Self-Indulgent Guilt Moan with Tootsie Roll Pops

It’s weird having a new book out. It’s weird having another new book coming out in five months. It’s weird having all these reissues (thank you, Harlequin, Bantam, and St. Martin’s Press) hitting in rapid succession. But mostly it’s just weird having any books out there, these stories that I think are entertaining, interesting, important when they’re safe in my laptop, and then I send them out and everything changes because sometimes people read them. Then it gets even weirder because people evaluate them. “Jenny Crusie had this fantasy and I thought it stunk.” Still, I can cope pretty well with the weirdness because hey, that’s publishing. It’s the chaser of guilt that follows the weird that makes me crazier than usual.

See, after awhile you get used to the idea that your fantasies are public because it’s just what you do. My first book was published seventeen years ago so I’ve had a while to sink into the unconscious soup of being-an-author. I know how lucky I am, I don’t take that for granted, but I’ve absorbed the experience of it into my daily life. My life is not divided into years, it’s divided into books, not from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 but from deadline to deadline. I don’t take weekends off because I don’t have weeks. My life has shaped itself around my career, and because it’s a damn good career, most of the time that works. And then a book comes out and the panic hits. Oh, my god, people are reading my book, what if they don’t like it????? What if I’ve let people down?

Which is ridiculous because some people are not going to like my book, that’s a given. Nobody has ever published a story that everybody liked, or if they did, a good portion of those everybodys hated the next one, so it’s a fact of the author’s life: I will be constantly disappointing somebody. So I think about the people who didn’t like it. If they got the book at the library, good for them and me, no guilt. But if they bought it, that’s a chunk of change they could have used for something else, especially in this economy, especially if they couldn’t really spare it and trusted me and shelled it out and then I let them down . . . that’s just bad. And I have two new books and a lot of reissues out there this year. That’s a lot of possible fail. And guilt. Did I mention the guilt?

And then there are the sales which I know I can’t do much about and which my brilliant editor tells me I can’t do anything about, she tells me not to accept responsibility for that, but still, a lot of people’s jobs depend on my publisher putting out best sellers and I’m supposed to be one of them, and what if I trip so hard with the latest story that they have to let people go . . . that would be really bad. I know I’m not responsible for that but guilt, guilt.

And then there’s the problem with my short attention span: I can’t write the same book twice. (Okay, I came close with Strange Bedpersons and The Cinderella Deal, but there were extenuating circumstances.) I know a lot of people would like to see Bet Me Again and Welcome Back to Temptation, and I want you all to know, if I could write them, I would in a heartbeat. I would sell out in a nanosecond, I swear. But my brain is like that stream in the metaphor, I never step in the same place twice because it keeps moving on to the next shiny thing. I have no idea how I wrote any of my previous books. I don’t know where they came from, the characters, the plots, the snappy patter, I didn’t make up any of that stuff, I heard it in my head and then I wrote it down. Later on, I revised, and I know how I did that, but the problem is that I have to have something to fix before I can revise, and I don’t know where that stuff comes from, so I pretty much have to take whatever shows up in my frontal lobe and says, “Hi.” And the earlier books have waved and moved on. So I have to, too. But so many people would be so happy if I’d just do it again . . . . Guilt, guilt, guilt.

And then there was menopause. It was like puberty backward, and while I was awash in hormones or the lack thereof, the voices went away, and you want to talk about panic: the only reason my fingernails are out of the ceiling is that Bob Mayer came along and pried them out, and then Krissie and Lani kept me grounded after that. People say, “What took you so long to write another solo?” and I said, “Have you ever fucking gone though menopause?” And then they back away slowly because I think some of the menopause crazy may still be with me. Among other things, it undercut my desire to write about sex. I think my heroines are going to be doing a lot of cooking in the future, maybe some nice needlework, and that has to be part of the calm after the pause, when you look back over your life and think, “I did that for him?” and realize that really, dogs are the better deal. Good for my real life, but not so good for the books, oh, hell, the books. Oh, god, the guilt.

