Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hallelujah - It's Finally Here !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah - After months of waiting my book has finally arrived!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe how big and heavy it is. Just the shear size of it is impressive, although my already arthritic arm joints are going to have a hard time lugging it around with me. I can't describe how exciting it was to see it as the real thing. When you write a book you spend months and months staring at every detail, drawing, word, etc for months on your computer. You re-write and re-draw and re-do everything ten times over. Your deadline rolls around and you send it all in and cross your fingers that it will turn out OK.

Over the next year you work with your editor and book designer to fine tune everything and hope to God they are listening to what you are saying. After a year with the Publisher your books arrive from the printer in - of course - China and you are blown away that you've created something. Good or bad it's all yours.

Here are a couple of shots of pages. ( Not to brag or anything but it is 584 pages with 3000 illustrations, I'm not a less is more kind a girl. )

Lovely Claudia from The Paris Apartment - an author herself - asked me in an email the other day how I became an "accidental author". I wrote her a response that was way too long explaining how I came to write my book. I thought I would repeat it here in case anyone else was interested in my saga.

Well, long story but here goes...I say I am an accidental author because I never in my wildest dreams had any ambitions to write a book. I was a successful interior designer with my own business and a 3000 sq ft showroom. I had worked very hard over the years ( and spent a small fortune) to build a very large and comprehensive design library which included a huge selection of fabrics and trims. Design libraries take up valuable showroom space and net very little return as I'm sure you know.

To help make my library pay for itself I wanted to hire a few designers just to sell custom window treatments and soft furnishings. The designers I worked with over the years and the ones that I employed never had any skill or talent in window coverings. They do not teach students in design school anything but the bare minimum. I never had a soft treatment design class in school only one class on textiles. It is a passion of mine to bring soft treatment design education to the design education community ( another story altogether)

Anyway I looked for a book to use as a sort of guide for these girls and there was nothing available. All the books on the market are outdated showing treatments that look like they came out of a 1960's trailer. So I thought I would just make my own for my designers to use. As I started putting it together and doing the illustrations I just became hooked. Before I knew it I had drawn over 300 of my own standard designs that I use.

As I got more into it the thought occurred to me that if I had a use for such a book then maybe other designers would as well. So. I decided that if I was going to write this book it would be the most comprehensive book on design principals and application as well as inspiration that had ever been written. I went to Barnes & Noble and every other book store in town to see which publisher had the most books in the home decor section and who produced the highest quality books. I chose Gibbs Smith as my first choice as they seemed to be one of the dominant publishers and I had always admired their books and had them in my own library. I wrote up a proposal, put it in a box that I decoupaged with my illustrations and sent it in convinced that I would never hear from anyone. Three weeks later I got the phone call saying they wanted to pursue a contract.

I began this project on December 12, 2005 and my first copies of my book just arrived last week. So i just under 2 years I have become a published author ( I am told this is very impressive!) . Now going from designer to author is a giant leap and the word author sounds so pretentious. Also it's hard to say you are an author before your book comes out as you have nothing to prove you are an author. Also my books are mostly illustrations so I would better be described as an illustrator but I also wrote the text which I suppose makes me an author ( Insecure? perhaps ) - Do you see the confusion here?

I have since singed up with Gibbs Smith for at least two more volumes in the series. The next is Bedding & Bedroom Furnishings. I am writing it now and it will be available in Sept 09 and the one after that will be Soft Furnishings. I am currently teaching seminars and traveling to pimp the first book. I've closed my design business to work full time on writing.

So, in short ( ha ha) I never envisioned myself as an author but by a happy stroke of luck ( or accident ) I have found what I believe to be my life's true calling. To write books that will educated and inspire designers and homeowners.

Have you fallen asleep yet?

The moral of this story is - Never underestimate what you are capable of and don't be afraid to follow your dreams. They may - after a ton of hard work, sacrifice, and commitment - accidentally come true.


