celebrated her new books. It's a great idea. But the one I came home with was for Mary Laura Philpott's book Penguins with People Problems. The book is hilarious, and I loved the poster that went with it, so festive and full of old school letterpress whimsy. It made me dream about one day having a published book of my own to do a letterpress poster for.
I had gone hoping to meet Mary Laura, because she introduced me to my very favorite podcast, #amwriting with Jess and KJ. She was a guest, talking about building a relationship with your favorite book stores even before you have a published book out there to promote, and Parnassus shared the episode on Facebook. I've been listening my way through the back issues ever since. Jessica Lahey and KJ Dell'Antonia are both successful writers sharing how they get their work done, how they pitch and get writing jobs, how they work with editors and agents, and how they make space for creativity and reading in their busy lives. It's been inspirational as I work on Mr. Darcy's Odyssey, but I'm also learning lots about this whole new world of publishing. Plus they're good friends and delightful people and make you feel as if you're sitting at the kitchen table with them talking. I can't recommend it enough.
Mary Laura is also delightful. She happened to be there, and I was glad to get to say thank you face to face. I've been reading her witty book ever since, a page or two at a time, so I can keep it going longer. She was kind to me as an aspiring author and gave me one welcome piece of advice (that I don't HAVE to be on Twitter if I'm already on Facebook and Instagram, even though lots of publisher folks are there as well). That was good to hear from a social media professional.
This turned into a total fan girl post, but all three of these amazing women are well worth going fan girl about. If you're interested in books and writing, please look all of them up. And by all means, stop in Parnassus next time you're in the Nashville area. You won't be sorry.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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