Today is US publication day for my novel Whiskey & Charlie (published in Australia as Whisky Charlie Foxtrot). The process of writing, editing and finally publishing a book is an incredibly long one (or so it feels to me) and so the moment when your book is finally released into the wild is cause for great celebration.
I’d like to thank the brilliant team at Sourcebooks, especially Shana Drehs, Anna Michels and Lathea Williams for believing so wholeheartedly in my book, and being so delightful to work with on the publication journey.
In a very exciting development, which honestly nearly made me pee my pants in excitement, Whiskey & Charlie was selected by Target as their book club pick for April. I wish I could be there to see those GIANT STACKS of my very own book in every one of their 1800 stores – wooh! (If any of you happen to be passing through a Target and happen upon the aforementioned, it would mean the world to me if you’d send me a snap). The Target print run includes five thousand signed copies, a task I worked through in a series of two-hour stints over the course of a long weekend. I never thought writing could be such hard labour!
Of course, Whiskey & Charlie will also be available at your favourite local book shop, and it’s absolutely essential that we support those too.
‘it was a well-known fact that France was a land of sex maniacs’
Hearing the words you’ve written read aloud by someone else is really quite a disconcerting experience – especially when you are foolish enough to write lines like that!
I have already had several lovely emails from readers who’ve read and enjoyed advance copies, telling me how the book has touched them, which is absolutely one of my favourite parts of being a writer. And my first US review was in the Chicago Review of Books:
Smith is an expert in saying a lot while writing little. The most emotionally charged moments of the novel—some of the most important, integral moments—are illustrated simply: two grown men holding each other by a hospital bed, a young boy bowing to and walking away from his first love. The simplicity of the prose and the scenes it describe allow the reader to feel the full emotional weight of the moments without gravity being forced upon them. The same is true for the novel’s funnier moments; Smith knows exactly how much to write, when to zoom in, and when to pull back and sit by as the scene unfolds.
I am so excited to see what stateside readers think of my flawed hero Charlie and his journey.