Thursday, February 04, 2010

The “Backstory” of a New February Release

“Even working in microcosm, Janice Daugharty is an author who thinks big.” -- The New York Times Book Review

Since 1994 Janice Staten Daugharty has published a volume of short fiction, six novels, and numerous short stories and essays. She has built a national reputation as a chronicler of life and people in the South.


We asked Janice to share some of THE LITTLE KNOWN’S publishing history on the Bell Bridge Books blog and I thought I might cross-post this here as well, although Janice doesn’t know to stop by.  She’s got a book event today!


Any writer with good sense would have long ago abandoned a project with a history like my latest novel, The Little Known.
It has been through more agents than I care to count, as well as a number of titles. I've taken it apart and put it back together again several times, only to fix it like it was in the first place.
This story has made me laugh and cry and wring my hands in frustration. It has evolved with me, gaining wisdom as I gained wisdom and changing as I changed interests and insight into the world around me.
The manuscript was first tapped out on an old manual typewriter when I was so broke I had to re-ink the  spool ribbons. After I moved up to a computer, The Little Known came down with a virus that almost did it in. Later, after nursing the manuscript back to health, it got drenched in a flood in agent Marly Rusoff's office, and I almost let it die. We had worked full days together on the manuscript, doing summaries and re-thinking titles. She was away in Europe, as I recall, when her office flooded. Her plan when she returned was to start sending it out to editors. Well, after a year, she still hadn't recovered sufficiently to handle all her authors, so she had to let me and some others go.
Poor Marly! At least she still had Pat Conroy.
I emailed her last evening to tell her that almost five years later The Little Known is finally being published. I halfway expected her to have forgotten both me and the book. But no, she immediately responded and was thrilled. I guess a book that has been that much trouble would quicken anybody's memory.


Helen Brenna said...

Wow, Janice has a beautiful trailer about this book on her web site. Check it out guys.

Looks like an amazing story. And a MOVIE!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Deb, what an encouraging story! Clearly LITTLE KNOWN was meant to be published, and in your hands, it will be published very well indeed.

I took the link to Janice's web site because I had to know what this book was about. The trailer only takes a couple of minutes--time well spent. What an intriguing premise. My granddaughters were telling me what they'd learned about segregation on MLK Day, and I told them that the Supreme Court handed down a big decision when I was in first grade, but it took a very long time to change people's ways. I only spent a couple of months out of that first grade year in an Alabama school, but those days made an impression on me that lasted a lifetime. I had started out that year in an integrated school in an Air Force town out west, and segregation made no sense to me.

Kids get it. LITTLE KNOWN appears to be just that kind of story. I'm so glad my grandchildren enjoy the fruits of the labors of of people like Martin Luther King.

Go see the trailer, guys.

Christie Ridgway said...

THE LITTLE KNOWN wanted to be known! WTG, Janice, and congrats on your tenacity.

Debra Dixon said...

Thanks, guys!

This is such a quality book and author. Gorgeous voice. A winning story that makes you think.

Author, Script Writer, Film said...

I must read your work. I just commented because I like your looks. Attractive. Quizzical. The glint of intellect in those inquiring eyes. Neat looking woman. I'll bet you can write too.