Caroline Carlson

New Books on the Horizon

A few years ago, I was encouraged to start an Instagram account. “You can share interesting photos of your life!” the encouraging people said. “Then your readers will feel like they know you!” The encouraging people seemed very confident that this would be the case. I would share snapshots from my day–a solitary cup of tea in the morning fog, a vivid sunset unspooling across the horizon–and these photographs would allow you to see the world through my eyes. “What a fascinating cup of tea,” you would say. “I think I should buy this person’s books.”

I did get on Instagram–see?–but I realized at once that the encouraging people had been a bit too optimistic when they talked about interesting photos of my life. If I were to take a photo of my life right at this moment, you would see:

  1. this computer screen
  2. my feet in socks
  3. the office beyond my socks–a yoga mat, a modem, a tree out the window.

I am not sure that this tableau would make you feel as if you knew me any better. I am not sure it would make you want to buy my books. Maybe you would admire my socks?

Anyway, during the writing part of my day, I’m usually at a computer, which is not very interesting for other people to look at. (And during the rest of my day, I’m with my kids, who are extremely adorable but whose photos I don’t share publicly.) This is why my Instagram feed is now a long parade of the things I’ve baked recently: baking is a process that is great to share through photos! The process of bringing a book into the world, however, generally looks like a computer screen and some feet. Sometimes there are emails. Sometimes there are Zoom calls. Sometimes there is a heartbreaking publishing development, or a fabulous publishing development, or a piece of disappointing news that makes your stomach twist, or a piece of tremendously good news that makes you jump up and down in the kitchen when you are supposed to be making avocado sandwiches for your kids. With the exception of the avocado sandwiches, none of these things are particularly easy to post on Instagram.

But when you sell a book–a book you’ve been working on for years, a quirky book that makes you laugh, to a dream editor at a dream publishing house with the help of a dream literary agent–then, finally, you have a picture you can share with the world, and it looks like this:

Deal announcement for Wicked Marigold

I’m so excited to get this new book into readers’ hands, and to tell you more about it as we move toward publication. For now, please imagine a series of photos behind this announcement of all the moments leading up to it: lots of cups of tea, two years of pandemic parenting, countless neighborhood walks, pages and pages of printed-out notes and drafts and revisions, conversations with friends, a big pile of worries and hopes, and maybe a few vivid sunsets.



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