And in the middle of all of that, the book comes out, and I’m supposed to go places and say things which is not good since I’m hypomanic (“Avoid caffeine, alcohol, stress, and crowds,” my therapist said; “I was good until you got to ‘stress and crowds,'” I said) and people look at me when I show up in person and say, “I thought you’d be shorter and thinner with dark hair,” and I think about hiring a short, thin, dark-haired person to be Jenny Crusie while I stay home and talk to the dogs and mainline Toosie Roll Pops, my current drug of choice. And if the short, thin, dark-haired person can write Bet Me Again and Welcome Back to Temptation, hey, she can have the career. And then I think, What are you bitching about, you have everything, cowboy up and get out there, and the guilt rolls in again.

But then a couple of weeks pass and the hoo-ra over the book dies down, and nobody wants to take my picture, and the guilt goes away, and I sit back down with the dogs and my Tootsie Roll Pops, and the voices say, “Hi!” and I’m off to the races again. It’s a great life, it really is, but occasionally I flip out under the pressure. This post is just to let you know that most of the rest of this year is flipping-out time (first there was The Cinderella Deal reprint and then the What the Lady Wants reprint, and now Wild Ride, and on Tuesday, the reissues of Tell Me Lies and Crazy For You and then in August [I think] the Welcome to Temptation reissue, and then Maybe This Time on Aug. 31, and Trust Me On This on Oct. 26, and that’s a whole lotta guilt, people). But in November, my biggest problem will be keeping the Tootsie Roll Pop stick away from Lyle (who ate four birthday candles yesterday but who seems to be just fine), and I will be sane again. No expressions of support needed, I have bags of TRPs, but if there are stretches of silence here or some particularly off-the-wall posts, just roll with it, please.

Your regularly scheduled Argh will return tomorrow. With something normal. Probably. Argh.

124 thoughts on “Self-Indulgent Guilt Moan with Tootsie Roll Pops

  1. I’m terrified of menopause. (I’m only in my early 30s, but certain members of my family have gone through it REALLY early, so I’m always on the lookout.) I feel like it’s having a baby all over again: NO ONE TELLS YOU ANYTHING TILL YOU’RE THERE, AND THEN IT’S 4000 STORIES YOU COULD’VE USED LAST WEEK. Fortunately, I now have a few incredibly close friends who are a decade older than me who would never, ever let me go into the unknown alone. They’re the best. <3

    Don't forget: your readers have guilt too. We want to buy everything all the time, and as you said: the economy. I passed over the reissues for Wild Ride, and even then I used a coupon. (I like it better when your books come out around Christmas, or my birthday.) I even have all the originals for the reissues, but I want the new covers! I don't do that with any other author. My boyfriend had to hold me back from buying ANOTHER copy of Agnes & the Hitman Saturday because it was on sale. "You already have this." "I know." "In fact, I think we have an entire shelf of Agnes & the Hitman." "We do not! I only have ONE of this one! And I could buy it for someone else!" *glare* "OKAY, FINE. HMPH."

    Also, will you be posting on any of the feedback you/SMP got for Maybe This Time? Talking about edits? I feel even more invested in this book since I read it at such an early stage, so I'm kind of psyched to hear more on it. Although I guess I could also go back and read over the posts I skimmed or skipped because I didn't want to read any spoilers.

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    1. Thank you for the multiple Agneses. Now I really feel guilty.
      By feedback, do you mean from the people who got the early reads? Or from my editor?

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      1. Anything that gives an overall impression of the book, really. I sent Mollie my opinion/some quote-y type comments a while back, but because I skipped a lot of what you wrote about it here so I’d go into it spoiler-free, I’m really interested in what you and everyone else thinks. It seemed like you were pretty frustrated with it for a while, and I’m wondering if your frustration lines up with aspects of the book that I’d guess at. I also felt like the beginning didn’t gel for me (once everyone got together at the house, I loved every page of it), and when I read Wild Ride I though I saw some parallels between the writing style–it’s hard to explain, but there was a sense of Not Romance in first few chapters of Maybe This Time that battled in my head with the opening scene, which has that Romance-y feel to it. Because Wild Ride didn’t have that kind of opening, I didn’t have the expectations, so I guess when my expectations began to be fulfilled for Maybe This Time–when the leads are in regular proximity–my reader-self relaxed and began to enjoy the book.

