Tuesday, October 25, 2011
When the book finds itself at a most extraordinary home with a dear editor who shares your passion for foreign places and exotic foods, for history and gypsy song, who writes you the kind of notes that make you cry (for the right reasons), who takes the time to share your work with authors you can't quite believe you are actually being read by, who oversees the creation of a cover that takes your breath away, you are just plain lucky. I—I know this—am lucky.
Today a box arrived at my home. It contained the galleys for Small Damages, a book that will be published on my son's birthday next July. It contained a note from the glorious Tamra Tuller, my editor at Philomel, whose stable of writers includes both Ruta Sepetys and Kathryn Erskine.
Tamra Tuller has been working with me on Small Damages for more than a year. She has quietly demonstrated, to this sometimes impatient soul, the power of waiting, of right timing. Michael Green, the president of Philomel, has sent notes all along the way—funny notes, endearing ones, words I will, when I'm even older than right now, always remember.
Can I share the cover?, I asked Tamra today. She said that it was time. She has done miraculous work, this Tamra Tuller, and I will be forever grateful. Small Damages, then.
It’s senior year, and the future should be right within reach. But for Kenzie—bright, ambitious, in love with Yale-bound Kevin—the future has been rearranged. She’s pregnant, and she’s determined not to end her pregnancy. Her mother and Kevin refuse to understand. Sent off to an old cortijo in Spain, Kenzie must find a way to endure until her baby is safe in an adoptive couple’s hands. What will she make of the stubborn old cook who plagues Kenzie with demands? How will she ever understand the mysterious young man Esteban—his way with horses and birds, his way of watching her? And what can the eccentric gypsies teach Kenzie about love? There are choices to make. There are questions about home. Small Damages is Spain alive. It is hearts broken and healed. It is heat and color and soul.
Small Damages is a wrenching celebration of choice. To read Kephart is to splendidly dream with both eyes open. — Rita Williams-Garcia, One Crazy Summer
As this delicate and luscious novel unfolds, the lines are blurred between love and loss, past and present, real and magical, and even life and death. — Kathryn Erskine, MockingbirdStunning. Kephart's lyrical prose lingers with you long after the final page. I simply didn't want it to end. — Ruta Sepetys, Between Shades of Gray