copied with permission
from the blog of SUSAN HENDERSON
Today, over 300 bloggers, including bestsellers, Emmy winners, moviemakers, and publishing houses have come together to talk about THE LIAR’S DIARY by Patry Francis. Why? To give the book the attention it deserves on its release day while Patry takes the time she needs to heal from cancer.
As a little surprise for Patry,a gift before the big day, here’s something she hasn’t seen this yet – it’sfrom her husband, Ted, who included in his letter this photo he’d taken of Patry at Skinner StatePark, 25 years after their first date there.
One of the happiest days of my life was the day I met my wife, PatryFrancis for the very first time. I had just moved to Northampton, MA after graduating from Penn State University and had stopped to eat lunch at a restaurant where she was working. It was love at first sight. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever set my eyes on and it took me about two months to get the courage to ask her out on a date. Little did I know at the time how she would transform my life from a shy, insecure, college grad into a happy and proud father and minister; a better and holier person. She has so many qualities I have tried to emulate and she continues to inspire me with her enthusiasm for life and her ability to enkindle others with her actions, as well as,words.
She taught me the meaning of compassion and has the ability to makeeveryone around her feel important no matter whom they are or what they do,especially the poor and least among us. She has been given a gift to see situations from the heart which she uses to help others bring out the best in themselves and no one is turned away who asks for advice or help.
She exemplified the meaning of sacrifice as she forfeited many years of her writing career to help support our family. Working the difficult and physically demanding job as a banquet waitress and raising our four childrenleft her little opportunity to spend doing what she loved most, writing. She also put off her endeavor to get back into serious writing while I attended the seminary for five years. She never once complained always putting everyoneelse’s needs before hers, including mine.
In short, words can’t describe how lucky and blessed I am to havePatry as my spouse. She is a woman filled with love, peace, and goodness and every day I marvel and am amazed what an awe-inspiring twenty five years it has been to be with her. Of all the gifts I have been given in life, wonderful parents and sisters, four beautiful and talented children, the miracle of three special grandchildren (one more on the way), none have been greater than theday God introduced me to my beautiful wife.
Finally, I would like to thank Susan Henderson, Laura Benedict,Jessica Keener, Karen Dionne, Tish Cohen, Alice Tasman (the Best Literary Agentin New York) and *all of you* who are trying to help make Patry’s book asuccess. Yet again, we have been blessed to be part of such an inspiringcommunity of talented writers and to witness the goodness and love that all ofyou have shown to Patry as she journeys through her difficult situation with cancer.
Before I talk about this book, I’d like to tell you a story about howthis extraordinary day happened.
First, you need to know something about Patry Francis.
What if you worked for years as a waitress and then went home at the end of the day to your husband and four kids, and in those rare minutes of free time, you dared to dream that one day you might write a book? This is the storyof my friend, Patry – a story that leaves out years of false starts, revisions,and rejection slips. It’s a story that writers know intimately, though thedetails are different. Every one of us is well acquainted with the struggle ofgetting a story on paper, of honing it and believing in it enough to send itout, only to receive rejection, or worse, silence for our efforts.
Imagine, after many years, you beat the odds. You finish that book. Youfind that agent who sells your manuscript. Your dream is about to become a reality. But just as your book is due to be released, you discover you have an aggressive form of cancer.
Patry’s story struck such a deep chord with many of us, not just because she is our friend, but because those of us who know her or read her blog have relied on her company through the ups and mostly downs of trying to write and sell a book. She is our buoy. She has shown us time and again her great gift for shedding light in thedark. Even her blog postabout her cancer showed this – in her greatest time of need, she was still somehow comforting all of us and showing us glimpses of joy.
Patry is part one of this amazing story.
THE LIAR’S DIARY in paperback.
Now you need to know something about Laura Benedict:
On New Year’s Day, or thereabouts, Laura wrote to me, calling my attention to Patry’s publication date. “Perhaps we could do a ‘Patry Francis/Liar’s Diary’ blog-o-rama or carnival or something to promote thebook?” she wrote. “I’m such an amateur at this stuff that I don’t know what’s possible.”
I didn’t give a moment’s thought to what we might try to pull off,or how;I simply said, “Yes! Let’s do it!”
It’s very important to me that Laura is recognized for her initial gesture – not just because she’s a great and generous woman, but because it says something about the strength of the heart over the kinds of power most ofus are without. When you see the amazing outpouring of support and the high-profile people who joined this effort, remember it started with one small voice.
Laura is part 2 of this amazing story.
THE LIAR’S DIARY in hardcover.
Now let’s talk about you:
In less than one month, over 300 bloggers, writers, readers, and justbig-hearted people signed on to take part in this day. I am overwhelmed and grateful for every single person who said yes or helped spread the word, butlet me reserve some enormous thanks for the people who traded hundreds ofemails with me to put this together: Karen Dionne ofBackspace, Jessica Keenerof Agni and The Boston Globe, Dan Conaway of Writers House,and Alice Tasman of the Jean Naggar Literary Agency.