        Also, you now have a new reader: my twelve-year-old daughter. She’s been bugging me for years now to read Mommy’s Favorite Author, and I figured Maybe This Time only has one real sex scene which, knowing her, she was going to skip over anyway. I knew she’d completely align herself with Alice, and so she did, and she picked it up, read it paper cover-to-paper cover and then started over again at the beginning. And then tried to do it a third time (but Mommy doesn’t like when she borrows books for too long). Don’t worry, she doesn’t have any expectations. Ever. Of anything.

        Aren’t kids grand?

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        1. Oh, I love it that she bonded with Alice. It has helped tremendously having Sweetness and Light here, as opposed to trying to remember when Mollie was eight.

          Let me get back to you on the reactions. I can put up a spoiler space in September but nobody has a hope of getting the book until then. I’m doing the galleys right now.

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  2. Jeeez Louise, screw the tootsie roll pops. Go get Godiva.

    Although, with a little hair dye I could totally pull off the short dark haired person bit. 🙂 And how much freaking fun would it be for me to walk in, and then later they meet the Real You. Hahahahahah…oh, come on, I hit your knees, you know it would funny! 🙂

    But, really, go get Godiva. Then go walk the dogs so I don’t cause high cholesterol and then you can’t write. Talk about guilt!

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    1. The thing about the TRPs is that if you eat them the right way, that is, suck your way to the center, they’re very soothing and they take FOREVER before you get to the payoff, so they’re a lot like writing a book. Only faster.

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      1. That’s true about the TRPs, but if you join the Godiva chocolate club, you can go in to any Godiva store and get a free piece of chocolate once a month. So, hey…free chocolate. Plus, it’s only once a month, so no additional guilt (not that you should have any in the first place, really, your books are fantastic). I’m partial to the key lime truffle, myself.

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  3. First, as you and Bob have constantly said, your job as an author is to write the best book you can. And, frankly, you are one of the few authors I read who is consistent in this. I think it’s because you genuinely care about writing GOOD books. And it really shows.

    Second, if you were to ever write a bad book and your publisher put it out there on the shelves anyway, then it seems to me that the publisher has to shoulder some of that blame. I mean, they have people, editors and such, who are supposed to read your books and decide whether they are worthy or not, right? You write the book, but selling it is THEIR job.

    Third, I’m short and can die my hair darker if necessary. I can probably handle the schmoozing the public part; but if I tried the writing the books part, then we’d be in trouble with first and second.

    Go pet a puppy and eat a Tootsie Roll.

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  4. The only reason we want repeats is because we love your books so much that we want them to never end. But I’m always happy to see what the next group of voices has to say. And I never think of the sex when I read your books; it’s always about the people and their relationships, whatever form it might take. No guilt here- whatever you’ve got I’ll take happily. Remember- we read your grocery list.
    Other: My dog ate an entire tube of Desitin. Including part of the tube. She was fine, and then this morning I caught her crunching a Vicodin. I put it back together and it looks like she only got trace amounts of it but she’ll probably be high as a kite now all day- and she’s hyper anyway. I’ve got to scream at hubby to keep his back pain meds put away.

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  5. I hear you about the menopause and the interest in sex. The guy and I have been together for three years, but we both have issues — physical and emotional — and we would really prefer to get a good night’s sleep.

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  6. Wait, you mean that after my books start coming out in 16 months, I won’t just be able to lay back and relax while menopause is staved off indefinitely, future bestsellers flow effortlessly through my fingertips, my pets are all perfectly behaved, and people praise even the shopping lists I write? Dammit. Dammit to hell.

    But at least there are Tootsie Pops to look forward to.

    Tawna

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    1. Really, stock up now.
      Actually, the key time is Valentine’s Day. They put out bags of just the cherry ones. I should have bought a case.

      Wait, wait, after I wrote that, I thought, “You know, google,” and I found five pounds of cherry TRPs for $42. Plus shipping. Now all I have to do is find a spare $42 that I can justify on sugar. Maybe it’s an office expense. (It’s $55 with shipping. Yes, I ordered them. THEY’RE IMPORTANT TO MY CREATIVE PROCESS.

      Also thanks to Google, I now know that it takes 364 licks to get to the center.