Just in case you feel so inclined, you can pre-order my book on and it will ship around the second week in October.


cotedetexas said...

Jackie - it looks SO gorgeous!!!!!! I'm so happy for you and I can't wait to get my copy, preordered already, thank ou very much! haha

Congratulations, I can't get over how huge it looks, it's just beautiful looking from your pix.

good look on your tour, remember - face out, chin down!!!


Anonymous said...

Wow, that is one beautiful book! Being in publishing myself (as well as interior design), I can completely relate to the process you just went through. It is HARD work putting together a book from start to finish. And you have blown me away with all of your illustrations! Just beautiful!

You are multi-talented!

Congratulations, I will definitely be buying this book to add to my collection.


The Peak of Chic said...

Oh my gosh Jackie! I am so excited for you!!! It looks like such a wonderful book, and one that will be so informative too. That's a rare combo! And I love the story of how you became an author. Inspiration for all of us! :)

ALL THE BEST said...

How wonderful Jackie! What a wonderful feeling and accomplishment it must be to have it in hard copy!!! I wish you all the very best!

diana murphy said...

Congratulations, Jackie!! This is so thrilling. The book looks beautiful!

And yours is such an inspiring story with great lessons for all of us; love the last line about dreams accidentally(!) coming true. I'm anxiously awaiting my amazon delivery!


You must be so proud. What a ton of work to write this book. I am so happy for you! Congratulations!

Unknown said...

You are all too kind - When I started my blog just a few months ago I had no idea how important it would become to me. I have met so many new good friends and received so much support it is fantastic. I'm so happy to be able to share my milestones with people who actually understand me. I'm going to teer up now - sniff sniff! You are all fabulous! Thanks

beachbungalow8 said...

SO inspirational. what a ton of hard work. wow. good for you!! and i think we could all use a comprehensive tome with great illustrations -like this one.

C+SK said...

Oh YEY!! Fantastic! Congratulations!

Oh boy - is that quite a volume! How exciting!!

PAT said...

Congratulations Jackie! I enjoyed reading about your journey. The book is beautiful!


Pigtown*Design said...

What a terrific story. Very inspirational.

annechovie said...

That's very inspiring, Jackie. It turned out beautifully and I am very happy for you. So nice to reap the rewards of so much effort! I hope it sells like hotcakes!

Unknown said...

Thanks to everyone - you're all so nice! :)

The Paris Apartment said...

Wow! What timing!!! I can't belive how big and beautiful it is!! You really did it and should be so proud. You know I asked you cause i'm an accidental author too, and have to send a new sample chapter to Gibbs Smith too. You've given me the gumption to go ahead and do it so thank you, you're also an inspration to who knows how many! where can we get it?

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Wowza. So impressive!!!!! I am still waiting for numerous dreams to come true (pls, pls universe....)

Unknown said...

Claudia, Go for it - it would be so cool if we had the same publisher!

Maryam - you're living out your dreams to the fullest! I love your blog and your wonderful stories. We should all have the guts to follow our dreams, sometimes it's just hard to figure out what they really are. That's why I say mine came to me purely by accident - sort of.

Brilliant Asylum said...

Wow!!! Congratulations. What a fabulous resource that I can add to my library.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful story. You have accomplished a lot and are very talented. Your creativity and output amaze me. You are a true artist working from your heart. I have my order in with Amazon and can hardly wait to get my copy and lovingly drool over your work. Congratulations and very much success to you. You deserve it and much more!

Unknown said...

BA & Patricia, Thanks so much for your encouragement, it means the world to me.

Anonymous said...

That is quite an accomplishment. What a wonderful, heartfelt story. I did always wonder what "accidental author" meant. I will head over to Amazon & preorder.

Cindy said...

How exciting! It looks so beautiful! I loved reading how it came to be. It proves that you never know what the future holds!

Cheryl Ensom said...

SO AWESOME! I need this book!