I met the author, Jim Patterson, and his wife, Sue, a number of years ago when our children were young and began attending school together. Sue and I became friends after being room mothers at school, working on the book fair committee, and getting involved in the kinds of things you do when your kids are small.
Five drafts into the writing of The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café, I mentioned to Sue that I was working on a novel. When I described the plot, she said it sounded like a story she’d love to read, and offered to look at my manuscript. I immediately accepted. About a month later, after I finished the fifth draft, I dropped a copy at the Pattersons’ home. Soon after, Sue told me that not only had she read it, but she’d passed it on to Jim to read as well. Trust me when I tell you I was close to passing out from excitement when all this was going on.
“You’ve got the gift,” Jim said, when I went to their house to talk to him a couple of days later. I’ll never forget those words. He gave me some great suggestions for the manuscript, suggested the title (my working title was The Letter – blah!), and said he’d take the book to his publisher if I wanted him to. It was all I could do not to leap out of my chair and scream, “Yes! Yes!” Somehow I managed to contain myself and tell him, in a more civilized way, that I would be thrilled to have him show my book to his publisher.
About six weeks after Little, Brown got the copy, Jim called to say they were going to make me an offer to publish the book. He seemed just as excited as I was. That night, my husband and I and some friends who were visiting from out of town popped the cork on a great bottle of Champagne.
This photo was taken at a book signing held at Classic Bookshop in Palm Beach. When Jim spotted me there, he made a little announcement to the crowd about my book and eight people purchased Blueberry Café on the spot.
Jim, I can’t thank you enough for everything.