I first 'met' author Patry Francis when I somehow stumbled onto a blog post of hers shortly after she'd sold her book, The Liar's Diary. I remember feeling so moved by it, because it reminded me of my own many years of waitressing and of my mother who had waitressed all her life, and as some of you may remember, had her life cut short by lung cancer when she was only 57.
Patry had chased her dream and was about to leave her waitressing days behind her. But then, very recently, I learned that only a month after her book was released, Patry was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer. She has had two surgeries and is readying for a third, which is taking up most of her time and energy. So, as an effort to help with the book promotion that she cannot do herself right now, me and well over 300 others, many of them best selling authors themselves, are blogging to bring her book some attention.
And this is a really good book! Patry's writing is truly exceptional. You get a sense of that when you read her blog as well, where she speaks candidly and eloquently and with humor as she deals with the day to day of fighting this vicious disease.
Please, read more about Patry's book below, watch her great book trailer, and if you know someone who'd like her book, please pick it up. Directly below is a bit of the post that introduced me to Patsy, and whether you've waitressed or not, I think you'll feel a bit of her excitement when she learns that her book has sold. Hopefully Patry can kick this cancer, and will have many writing days ahead.
I bought these shoes a couple years ago on sale for $14.99. A deal! I called a few of my waitress friends who came out and bought two or three pairs. But not me. See, I didn't plan to wear those ugly black clunkers much longer. Back at home, I was writing my little heart out (mostly in secret, lest people think I'm crazier than they already do). But also in secret, I believed something great was going to happen to me. Something miraculous. I was going to find an agent who had faith in me; and somewhere, somehow I was going to get a book deal.
This summer, when the soles sprung their first official hole and rain or every gooey gross substance on the kitchen floor leaked through saturated my socks, I refused to buy another pair. Nor did I replace my yellowing tuxedo shirts. This, you see, was going to be my last season as a waitress. Those who had heard I found an agent, asked almost daily if I'd sold the book.
"We're revising," I said. "Maybe we'll go out with it in the fall."
People gave me the kind of looks reserved for escapees from the asylum. "Better get a new pair of shoes, hon," they said as they walked away.
Meanwhile, the holes in my shoes got bigger and the soles got thinner. But I was not buying another pair. Well, at least not till next spring. But worse than the problem with the shoes, my backaches required more ibupfrofen to quiet them, and my feet ached so much that sometimes I still felt them in the morning. Everything was telling me that the work I did was too physical for my ectomorph body, and that I'd been doing it for far too long. And yet the only Plan B I had was a miracle.
Then last Thursday around 11:30 a.m. the phone rang as I was wandering around the house with a coffee cup in my hand thinking about my work in progress. On the other end of the line, the most amazing literary agent in the known universe, Alice Tasman of JVNLA (Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency) greeted me cheerily.
"I have some very exciting news for you," she said. "Dutton has made an offer on your novel."
While she gave me the details of the offer, my eyes drifted toward my waitressing shoes which were sitting in a square of light in the middle of the floor.
"You mean I can hang up my waitress shoes?" I said.
"You can burn those babies," she replied.
Here's more about Patry and Liar's Diary:
Praise for THE LIAR'S DIARY:
"Twists and turns but never lets go."—Jacquelyn Mitchard, bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean
"A quirky, well-written and well-constructed mystery with an edge."—Publishers Weekly
"Outright chilling."—New York Daily News
"Genuinely creepy…The unlikely friendship between a small-town school secretary and a flamboyant teacher proves deadly in this psychological murder mystery."—Kirkus Reviews
"A twisting ride full of dangerous curves and jaw-dropping surprises. This is one of my favorite reads of the year!"—Tess Gerristen, bestselling author of The Mephisto Club
"Francis draws and tense and moody picture of the perfect home and family being peeled back secret by secret…Four Stars."—Romantic Times