July 1, 2011

A Deluxe Apartment in the Sky-yyy

Filed under: The Writing Life — jenny @ 10:04 pm

The line reads like this in my mind:Last night I dreamed I went to Manderly again…

…but goes like: Last night I went to Random House.

It was actually two nights ago, but who’s counting?

I am. The first time I got to walk through my new publisher’s doors will be imprinted on my brain, and all days will for at least a while be counted from it: Two days ago I was there; a week ago today I was there; one month ago…

When I arrived I waited outside to meet my agent (and for this event, hand-holder) and across the street I saw several silver hanging signs with one word on them.


Why yes, it is, I felt like saying aloud. My dream, that is. But how’d you know?

Turns out Dream is a hotel right near the lofty offices I was about to enter. Or at least it was there for that night, now two days ago. In the way of dreams (and eerie novels) I have the feeling it might’ve been plunked down to make the point and now if I called to make a reservation, someone might answer and say, “No, there’s no hotel called Dream in the city, and there never has been…”

The lobby of RH, which must be forty feet or higher, has wall to wall and floor to ceiling bookcases, with just some of the books all the imprints have published stored behind glass.

I used to spend play dates and birthday parties curled up in front of the host child’s collection of unknown books , and so you might understand how strong my impulse was to just sit…and read.

Instead we took the elevator up to the 25th floor. Dozens of people were milling about, mostly women, some in the kind of nice garb I never wore when I was part of the working world, and others (the romance authors for whom this party was held) in colorful frocks like a bouquet themselves.

The cocktail of the night was champagne with strawberries and rose water tinting it scarlet. Wait staff circulated with plates of finger tidbits that looked oh so tempting (beef with caramelized onions on toast? coconut shrimp with a chili dipping sauce?) except that I was too nervous to eat.

My new editor is one of the most gracious people I have ever chanced to meet, and she–who was something like the bride at this shindig and by now had maybe upwards of a hundred people to greet–managed to come over and speak to me at least three times during the night.

I met some lovely RH employees, and could’ve stood around listening to details about their jobs all night.

I even got to say hello to Tess Gerritsen, one of the shining stars there, an author who was kind enough to answer a letter and offer her agent’s name back in the days when I hardly knew what an agent was. It’s fantastic when someone you’ve had a mental image of for a long time surpasses it in person. Tess was interesting–and interested. A wonderful combination.

One of the best things to happen since I got my offer has been getting to spend more time with my agent. Now that the initial leap has been made, we can talk at least some of the time about other things, get to know each other on other levels. That made the night special as well.

It was, as the sign proclaimed, a dream.


  1. Lovely post, Jenny, thanks so much for giving us some more details on the fabulous RH party! I can see why you’ll be counting the days following this event. I also really enjoyed the idea of the Dream Hotel actually disappearing from earthly existence the next day after the party… sounds like a fun idea for another novel some day! :p Congratulations again, you deserve every minute of your success! Before you know it, you’ll be one of those featured authors attending the next party. ~_^

    Comment by Becca — July 2, 2011 @ 12:34 am

  2. Like Becca, I am now also inspired to write a story called The Dream Hotel. Best of all, YOUR dream came true!

    Comment by Sara — July 2, 2011 @ 7:35 am

  3. What a moment! Almost surreal in its beauty. I am so glad for you, Jenny! I wish I had more pictures!

    Comment by Savvy — July 2, 2011 @ 8:23 am

  4. It does sound like a dream that you could live off of for years. After all the hard work and years of struggle, you have earned this joyous reward, my friend, enjoy it to the fullest.

    Comment by Karyne — July 2, 2011 @ 8:23 am

  5. The only bad part is that you weren’t able to enjoy the food! :)

    Comment by Judy — July 2, 2011 @ 8:44 am

  6. Thank you, guys, for being here. I didn’t announce this post very much because it feels weird to have one that’s about such a unique to my current situation state of mind–but I am very glad to see you all here, and read your thoughts. It is indeed too bad I couldn’t eat, but otoh, it means I am in this wound up, excited state, which is oh so much fun…!

    Comment by jenny — July 2, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

  7. Hurray for you, Jenny! I can only imagine how excted, and trembly (?) you felt. I am so happy for you.

    Comment by Lil Gluckstern — July 2, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

  8. Sounds like a great evening. Next time, line your pockets with plastic bags so you can bring home some snacks. LOL

    Comment by Carolyn J. Rose — July 2, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

  9. Thank you, Lil. Trembly is a *great* word for it. And Carolyn–*what* a plan–that would totally work. Do you think I might start to smell dinnery?

    Comment by jenny — July 2, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

  10. Jenny….You’re KILLING me! Champagne, tinted with rosewater & strawberries?!?! Arghh. next time ask if they have a “bring a friend” policy (they really should…it’s only fair).
    I keep my dream alive by living vicariously through you.
    Go girl. Light the world on fire!

    Comment by Elsie Love — July 4, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

  11. Hi Jenny. Thanks for sharing more of your journey with all of us. You’ve worked hard to achieve this success and next time, you can eat and enjoy. Although watch out for anything green. You do not want to chat up Tess Gerritsen with spinach protruding from your front teeth. And if you talk with your hands stick to white wine:-)

    Comment by Cindy Sample — July 4, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

  12. Elsie, I wish I could bring my friends, that would be wonderful! Many of you have found your ways already, others will find brand, shining new ones before too long, but perhaps one or two will wind up at the same place and we can drink pink drinks together. Although Cindy makes a good point–what happens to that drink when we trip in high heels? I did forget to add the part about my feet hurting so badly by the end of the night, I had to lean on one of the many book shelves and hope I looked upright!

    Comment by jenny — July 4, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

  13. Did you at least bring back some chocolate mousse for me?

    Comment by Eric Keith — July 7, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

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