Karen Brichoux

Current and Upcoming Books

Available Now
"Draws the reader into the story and never lets go." --RT Bookclub
"Brichoux reminds the reader how powerfully the landscape of 'home' can define a person." -- High Country News
Previously Released
"An exceptional novel." --Melissa Senate, author of The Solomon Sisters Wise Up
"A coup. Warm, smart, and original." --Kirkus Reviews



May 4, 2003

May Newsletter


On the wall calendar beside my computer, June 1 is marked with a red X. I marked that X twelve months ago because June is the month COFFEE AND KUNG FU finally hits the shelves of the local bookstore. It seems like a long time, but twelve months is actually pretty normal in publishing. If not downright lightening fast.

As I wait for the next thirty days to count down, I've been spending a lot of time on my writing loops, catching up with old friends and making new ones. The other day, someone asked if the published authors could share their success stories. It took me a minute to figure out what she meant. She meant the success of selling our first books. Well, here I am--eleven months after selling that first book--and I'm sitting at my computer without an idea in my head, I'm a good ten pounds overweight, the in-laws are on their way for a visit, I've just had a spat with my agent, I'm waiting to hear how much the editor hates the manuscript I turned in sixty-three days, five hours, twenty-six minutes, and fifteen seconds ago, and I'm looking behind me to see if there's someone successful back there. Because I feel like a Big. Fat. Failure. Come one, come all. Just visit me at www.bigfatfailure.com.

All too often, readers and unpublished authors think that selling the first book is the ultimate goal. Make that first sale and you'll be eating success from a plate. The first sale is more like a hurdle. One hurdle in an entire track of hurdles...and you're wearing a mini-skirt and heels.

So while I'm counting down the days until June 1, I'm also thinking about what it means to be a success. And even though I'm still not sure, I'm guessing it means doing the best that you can every day, taking the time to enjoy each accomplishment and cry over each failure, and most of all, not giving up.

And now I'll stop before I sound like one of those cheesy inspirational posters...

Until next month,

Favorite Books
[I had this idea that it might be interesting to include a favorite book of mine with each newsletter. Interesting might be an over-exaggeration... We'll see.]

ZODIAC by Neal Stephenson.

This book was originally published in 1988--before Stephenson wrote his big hit SNOW CRASH. The story is there, but the real fun is Stephenson's wild characters and the crazy rhythm he gives the written language. If you're a fan of independent films and you don't mind laughing yourself sick, this is a book you can read in a rainy afternoon. Just don't plan on lobster for supper....