The May issue of Australian Vogue contains a feature article written by yours truly. “With Compliments” describes the process of how I came to write The Young Widow’s Book of Home Improvement. The magazine commissioned the article to coincide with the book’s publication, and I wrote it in New York in February during the city’s coldest spell of the entire season, while the wind howled and the snow fell steadily. Perfect writing weather, actually – after a second New York winter I understand why American novels tend towards the hefty.
Not aware of the early release schedules of the women’s magazines (hey, my calendar told me it was only the first week of April), I picked up a copy of the May issue and saw a reference to my article splashed on the cover: The Long Goodbye: A Journey Through Grief. How exciting! I found the article, its first page beautifully illustrated in black and white. Turning over the page, my chest constricted in shock: there was a photo of me and John, nestling together, and nestled right into the middle of the second page of the feature. No longer was it a stream of words written in solitude; it was out there, in public. Much like the book, really, but in microcosm.
Publicity and a public voice are new to me, so my mixed feelings don’t surprise me. I feel like Bette Davis in All About Eve. “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”