 1, 2008

The Celebration Begins! Line of Scrimmage Launch Party!

Happy September 1! Today is the day Line of Scrimmage officially launches. I'm pleased to invite you to attend the launch party here and simultaneously on the Casablanca Authors Blog. All this week, everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing. I'll be giving away two copies of Line of Scrimmage as well as two Barnes & Noble gift cards! One week, four winners! Enter again over on the Casa Blog for four more chances to win! Both contests end at midnight Eastern Daylight Time on Friday, September 5.

I want to thank my family and friends for sharing in the excitement of these last few weeks with me. So many people helped to get me here, and I thank you all for your endless support and enthusiasm for my books. Line of Scrimmage is dedicated to my parents, George and Barbara Sullivan, who always said I could, and to my husband Dan and our kids, Emily and Jake, who stood by me while I did. I wrote the following paragraphs for my website, but I thought today would be a good day to retell my story.

When we lived in Jacksonville, FL, from 1998-2002, my husband deployed on the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy for months at a time. The kids and I used to drive down to Ft. Lauderdale to visit my parents who spent winters there. My dad and I would take long walks through the marinas where he would show me the boats we were going to buy someday. “You need to get busy writing that book,” he would say. My reply was always the same: “When exactly do you think I could fit that in? Between changing diapers and working full time?” With a big grin, he would say, “Three to six a.m. is available.” A pipe dream. That’s all it was. But there was this character running around in my head. A man with thick dark hair, gray-blue eyes, an engaging grin, a quick wit . . . His name was Jack, and he was an architect. I’d find myself talking to him in the car, when I was doing dishes or bathing babies. He’d crop up on days at the beach and on walks through the neighborhood. Someday, I said. Someday, I’ll write Jack’s story.

In 2002, I began to make some notes. I stumbled upon those notes recently and laughed so hard I cried. It was God-awful! Clearly, I wasn’t ready. Once in a while, though, I’d reopen that file, take another look, and make some more notes. I vividly remember outlining the story I had in mind to Dan when we were out to dinner one night. He loved it and encouraged me to pursue it. I knew I wanted something to happen to Jack’s wife, Clare, something that would incapacitate her but not kill her. I had great plans to put Jack through the wringer, but inevitably, life would interfere, and he’d get relegated to the back burner.

After we moved to Rhode Island in August 2002, I started to get more serious about the book but still wasn’t able to get very far. A year later, in November 2003, my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The next nine months were a roller coaster ride, during which I turned to the book more and more often, seeking an escape from reality. By early August 2004, I had four solid chapters that my mother was the first to read. I made her cry, she said. She died shortly after.

Something that had lain dormant for years kicked into gear in the aftermath of my mother’s death. I asked myself—what are you waiting for? What meaning will it have to finally write that book if you wait until neither of your parents—the two people who always said you had it in you—aren’t around to read it? I firmly believe my mother is sending me these amazing characters who continue to pop up out of nowhere and lead me on one great adventure after another. How else can I possibly explain the incredible things that have happened in the four years since she died?

I finished Jack’s book, Treading Water, on May 18, 2005, and it’s my fondest hope to one day see it published. I’ve finished a few since then, including Line of Scrimmage, but no accomplishment will ever mean more to me than writing “The End” on that first one. You sort of expect the world to at least have the decency to tip on its axis in tribute to your enormous accomplishment. But alas, kids still have homework, there’s work and laundry and bills and dinner to make. Life goes on, but nothing is ever the same again.

My dad has read all of my books. Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of my mother's death. Today Line of Scrimmage officially launches. I like to picture her holding her own launch party in heaven. "WHOO HOO!" she would say. "WE DID IT!"

Has there been an event in your life that spurred you to action? That got you to do something you always said you were going to do?

35 comments:

Jessica said...

Marie,
So happy for you that you seized the day and got Jack's story written. I definitely agree that you have some special divine Force (sorry, couldn't resist) in your life and I am so happy for you that THIS is happening. You've worked so hard for it - enjoy this wonderful moment! Congrats!

And let's celebrate!
Hugs,
Jessica

Jessica said...

PS - in an unrelated note, the cover for Same Time Sunday is gorgeous! Wow!

Marie Force said...

Thanks Jessica! The Divine Force was a FORCE in life, so it's no surprise to me that she's getting it done "up there," too. We also credit her with two Red Sox World Series wins! Go MOM!

Glad you like the STS cover. I love it, too!!

tetewa said...

Congrats on the release, just came from the Casblanca blog!

Betta said...

Marie-I couldn't be prouder to see that you are well on your way to your dream. You are such an inspiration to me.

Jennifer Y. said...

