Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Before & After: Gae Polisner

I write both women’s and young adult fiction. My debut young adult novel, The Pull of Gravity, will be released spring 2011 from Frances Foster Books / Farrar Straus Giroux.

I have written since the time I was little. Mostly, poems and short stories through college. Then, I went to law school and, for over a decade, replaced all that creative writing with legal briefs. But after my sons were born, I decided to return to my first love. I like to think my novels are accessible, lyrical (somewhat literary) fiction – and, my young adult storieLinks, an homage to the character-driven fiction I loved as a child (anything by E.L. Konigsburg, Paul Zindel, Judy Blume, and the amazing Madeleine L’Engle…). The Pull of Gravity has a special “secret” nod to the first novel I couldn’t put down – Don't Take Teddy, by Babbis Friis-Baastad. To this day, I remember the feeling of frantically turning pages to find out if the brothers would be okay. If any of you ever read that book, please send me an email, and we can be instant BFF's.
To read more about Gae in her own words, visit her website at

You picked a great or terrible time to ask me, Missy, because at this moment, I am so ^$&%^%&^#-ing tired. :) Of course, The Pull of Gravity comes out in three days (!!!) so it's been a whirlwind few weeks, and, given who/how I am (nuts?) I've been really busting my butt to get word of my book The Pull of Gravity out there into the big wide world.

Before writing, and before law school, I actually got my undergrad degree in marketing and my self-marketer girl has come out of hiding in full force and won't let me rest (please let me rest, self-marketer girl, I am very, very tired). In fact, I'd probably rest more if I wasn't getting such good results and great reactions (thank you, all!). For example, I snagged myself a sneaky little profile in the Sunday New York Times [here] and one in tomorrow's Sunday Newsday [here] (big in New York). And the Strand Bookstore in NYC (a landmark of bookstore, people!) will be carrying a whole stack of them! I've been making phone calls and writing emails and running into the city to meet and greet and brainstorm, plus trying to keep on top of my other career (family law mediator) and my kids (two teen boys who need to be fed and watered, or something like that . . .). So, the answer is I am mostly pooped. But also, honestly, very excited. And, overwhelmed by the many good advance reviews, and especially by the support of the YA community which is a beautiful, sparkling thing.

[May 28, 2011] So, how do I feel after? I feel fine thank you. (Is that some old punchline to a lame joke?).

Anyway, it's odd and somewhat hard to explain how you feel after -- oh, the irony for a writer! ;) It's this weird mix of "high" moments that are surreal and fun and nerve-wracking and exciting (like my launch party where over 100 people showed up, or our Class of 2K11 appearance at Books of Wonder, NYC -- the lines of people holding your book, wanting you to sign your name) and totally quiet moments where you go, "did that really happen?" and, "but here I am again, just the same, doing laundry or pecking away fruitlessly at the computer keys..."

You watch sales numbers and try not to, and still bite nails about reviews coming in, and, for me, wonder if you'll ever get another book deal. It's like it was before, only with bursts of busy, some really sweet and wonderful feedback, and this sense of quiet accomplishment that buoys you through the next day.


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