What began as a personal gesture of caring for a friend became an astonishing show of community – writers helping writers; strangers helping strangers; and most surprising of all, editors, agents and publishers, who have no stake in this book, crossing “party lines” to blog, to make phone calls, and to send out press releases.
This effort has made visible a community that is, and has been, alive and kicking – a community that understands the struggle artists go through and rejoices in each other’s successes. It’s a community made up of many small voices, but – guess what? – those many small voices can create some noise. So while today is for Patry, it’s also a symbolic gesture for all of you who workso very hard for little or no recognition, for all of you who keep going despite the rejections, and for all of you who have had illness or other outside factors force your art or your dreams aside. We are in this together.
Here are the publisher‘swords: Answering the question of what is more powerful—family or friendship? this debut novelunforgettably shows how far one woman would go to protect either.
They couldn’t be more different, but they form a friendship that willalter both their fates. When Ali Mather blows into town, breaking all the rules and breaking hearts (despite the fact that she is pushing forty), she also makes a mark on an unlikely family. Almost against her will, Jeanne Cross feels drawn to this strangely vibrant woman, a fascination that begins to infect Jeanne’s“perfect” husband as well as their teenaged son.
At the heart of the friendship between Ali and Jeanne are deep-seated emotional needs, vulnerabilities they have each been recording in their diaries. Ali also senses another kind of vulnerability; she believes someone has been entering her house when she is not at home—and not with the usual intentions. What this burglar wants is nothing less than a piece of Ali’s soul.
When a murderer strikes and Jeanne’s son is arrested, we learn that the key to the crime lies in the diaries of two very different women . . . but onlyone of them is telling the truth. A chilling tour of troubled minds, The Liar’s Diary signals the launch of an immensely talented new novelist who knows justhow to keep her readers guessing.
And now, here are Patry’s words, which I lifted off her blog: “Though my novel deals withmurder, betrayal, and the even more lethal crimes of the heart, the realsubjects of THE LIAR’S DIARY are music, love, friendship, self-sacrifice and courage. The darkness is only there for contrast; it’s only there to make us realize how bright the light can be. I’m sure that most writers whose work does not flinch from the exploration of evil feel the same.”
Ready to buy the book? Why not buy one for yourself and one for a friend?And if you like it, tell people!
Here are links to THE LIAR’S DIARY at Amazon,Barnes &Noble, and Powell’s.You can also buy directly from Penguin to save 15% (after you add the book to your cart, just enter the word PATRY in the coupon code field and click ‘update cart’ to activate the discount).
A long list of thank yous.
You’re about to see a very long list of those who are taking part in THE LIAR’S DIARY Blog Day. I hope you’ll check out the links because some of these folks got very creative. For example, my friend, Aurelio O’Brien, made up these buttons and stickers:
Wow… to every one of you on this list! Thank you, so sincerely:
Patti Abbott Mario Acevedo Susan Adrian Samina Ali Christa Allan Anne-Marie Joelle Anthony Jorge Argueta Vicki Arkoff -MAD Magazine, Nickelodeon, MW Book Review Melanie Avila Tricia Ares Backspace Backstory Terry Bain Gail Baker – The Debutante Ball Anjali Banerjee Lauren Baratz-Logsted Elizabeth Bartasius Carolyn Burns Bass Brett Battles Laura Benedict Pinckney Benedict Janet Berliner William Bernhardt Alexander Besher Bev Marcie Beyatte Brenda Birch Roberto Bonazzi Bookfinds Raven Bower Laura Bowers Beatrice Bowles Tara Bradford Gayle Brandeis Stacy Brazalovich Susan Breen – Gotham WritersWorkshops Heather Brewer Eve Bridburg – Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Sassy Brit Heatheraynne Brooks Debra Broughon Josie Brown Pat Brown Ruth Brown Ken Bruen Rachel Kramer Bussel Aldo Calcagno Austin