Ask any book blogger what she loves most about blogging. Invariably, the answer is always the same. It’s not the advanced reader copies or the page views or even the inducement to read more.
It’s the community.
This is what I learned from the beginning of my book blogging career, and it is what has kept me going.
From my fellow book bloggers, who fill up my TBR list and share tips on review policies and the reading/life balance, to readers of my blog, who enrich my posts with their own opinions and experiences with a book. From publishers, who are endlessly enthusiastic about the next great gem everyone will be talking about in the three months, to bookstore owners and employees, who just can’t contain themselves when they get on the topic of their new favorites.
And, of course, those around whom we book-lovers have built this entire ecosystem: Writers.
One of the very best parts of writing about books has been interacting with authors, whether they comment (always graciously) on my review of their work, or shoot me an email recommending even more great authors, or indulge me at author events when I have a billion questions about their writing process.
I met Kelly Ann Jacobson at a happy hour for emerging writers a few years ago. This was when I was dipping my toe into writing small pieces of my own, mostly essays and articles, that for the first time didn’t have anything to do with someone else’s book. I was eyeing the distant shore of writing a novel, but Kelly had already plunged in. She was in the process of revising the novel that had been on her mind for years: the story of one young woman and her freedom to love.
Today is the publication day of that book, Cairo in White.
As Cairo sweltered in the summer of 1986, eighteen-year-old Zahra faced the heat for a rendezvous with her secret lover.
But after climbing the Ahmeds’ wall and darting through an open door, Zahra came face-to-dace with the last people she expected to see: her parents. They were taking tea and arranging her marriage. But not to Jamila; love between two girls in Egypt was forbidden. Instead, Zahra will marry Jamila’s brother.
Twenty years later, Zahra’s American daughter, Aisha, steps off a plane at Cairo International Airport. Aisha is as headstrong as her mother, and she is determined to find a life and a family in Egypt. But she discovers more than she bargained for.
Will Aisha find acceptance, even a home, in a culture that once rejected Zahra? And will Aisha be free to pursue the love that she finds in Egypt?
I’m very pleased to have received an advance copy of the book, and my review will be posted next week.
In the meantime, if you are a book blogger and would like to receive an e-ARC, I’m happy to send you one.
And if you’re in the DC area, come on out to her book launch party on Thursday, February 20!
As I’ve frequently found over the last few years running this book blog, the connections made with the writing community are priceless. I love meeting authors like Kelly, and I’m very glad I have the opportunity to support her work and the work of other local authors.
Keep on writing!
Categories: On Writing