Just wanted to say congrats on the release! I can't wait to read it!

Marie Force said...

Tetewa,
I hope you win something for coming to both parties!!!

Betta,
Thanks for the kind words. I know you have the writing bug, too, so i hope to see my lovely niece's name on the shelves someday!

Jennifer,
Thanks for coming by! I'm looking forward to my day on your blog tomorrow!

xo everyone!
Marie

Jill James said...

Marie, congratulations on your launch day.!!!

My mother died at 61 and I decided I didn't want to leave unfinished business behind, I didn't want to say I should have written that book. So, I'm taking my writing seriously and trying as hard as I can to see a book in print.

Vicki said...

Major congrats on the book release. I think my moment came from Science Guy, the day I called him from work upset over a promotion that I was doing, but could really get. His response was, "I don't see you as this and this (the promotion), but as Vicki the author."

That and my sister was always calling me, asking when I was going to do what I was really supposed to do. Write.

Marie Force said...

Hi Jill,
My mother was 67, so I know what you mean. I'm so glad you're going after your goals with great gusto. I wish you nothing but the best of luck in seeing that book in print!
Marie

Marie Force said...

Vicki,
That's a great story. It's wonderful that he saw your potential even before you did. Sometimes that little bit of insight is all it takes. Good luck with your writing!! There's nothing like that feeling of writing THE END.
Marie

Nina Pierce said...

Congratulations, Marie. I know it has been a long time coming. I can't wait to get my hands on this! Many happy sales.

Marie Force said...

Thanks so much for your excitement about LOS, Nina!!

Katie O'Sullivan said...

Marie-
Congratulations on your first Big Release! I'm an NEC lurker and have followed all your announcements - and feel so inspired by you and our other fellow NECers!

The book looks fabulous - can't wait to read it!

You go, girl!!
Katie O'Sullivan

Marie Force said...

Thanks so much, Katie!! I appreciate your enthusiasm. We have a great chapter!

Christyne Butler said...

Congrats on your release Marie! I saw the review for your book on Magical Musings...after I got home from B&N of course! So I'll give this contest a try but if I'm not a lucky winner it's back to the bookstore for me!

And you're a Boston Red Sox fan?? A girl after my own heart!

CPA Mom said...

Hi Marie, I'm an AGA member, Kelly told me about you, the author!! Congratulations! I hope to win, of course, but if I don't I'll be sure to buy the book and review it on my site!

Marie Force said...

Hi Christyne,
YES, GO SOX!!! Thanks for your interest in LOS! I really appreciate it.
Marie

Marie Force said...

YEAH AGA! Welcome, CPA mom. Kelly is so great! Thanks for the support and do let me know when you post your review!!
Marie

Liana said...

Marie,
This is so exciting! I can't wait to get my hands on it and bring it to you to autograph, too!

Woo-Hoo!
Liana

Marie Force said...

Thanks Liana, I will happily sign your copy!!!

Liana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane said...

Congrats on the release, Marie. I'm looking forward to reading Ryan and Susannah's story.

Marie Force said...

Thanks so much, Jane! I hope you enjoy it.

Maureen said...

Congratulations on your new release. It looks like a great story.

Marie Force said...

Thanks for coming by, Maureen!

robynl said...

Oh I love parties;" lets the confetti fall and the helium balloons float upwards". Let's party.

Congrats on the release, Marie. I'm looking forward to reading Ryan and Susannah's story. You are knew to me and I love football. The heroes are fine!!

Marie Force said...

Thanks for coming to toss the confetti, Robyn! I knew we were missing something!! Appreciate the good wishes.
Marie

Liza said...

Congrats on the book! Sounds like a great story.

Marie Force said...

Thanks for coming to the party, Liza!

kim h said...

congrats on teh book. love fooball and hot men.!!

Marie Force said...

Thanks, Kim!! If that's true, you will love Ryan!

flchen1 said...

Huge congratulations to you, Marie! I'm sure your mother's celebrating this big milestone with you, too!

I'm not sure I've had such an inspiration to action yet--I do believe that sometimes really wonderful things are prompted by events that don't on the face of it seem like good ones.

Happy celebrating, and can't wait to read Line of Scrimmage!

Marie Force said...

Thanks, Fichen! I hope your calll to arms is less dramatic than mine was. I wouldn't wish that on anyone even though I'm glad I was able to make something good come of it. Have a great day!

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Hi Marie,
Just letting you know I received my winning copy today in the mail. I think it may have been there for a few days. Nevertheless, a big thank you from down under. :)

I am trying to finish off my to do list today so I can sit down and begin to read... I can't get things done quick enough. lol

Thanks once again,
Much appreciated,

Suzanne :)