S. Camacho Bill Cameron Lorenzo Carcaterra Vincent Carrella Karen DeGroot Carter Rosemary Carstens Cynthia Clark – Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine Jon Clinch Kamela Cody Oline H. Cogdill- Sun-Sentinal Tish Cohen Eileen Cruz Coleman Myfanwy Collins Dan Conaway – Writers House Laurie Connors – Penguin Eileen Cook Richard Cooper David Corbett Auria Cortes Bill Crider – Pop Culture Magazine Kim Cristofoli Ann Mare Cummins Sheila Curran Kristie Cutter Jordan Dane Josephine Damian Daryl Darko A.J. Davis Kelli Davis Alyssa Day Alma Hromic Deckert Jim DeFelice Mike Dellosso Katrina Denza Bella DePaulo Karen Dionne Felicia Donovan Julie Doughty -Dutton Gerry Doyle Terri DuLong Firoozeh Dumas Christine Eldrin J.T. Ellison – Killer Year Sheila Clover English – Circle of Seven Productions Kate Epstein – the Epstein Literary Agency Kathryn Esplin Rachel Fershleiser at SMITH Magazine RyanField Michael A. FitzGerald WilliamFloyd Natasha Fondren Jamie Ford Connie May Fowler Heather Fowler Therese Fowler Jenifer Fox Thaisa Frank Michelle Gable Gary Gach Leighton Gage Neil Gaiman Colin Galbraith Jayson Gallaway Jane Ganahl – Red Room Erika-Marie S.Geiss Linda Gerber Shane Gericke Tess Gerritsen Karin Gillespie Anne Glamore Kathi KamenGoldmark Jewelle Gomez Susan Helene Gottfried Deborah Grabien Elizabeth Graham Caroline Grant Robin Grantham Bob Gray – Shelf Awareness Nancy O. Greene Robert Grudin Lisa Guidarini David Habbin Jim Hanas Lynette Hart Melanie Harvey Michael Haskins Melanie Lynn Hauser Bill Hayes Maria Dahvana Headley Susan Henderson Heidi the Hick Georgia Hesse Billie Hinton Vicki Hinze Lori Hope Khaled Hosseini Eileen Hutton – Brilliance Audio Gina Hyams International Thriller Writers David Isaak Susan Ito Lisa Jackson Arachne Jericho Allison Johnson Jen Jordan – Crimespree Jungle Red Writers Lesley Kagen Polly Kahl Jessica Keener Charles Kelly Lisa Kenny Beth Kephart Jackie Kessler Merle Kessler Kristy Kiernan – Southern AuthorsBlog A.S. King Jeff Kleinman – Folio LiteraryManagement Sandra Kring Kyra R.D. Laban Rebecca Laffar-Smith – Writers Roundabout Clair Lamb Daphne Larkin Larramie Judy Merrill Larson Caroline Leavitt Leah Virginia Lee Leslie Levine Mary Lewis Richard Lewis Liane Sharon Linnea Julie Anne Long CJ Lyons Jonathan Maberry Amy MacKinnon – The Writers Group Tim Maleeny Ric Marion Nancy Martin Adrienne Mayor L.C. McCabe Damian McNicholl Ellen Meister Melba Christa Miller Kyle Minor Jacquelyn Mitchard P. A. Moed Terri Molina Pat Montandon David Montgomery Alexis Moore Joe Moore – Inkspot Amanda Morgan Sarie Morrell Murderati Amy Nathan Nathalie National Post Tia Nevitt Nicole Carolyn North Aurelio O’Brien Martha O’Connor Andrea Okrentowich Lori Oliva Aimee Palooza Pamela Michael Palmer Stephen Parrish Marie Peck Marcia Peterson – WOW! Women onWriting Jason Pinter Anthony S. Policastro Douglas Preston Publishers Marketplace Terese Ramin Jody Reale Martha Reed Janet Reid -FinePrint Literary Management Kamilla Reid Lance Reynald Michelle Richmond Maria Robinson John Robison James Rollins M.J. Rose – Buzz, Balls & Hype Renee Rosen Jordan Rosenfeld Russell Rowland Anneli Rufus Hank Ryan Marcus Sakey Harris Salat -Visual Thesaurus Rachel Sarah Maria Schneider – Writer’s DigestMagazine Nina Schuyler Dani Shapiro Rochelle Shapiro Charles Shaughnessy Jessie Sholl Robert Siegel Clea Simon Lynn Sinclair Jen Singer Shelley Singer Sisters in Crime Robin Slick BPM Smith – Word & Bass Bridget Smith Claudia Smith Kim Smith Stephie Smith Alexandra Sokoloff Char Solomon James Spring Emilie Staat Kim Stagliano Maryanne Stahl Bella Stander Kelli Stanley Marta Stephens Bronwyn Storm Jennifer Talty Judith Tannenbaum Mindy Tarquini Alice Tasman – the Jean Naggar Literary Agency CharlesR. Temple David Thayer The Outfit Theresa Joyce Tremel Danielle Trussoni Louise Ure N. L. Valler Barbara Vey -Publishers Weekly Bev Vincent Brenda Wallace Therese Walsh – Writer Unboxed John Warner – Tow Books Gary Wassner Brenda Webster Sarah Weinman Kimberly M. Wetherell Dan Wickett – Emerging WritersNetwork Jennifer Weiner Laura Wellner Susan Wiggs Liz Wolfe Cheryl Wyatt Stephen Wylder Irvin Yalom Belle Yang Dawn Yun Michele Zackheim Victoria Zackheim Ernie Zelinski Crystal Zevon