Monday, September 17, 2007

So many Hats - Lilian Darcy

My friend Jane Porter has a very scary writing process. This is no secret. She often writes about her schedule on her website blog. Jane writes the way someone might cook a good piece of steak. She marinates each book for months in her head, then writes it in a sizzling heat of inspiration so that it’s done fast, juicy and flavorful all through. It’s exhausting and demanding and intense, but whether she likes it or not, it’s her process and she’s stuck with it.

For my part, I’m in awe of Jane’s process and I know I couldn’t handle it… but at least it would help me to deal with the hat problem. Okay, you’re not aware of the hat problem? As women, most of us already wear several hats – the parent hat, the partner hat. As writers, too, we need an extensive collection of millinery.

And my problem is, I’m just not that quick at changing from hat to hat. I can’t pull off my creative hat (imagine it as a butt-ugly hand-knitted stripey woolly thing with pompom) then jam on my mom hat (would have to be a red Ohio State baseball cap) then take that one off and immediately grab my book promotion hat (glammy creation of straw, silk flowers and tulle). I have to wander around totally hatless for hours between each switch of head-gear, and sometimes the necessary hat completely disappears, and there’s just not enough time in my life for any of that.

Jane’s process means that she doesn’t have to switch professional hats quite so often. She writes in big, intense bursts, and then she goes out and promotes her books in big, intense bursts, and I really envy her that. Hm, I envy her the great cover she has for ODD MOM OUT, too, and I know it’s going to fly off the shelves because she’s a wonderful writer. Go, Jane!

But the point I’m ver-rr-ry slowly getting around to, here, is that I have my own book out at the moment, CAFÉ DU JOUR and I haven’t done enough to promote it. What’s worse is that I’m running out of time. For the foreseeable future, the book is only coming out in Australia, and it’s only staying up until the end of September on – where it’s easy to order and have shipped anywhere in the world, just click on this link and go to the final page of Mira listings.

I’ve received such wonderful feedback on this book, I know there are many people out there who would love it if they can only find out it exists. A review in The Melbourne Age, one of Australia’s top newspapers, called it “warm and witty… and excellent read.”
In emails and cards, too, I’ve heard the same chorus of responses over and over: “I loved it… so real… devoured it…a wonderful read… vibrant, rich characters… a fabulous book… gorgeous… intense…reminds me of Barbara Samuel…wonderful…I loved it… I’m totally absorbed… outstanding… intimately familiar… I am in awe.”

So I do hope you’ll buy it and find out for yourself!

There. Whew. I’ve done it. I’ve promoted CAFÉ DU JOUR on Tote Bags ‘n’ Blogs.
Now I can take off my glamorous tulle and straw creation, being careful of the delicate silk flowers, and put on my striped woolly number and start to write my tame, unambitious goal of 8 to 10 pages today. Okay, but where is the damn hat? What have I done with the woolly hat? Why isn’t it right here on my desk waiting for me? I should already have written two pages by now…

Is there anyone else out there who can relate to my hat problem?


Lois said...

Well, I'm 30, but I don't have a hat problem yet. I'm sure soon that'll change. LOL :) But boy, I bet a problem with all the hats though, is if you get an idea for something while doing something else, there isn't always paper around to write it down to remember later. . . but yet the different situations in the course of a day sure give plenty of ideas though. :)


Anna Campbell said...

Lilian, I think you look gorgeous in any hat. Even that stinky old fisherman's cap that I'm sure I've seen you in occasionally. Oh, and there's the tatty straw number the dog ate! ;-)

Cafe du Jour is a wonderful read! Congratulations on a great book. I was at the Brisbane Writers Festival on Sunday and noticed that Meredith Webber, one of our fantastic Aussie medical authors, was wearing a T-shirt with the Cafe du Jour cover printed on it. I wanted one!!! So your army of fans are getting into the swing of alerting the world to CDJ!

Jane Porter said...

Lilian, I do wear some hats but I try to make sure they're hats I really like...I think too many women wear hats they don't like and now that I'm in my 40's I'm encouraging women to liberate themselves from the hats that are too awful.

Cafe du Jour is a wonderful book and a fantastic read. I loved it. I highly recommend it. It should be published here in the US. It's great writing!!

YvonneLindsay said...

Lilian, sometimes its not even so much of the hat problem but more what it does to your hair...

I, too, envy Jane's process but I think I'd implode during the fast write process.

Jane, I heartily agree with you about women wearing hats they don't like. Call it conditioning, call it laziness, call it fear--there's always going to be something to hold people back.

Annie West said...

Lois, personally I'd love to see the woolly pom pom hat! I love a beanie with character.

Congratulations on Cafe du Jour - you must be thrilled to have it out there on the shelves. Congratulations too on the wonderful feedback you've been getting on it. I'm looking forward to reading it myself.


Lilian D said...

That's a really good point, Jane, about too many women wearing hats they don't like.

The thing is, I do like all my hats, but when I'm wearing one, I get on a roll and want to keep it on, and suddenly it's time to switch to the pick-up-the-kids-from-school hat and... Yeah.

Thanks for all the great comments about Cafe du Jour.

deseng said...

Oh my I have a tremendous hat problem! Hat for my mom, hat for work, hat for reviewing, hat for hubby, etc. etc. Does the hat list ever get any shorter? My hats range anywhere from silly to serious! Oh and there is the girlfriend hat! I gotta love that one!

Have fun Lilian!

Nathalie said...

I have never worn a hat... so I can't really relate

Lily said...

I love hats... I have many, but only for winter and I don't think it is the same thing :)

tam said...

Congratulations on Cafe du Jour!
As far as the hat goes, I never got into the habit of wearing one. I can't even remember when the last time I even had one on.