Thursday, June 30, 2011
For years, I worked on a book I called Small Damages, except for the years during which I thought of it as The Last Threads of Saffron. The novel evolved over time—became a story of gypsies, a story of the deaf, a story of an old cook's love affair. Last summer, just about this time, I shared a draft of the book with Tamra Tuller, an editor at Philomel Books, whose Kathryn Erskine (Mockingbird) would go on to win the 2010 National Book Award and whose Ruty Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) would appear on the bestseller list in her debut week earlier this year. Tamra had ideas about Small Damages. She encouraged me to keep working. She emerged as one of those rare editors who agrees to read again, who quietly and gainfully encourages.
Tamra shares, with me, a love of travel, a love of exotic foods, even a love of the TV show "Top Chef." Tamra is also, as of today, thanks to the announcement (below) in the PW Children's Bookshelf, the editor of Small Damages. I don't think I can express just what this means to me.
Tamra is kind, and she is smart. She works within a team—which includes my dear former editor Jill Santopolo (who introduced me to Tamra by way of Ruta's book) and the remarkable Michael Green—that makes a writer feel at home.
My great thanks, then, to Tamra, to Jill, to Michael, to Philomel, and to my agent, Amy Rennert. My thanks, too, to Kate Moses, Susan Straight, Alyson Hagy, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, and Ivy Goodman, who read this book over time and kept me believing in it. Maybe it took ten years and eighty drafts to write the book that Small Damages finally is. But the book feels brand new and just right and full of hope in the hands of Tamra Tuller.
Tamra Tuller at Philomel Books bought world rights to National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart’s YA novel Small Damages, a coming-of-age story set in southern Spain about the difficult choices a teenaged girl faces when she gets pregnant. The publication is scheduled for summer 2012; Amy Rennert of the Amy Rennert Agency brokered the deal.