1. My name. Some of you may remember the J.A. Zobair business. Originally, I decided to publish under my initials, for a variety of reasons. Reasons which no longer make sense, and which I'd be happy to discuss over a two-liter of Mountain Dew with anyone if he or she, say, decides to come to AWP in March. HINT HINT.
Over the summer, with helpful input from my agent and editor, I decided to go with "Jennifer." I'm really happy about this decision, and I'll be thrilled to see my name on the cover of Painted Hands.
Which brings us to the next two points:
2. I have a release date! [Actually, insert 500 exclamation points here.] Painted Hands is scheduled to be released on June 11th. As you can see, I've installed a handy little countdown on my iPhone (which will only be accurate for your purposes on the day I post this.) (The app came with other handy dates like New Year's Day and--whew--the World Cup. So I'm all set?)
3. The book cover. Okay, this is a tease, since I don't have anything to show you yet. But in the back and forth on this, I am blown away by how committed both my agent and editor are to capturing my story on the cover of this book. Blown away, and really, really grateful. More to come.
4. The Dreaded Author Photo. Gorgeous, isn't it?
Okay. I had some pictures taken in September. I am having more taken in December. Enough said.
5. Blurbs. I am so honored that Roopa Farooki (Orange Prize finalist and author of Bitter Sweets, Half Life, and The Flying Man) and Anne Cherian (author of A Good Indian Wife and The Invitation) have read and blurbed my novel. You can see what they said about Painted Hands here.
As always, I am eternally grateful to my agent, Kent Wolf, and my editor, Toni Plummer, for all of this. Except the author photo, which is a debacle of my own making.