Back in April I was trudging through the newness of parenthood. I had a one month old who never slept long, day or night, I was exhausted, malnourished, and rocking the baby blues. I desperately needed a friend and coffee.
I know Jackie Lea Sommers personally though not well. She graduated from the same undergrad program I did (years ahead of me), learned from some of the same professors, worked at my college, and went to my church. I had heard of her and encountered her a number of times, but I never really connected with her until I got to get excited that she was living the writer’s dream: getting published. And by Harper Collins none the less.
I have to say, when I learned about her success I was a little star-struck. I had so many opportunities to approach her, ample Sunday mornings to ask her about writing, about getting published, about her book itself. But I froze every time. And it was really silly, because she is really gracious, nerdy, and cool.
Well, our pastor and his wife have really cute kids. Jackie is close to the family, so she often comments on their Facebook updates. The kids are sassy, fun, and growing at the surprising rate children normally grow, so I occasionally leave a comment as well. Through ‘liking’ and responding to each other’s comments, Jackie broke the ice and decided to friend me on Facebook. Cue giddy little fangirl freakout.
And through our little online interactions, I gained the opportunity to read an advance electronic copy of Truest.
Oh, what a friend! West, Silas, Laurel. I lived in the town of Green Lake for a week and forgot a little about how absolutely hard taking care of a baby was.
I spent one afternoon with a not-napping Clarabelle (what else is new?) on my lap while I read a few chapters out loud–swear words and all. That was the moment I learned what an attentive listener Clarabelle is. She watched the words scroll across the computer screen, hearing every word I read. My girl is a reader, I thought. A listener and a reader.
When I finally finished the novel, I scrolled to reveal the next page–it wasn’t there. It was over. And I thought, yes. The ending didn’t tie everything up in a pretty little bow. It was more like a fade-out, cue the soundtrack crescendo, roll the credits. So satisfying.
But I missed my friends. I missed Silas’s quick wit, Laurel’s philosophical ponderings, Gordon’s sessions of wise advice. I missed the Harts’ den, the rooftop, the beach, the bell tower.
And that was all before the final edit. Still good.
Soon, I will have my hard copy. The final cut. I can’t wait to take it to a local coffee shop and read it there, revisit Green Lake and my friends, see what the story became. And read it again. And again.
Good things are coming from Jackie Lea Sommers. She is definitely an author to watch for.
Guys, Truest will be available for purchase at your local bookstore on September 1st. Go check it out. It’ll be a good addition to your home library.
In the meantime, you can read reviews of Truest here. (The worst I saw were 3 out of 5 stars. Not bad, Jackie.)
*Edited 7:10 pm 8/29: I realized I wrote that Truest comes out on Monday when September 1st is, in fact, Tuesday. The original post has been changed to say the date rather than the day of the week. Ugh, Mom Brain strikes again!