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Katrin's Newsletter #42: Hello 2022!
This brief missive is a way for me to make connections with people interested in art and creativity (sign up here). I'm an author and editor, always on the lookout for inspiration.
Hello 2022! What do you have in store for us?
We're only a few weeks into the new year and already it's been full of surprises. Seems to me the name of the game for early 2022 is still flexibility and perseverance.
January is the culmination of my behind-the-scenes work for Key West Literary Seminar (Jan 6 - 14). It was a grueling task this year, thanks to omicron. Lots of last minute "pivoting" to virtual for the workshop week, which I'm responsible for. Lots of precautions and adjustments. Lots of hours alone in the office.
Then I got sick. What do we do with such bitter disappointments? We move on, right?
There were a few highlights before I had to call it quits. I picked up the charming and prolific Jami Attenberg from the airport. She has a new book out, I Came All This Way to Meet You, in which she explores the drive to become a writer. I got to see my six Emerging Writer Award winners read from works in progress, and it brought tears to my eyes. The above picture (I'm on the right) shows me with Lauren Groff, who gave the keynote this year. I heard Tom Perrotta talk about MILFs and rode in an elevator with Colum McCann and admired Joyce Maynard's verve (and style) and was awed by Pulitzer Prize Winner Jericho Brown's energy.
That was it, for me. After I got Covid, the workshop week - my "baby" - was a complete and total bust. Over before it even began.
So, let's move on and look forward to the other things 2022 might have in store for us... hopefully good work and some adventure and health and connection with other humans, and rest and good books. Most of all, resurgent creativity and opportunity!
When is a book ever actually finished?
Readers are often astonished to discover how many revisions go into producing the final version of a well-published book. I am launching into the 4th edit, by my count, for my "Ibiza book." This is the moment I've been waiting for, and I'm so excited for it.
For me, in the early drafting stage I feel like I'm swimming toward a bunch of far off islands (just like my main character does, haha!) and there are tides pulling at me, jellyfish stinging me, waves pummeling and energy flagging. Early readers help clear the waters and make swimming easier. In later edits, I'm doing the crawl toward one particular destination and then diving from the cliffs and having fun.
The next time I write to you, I hope I'll be finished with this next round and the book will be back on my agent's desk.
Of course, that won't be the end of the edits. My agent will have more feedback, there will be back and forth as we prepare to pitch it to editors, and then if and when it sells, there will be further developmental edits, copy edits and proofreading! Meanwhile, I'm working up a list of competitive titles (kind of like when, after watching a movie, you tell a friend, "It's like The Terminator but with a dash of Thelma and Louise..."). Above are a few of the books that might be comps for me: A Theatre for Dreamers by Polly Samson; Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller and Songs in Ursa Major by Emma Brodie.