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  7. Jenny, I’m from Argentina, incredible how the internet can make us all so close.
    I’ve always loved to read a lot, and last year I came across Bet Me and absolutely loved it. It was in Spanish, but I became absolutely addicted, I couldn’t get enough of you, so when I couldn’t find more books in Spanish I started reading in English, looking for word in the dictionary, but loving every bit. I’ve read everything you wrote, except three collaboration books I couldn’t find, and it was a great year for me, can you imagine? I devour your books, I could finish an entire book in three days, and I work from 9 to 5!
    You walked with me, your characters lived with me, they were my friends too, I laugh, cried, fell in love, over and over with each book, and every time I finished a book a sense of loneliness invaded me so I had to start another and another.
    The point is, you talk about gilt, I’m sure your place is very difficult, I admire you for that, but the other side of it is the people, the lives you touch with your stories, it’s not just a city, a country, four countries, it’s the hole world we are talking about.
    If I’m this far, reading your blog, enjoying your stories, I can’t even begin to imagine how many people have read your books, some may not like them, but just for the ones that love you as I love you, I think it’s worth it.
    It’s worth it.

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    1. Thank you. I mean, I’m not worthy, but my god, thank you.
      Now the rest of us have to start reading in a second language to keep up. Not you academics, I know you’re reading my early stuff in the original Greek, but I am so impressed here.

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      1. “Not you academics, I know you’re reading my early stuff in the original Greek”

        Near enough. I have two copies of the US version of Sizzle, and one copy of the UK anthology in which Sizzle appeared. I don’t think you should feel a twinge of guilt about Sizzle, never mind about any of the others.

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  8. I loved Wild Ride, and I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t because you mentioned in your blog before, something about it not being a romance. I got to the end and thought, that was totally a romance, and fulfilled all my romance expectations (implied happily ever afters for the main character(s)). But maybe I don’t know the “official” romance rules. I thought it was lovely, and I look forward to reading whatever you write next.

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    1. I agree – I loved the romance in Wild Ride. It may not have been the absolute focus, and that was a good thing since I also loved the connections and personalities and family and humor, but it was there. (What a long, weird sentence that was.)

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  9. “…that has to be part of the calm after the pause, when you look back over your life and think, “I did that for him?” and realize that really, dogs are the better deal.”

    Maybe this year is meant to be a guilt overdose, so you can get over it. Maybe you could substitute the word “them” in the above sentence for “him” and still settle for the dogs. Different antagonist, same ending.

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    1. We don’t need no stinkin Menopause. Try bio-identical hormones. Controls monopause symptems and makes you feel so much better. I couldn’t believe the difference. You never know,you might even like sex again. LOL

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      1. I think I’m through now. It’s been five years or so. I’m much calmer. I’ve stopped wanting to kill everybody in my path. I think I’m good.

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  10. I can’t say it better than LaLi, but here’s a flawed shot at it.

    Normal is overrated. Your crazy posts are some of the best so don’t stop now.

    I too used a coupon for Wild Ride (sorry ’bout that) and a return credit (sorry again) so no worries. At least, not for me.

    Remember (probably not) when you looked at me at the NJRW conference book sale last fall, the paperback of Bet Me clutched in my hand, and said “Kiersten, you already have that book,” and I said with what was surely more whine than wine, “yeah, but it’s not signed.”?
    ‘Nuff said.

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    1. Babe, coupons and return credits aren’t registered as part of the sale, that’s just the way you paid for it. And I’m grateful no matter what. Especially for the two copies of Bet Me.

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  11. According to Teresa Nielsen Hayden, writers are like otters. They do a trick and people praise them; then instead of going “I’m going to do that trick again and get praise!” they go “If you like THAT trick, now I’m going to do one that’s MUCH COOLER!”

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  12. Please don’t feel guilty. If I was in your shoes, I’d have an ego the size of Antarctica, and it’s very endearing that you don’t.

    And if I made the effort to turn up somewhere and someone told me they thought I’d was going to be thinner/shorter/darker, I’d probably say something my mother wouldn’t approve of. So well done for being a lot more graceful than most of us.

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    1. I was surprised, mostly. I mean, all she’d read was my books, and she’d gotten a short, thin, dark impression from that? It was such a cognitive disconnect, all I said was, “Oh,” and moved on.

