2016 In Review

I’m in a state of disbelief another year is just about gone, and so, what better time to gather up some pictures and share them here, thereby providing a “snapshot” of 2016 in review!

To say it’s been a wonderful, fun filled, exciting time doesn’t even come close to how I really feel.  The holidays are almost here and I find I’m in a reflective mood, feeling ever so grateful for all that’s happened while looking forward to what 2017 might bring.

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And so it began…like every other New Year, with fireworks, that feeling of renewal, AND the ever present resolutions!  (did you break all of yours like I did mine?)


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February arrived, and with it Miss Priss turned 1!  She likes cake.  A lot.  She will hate this picture in about 15 years.


In March, page proofs arrived for THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE.

Then came the ARC (notice the cover) and book plates.  So exciting to see!

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Early April, and spring was here.  The rhododendrons were spectacular, as always!


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Also, in April 2016, came my first ever book club presentation! Here we have some members of the Cosmopolitan Book Club.


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In May came another event, a reading and publication discussion for Ye Olde Town Arts Club!


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In June 2016, I received the good news that the book was really resonating with the Sales Department, and with booksellers.  The cover was tweaked to bring the title out more.


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Despite all of the good things happening with THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE, I had to keep writing!  And in June, 2016, I completed my second novel, THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET.  And I had a celebratory beer.  🙂


July and August 2016 = typical summer months.  In other words, hot, hazy and humid, and a few violent storms.


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In August, Mom turned 80, her second birthday without my Dad.  Here she is with her great grands, and though I can still see the sorrow in her eyes, she’s getting along okay.


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In mid September, I found out THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE was selected as a November 2016 Indie Next List pick!




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I was invited to attend the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA), also in September, where I signed books at the all around author event, participated on the Southern Reads panel, and met a lot of other great authors.  And yes, here’s a lovely Penguin Random House Sales Rep, and look there, what book do you see?  SO exciting!


And then?  Unbelievably, (while also thinking FINALLY!) it was time for the book to release on October 25th!  I held my official launch at Raleigh NC’s well known Quail Ridge Books, on November 1st.  Not only did the staff have to bring out more chairs, they sold out of the books.  🙂  I had the best time, and was so thankful for all of my family and friends who came out to  make it such a big success!

During this event, it was announced that THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE was selected as an Amazon Top Ten Pick for November, as well as being featured as the Debut Spotlight pick!

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And that certainly helped to propel it here! (along with the Kindle and the Bookbub deals that ran almost simutaneously!)

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In the meantime, Fall/Winter lists had been compiled, and the book made these lists!

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It was a Library Journal Book Club Selection

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And suddenly, folks were sending me pictures of the book from everywhere.  Here we show Miss Dixie Dupree at the local Wal-Mart,  Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), Denver, Kentucky and Seattle.

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Then came the news the book hit the USA TODAY bestsellers list.         (!!! x a bajillion)

 

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It made the IndieBound bestsellers list (and…it’s still there!)

So, you can see why I am feeling so grateful.

It’s hard to wrap my head around the idea that this book, THIS story, would resonate with so many.  It’s not an easy read.  It deals with dark subject matter, social issues, and as one reviewer pointed out, “all the triggers are going to be pulled.”  And, as I’ve mentioned before, The Washington Independent Review of Books said it was”a harrowing tale of domestic trauma with Southern Gothic flair.”

And there have been many more reviews, like that one, that removed a lot of the doubt I had about writing such a difficult story without mincing words.

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Still, there is a lot of work yet to be done.  I was thrilled to be asked by my editor to read a manuscript and provide a blurb.  I am finalizing the revisions on BITTERSWEET.  I am working on my new book’s outline and first three chapters.  For now, though, I’m turning towards this holiday season and spirit of giving.  I wish each and every one of you joy, peace and hope.


Little Dog says, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too!

I hope to see you back here, in 2017.

xoxo,

Donna

 

 

 


COMMENTS

  • Susan Peterson

    December 14, 2016

    Reply

    What an exciting year!! Merry Christmas and happy 2017!!

    • donnaeve

      December 14, 2016

      Reply

      It really was, Susan! Merry Christmas and Happy 2017 to you too!

  • Carolyn Dennis-Willingham

    December 14, 2016

    Reply

    What a wonderful year for you! Congrats, Donna! 🙂

  • lilacshoshanwp

    December 14, 2016

    Reply

    You had the most amazing year possible, Donna! May 2017 be even more amazing for you. Sending lots of love and cheerful vibes your way. Your success makes me happy! <3 <3 <3
    P.S. I love this post!

    • donnaeve

      December 15, 2016

      Reply

      It truly was that, Lilac! And awesome, wonderful and surreal too! Thank you for all your kind words, and the love + cheerful vibes are returned tenfold! <3 <3 <3 (and I'm glad you loved the post! 🙂 )

  • AJ Blythe

    December 14, 2016

    Reply

    What an amazing year, Donna. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a 2017 to rival this year.

    • donnaeve

      December 15, 2016

      Reply

      I never imagined it quite like this, AJ. Not even in my wildest dreams. And to you and yours, the same – a wonderful Christmas, and an even better 2017!

  • Colin

    December 14, 2016

    Reply

    Congrats again, Donna! With so many wishing 2016 had never happened, you’ve had an awesome year. And I hope this is just the first of many similar (if not better) years ahead for your writing career.

    Is that the back of my head at the book launch…? 🙂

    • donnaeve

      December 15, 2016

      Reply

      Thank you, dearest Colin! Did something bad happen in 2016??? 😉
      I have no idea if anything I do from this point on will give me another year like this, but even if I achieve a tiny portion again, I’ll consider myself fortunate.

      And YES! That there be the back of yo head. 🙂 And #1’s head – right beside you! This was one of the pics Quail Ridge took. Merry Christmas to you and yours, and a happy New Year, Colin!

      • Diane

        December 16, 2016

        Reply

        Things you never expect to say, somehow: I am jealous of the back of Colin’s head!

        Many happy returns for 2017, Donna! I’m glad 2016 was, for YOU, a banner year.

        *Hugs*

      • donnaeve

        December 16, 2016

        Reply

        Jealous of the back of Colin’s head? Too funny! You crack me up.

        Thank you for the well wishes, and back at you too, Diane! Here’s to 2017 exceeding everyone’s expectations.

        (((((hugs back)))))

  • Craig

    December 16, 2016

    Reply

    Why are you writing about the end of the year? It is only September.

    Great year for you. I hope next year tops it for you. I have a feeling about Bittersweet and it is a good one. Plan to query at some point next year too. Still can’t make a decision on what to query though. Currently thinking sci-fi. Not sure if my stock of thriller ideas is long enough to make a career of.

    Wishing you the best of the holiday season.

    • donnaeve

      December 16, 2016

      Reply

      I hope that good feeling comes from having read the flap copy (I just got it about two weeks ago, and posted it on the BITTERSWEET page out here).

      Just so’s ya know, Kensington has a new imprint, and guess what it is? Sci-Fi. AND they take un-agented mss. 😉

      All the best to you and Kathy too!

  • Micki Browning

    December 19, 2016

    Reply

    I am thrilled for you. Congratulations on a stellar year. I’m looking forward to seeing how next year unfolds as you blithely skip along a new path. (No sense reminding everyone that writing well is hard work.) Revel. Have another beer. No mincing words…You’ve earned it.

    • donnaeve

      December 20, 2016

      Reply

      It’s about to be your turn, Micki – and I can hardly wait for your book to land in my hot little hands!
      Btw, me skipping + beer = not a good outcome. Just sayin’. 😉 I appreciate all you’ve done to help. It means so much.


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