October 17, 2018

A Small World Story

Before my novel What More Could You Wish For was picked up by St. Martin's Press, I self-published the book under the title Mr. Right Enough. On the cover of that book, published in 2010, was a house, because a house figures prominently in the story.
Cover design by Miggs Burroughs
I traveled through various Chicago neighborhoods looking for the perfect house for that cover and found it on Michigan Ave. in Evanston, a beautiful house with a welcoming porch.
After I published, I sent a copy of the book to the people who lived there (I hadn't asked permission to take the picture) and got a lovely letter back, saying they were proud to have their house on my cover and that I'd made it look beautiful.

Here's the small world part:
I recently saw a film at the Chicago International Film Festival titled An Acceptable Loss. When I got my ticket I didn't realize the filmmakers were Chicagoans and that it was entirely shot here. In an early scene the main character, Libby (coincidentally the name of my title character!) is going for a run (my Libby is also a runner!) and as she exits her house I was struck dumb...there was MY HOUSE! The one on the cover of my book! It freaked me out. I thought it couldn't be, but there are several more shots of it and by then I was sure.
During the Q&A with the producer after the film she said both she and the director live in Evanston and I thought, wouldn't it be amazing if one of them lived in that house? So I talked to her afterward and neither she nor the director live there but she did confirm it's on Michigan Ave. in Evanston.
I wonder how the people who own that house are handling all their fame.

For the record, I am so grateful that St. Martin's Press published my book. But I think it would have sold better if they'd done something similar to my original cover, instead of putting a cupcake on there. Not only is there no cupcake in the book at all, but now it looks like a young adult novel, instead of a coming-of-middle-age story of a woman at a crossroad in her life.
My very favorite cover, however, is the one the German publisher created for the translation. Germans. Who aren't known for their sense of humor. That cover is brilliant.
Which one's your favorite?

September 25, 2018

Guilty as Charged

I grew up loving Bill Cosby. I watched him team up with Robert Culp in I Spy in the 60s, the first black actor in a dramatic role on TV. It gave us, white people as well as black, a model for equality, an uncommon view of the world back then.
I saw him do stand-up comedy on stage in the 70s, and then as the warm, wonderful, funny Cliff Huxtable, in the 80s.
Bill Cosby was someone I admired. He was charismatic and charming. He was ground-breaking, a role model.
I didn't want to believe he could be guilty of the things he was accused of, and maybe when the first woman accused him I could casually disbelieve it; I couldn't get my mind around this kind of duplicity. One woman might lie, for whatever reason; revenge, retaliation, jealousy. Two women might even lie, though that begins to stretch deniability. But 60?
I think we always want to believe people are good. It's hard to fathom that someone can present such a lovable face to the world and that it can be such a a bold-faced lie. We all have different facets to our personalities, but can they be so vastly opposed without some kind of mental instability? I'm not looking to excuse him, but there has to be mental illness there, to think what he was doing was not wrong.
He hasn't shown a shred of responsibility or remorse; he's only shown arrogance. I wonder how that will play in prison as he begins his 3-10 year sentence. Which is not long enough.