You know what I’m going to do today? I’m going to stroll into a bookstore to see The Guardians on the shelf. Because they’re there (the interweb told me)! And there’s nothing quite like that first sight of a pub date book, newborn and shivering, presenting itself to the world.
It’s a complicated moment. You want to protect it, nudge it out from the corner (“Go on! Introduce yourself!”), tell it to shut up and you’ll do all the talking. But even as you’re aware of its vulnerabilities, you always love it. You love it more because of its vulnerabilities.
So on behalf of The Guardians I invite you to check it out. If I’ve done my job halfway right, it should take you a quarter of the time as that new Franzen. And unlike that new Franzen…it’s got a haunted house in it!
2010? Thank you. You brought me a beautiful chucklehead of a son (born right at the start of things). You moved us into a new house (and a mortgage of a size and amortization period that brought joy to the cold heart of CIBC). You delivered a crazy-busy summer peppered with airports and conference calls and a couple weeks at a rented cottage of I’ll-never-forget-those-days quality. Oh, and thanks for introducing me to Santa’s Village! I’ll be back!
But, to be frank, you’re looking your age. Just a few more days and you’ll be off to that place where the ghost years go. So we look to the year to come – 2011, with its twin towered 1’s pointing hopefully skyward – and, with fingers crossed, count our hopes.
For me, 2011 is jam-packed. This is highly unusual. I’m a novelist. My professional calendar tends to be snowdrift-white for pages and pages, my To Do list little more than “Write novel.” But this new year happens to be one where many long-long-gestating projects may (and I emphasize may) decide to step into the light. There’s the new book, The Guardians, of course (in stores the first week of January!) But there’s other stuff on the go too. A TV pilot I’ve been hired to write. The movie of Lost Girls, scheduled to be filmed in the fall. The movie of The Killing Circle, which has a finished script (not written by me, but a British screenwriter named James Dormer…and it’s effing great). Two other adaptations in earlier stages of development – The Wildfire Season going to draft, and The Guardians under option. [NOTE: It’s the movie business, I know. Which is to say you never know. You think the literary life is about rejection? Try making a movie. But it will nevertheless be exciting to see how the horse race goes over the next 365 days].
And then there’s another novel to write. There’s always another novel to write. A new year! A new story!