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      1. When I was still on the radio, it was a regular occurance for people who only knew my voice to meet me in person and be clearly disappointed. I got used to it. And then there was the guy who actually said, “That’s YOU?”

        How was I supposed to answer that?

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  13. My mom is just starting to enter menopause, and her two younger sisters are telling her that she has to tell them EVERYTHING so that they know what to expect since their mom had a hysterectomy in her 30s and her response to the “what’s menopause like in our family?” question is, “Ummm…I don’t know? I had good drugs and four kids distracting me.” (Wow, run-on sentence much? *breathes* Just goes to show you how your writing style influences mine – your rhythm from the post totally leaked in there. 😉 )

    As to the sex, I’m almost 28 and I’m completely okay with cooking and knitting/crocheting, etc. Those scenes are more warm and intimate than the sex scenes sometimes, and sometimes just as sexy. The breakfast scene in Agnes and the Hitman made and crave an omelette. The omelette won out, ’cause DAMN can you write food well. It’s kitchen porn that I can almost taste. The pancake description in Agnes and the ice cream in Wild Ride actually made me drool a little.

    So don’t feel guilty. We read your books because of your voice, not necessarily your characters or the plot. Even the books I haven’t enjoyed as much as Welcome to Temptation make the list as lesser favorites. I have never not liked one of your books, and will gladly buy several copies of each to give away or read until they fall apart. As long as you keep writing, I’ll be happy. 🙂

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    1. I’ve been craving diner food all the way through Lavender:

      “Here you go,” Kitty said, shoving a red plastic basket lined with wax paper in front of me. The paper was already turning translucent with grease from the burger in its soft white bun and from the thin cut fries and the thick cut Vidalia onion rings coated in beer batter and sea salt. The homemade pickle wedges stained the rest of the paper with homemade green vinegar. The burger would have romaine lettuce; locally grown, ridiculously red tomato; more Vidalia onion; more homemade pickle; the Red Box’s famous homemade ketchup; your basic yellow mustard; homemade cole slaw; American and provolone cheese; and buried underneath it all, a huge slab of ground beef direct from a local farm. I do not know how many calories are in those baskets, I only know that they are always worth it.
      I picked up the burger and bit into it. Juice went everywhere and I chewed slowly with my eyes shut, the beef crumbling hot against my tongue under the tang of the pickle juice, contrasting with the cold of the juicy tomato and the sweetness of that incredible onion, the whole thing smothered in the richness of the cheese which was cut by the crisp clean taste of the fresh romaine.

      Going out for a hamburger now.

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      1. That’s it. Now you’ve done it. I’ve got to have a burger and onion rings and waffles and ice cream and banana bread. See what power you have? I don’t even like banana bread. And I don’t cook. And I’ve already had dinner. And we don’t have a waffle iron. And she ate all the bananas.

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      2. Thank you so much for this! Although, I feel silly sitting here at the computer salivating like mad.

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      3. I want a burger RIGHT NOW!!! Unfortunately I’m in work and have already had lunch, but now I’m famished. Food porn. Marks and Spencers need to hire you to write their adds (UK readers are agreeing and laughing (I hope), the rest of the world are going Huh?)

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      4. Okay, so that should have said that the breakfast scene both turned me on and made me crave an omelette, but the thinking of food went to my head and you see what happened.

        Secondly – Damn you, Jenny. After Lucy’s post yesterday I was trying to be good…but now I think I’m gonna go get a burger for lunch. And sweet potato french fries because they are AMAZING. ‘Scuse the drool.

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          1. OMGod! You do that soooo well!

            I don’t know if it’s the Recession, or maybe baby-boomers getting over sex, or what, but food porn has been a significant trend, and you are definitely in the right position to take advantage of the trend and exploit all these hungry women out here . . . (-: Jennifer Crusie: pioneer food pornster. I say go for it!

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  14. I love this post. It cheered me up. My Akita had a disasterous episode last night, a reaction to a new medicine, and is in ICU. I have to wait until 3pm for an update and was searching for something to lift my spirits. So far she seems to be rallying. Poor baby. She felt so poorly she didn’t even fight going in to the treatment room.

    I’m not thinner, I’m an inch or two shorter, I wouldn’t have to dye my hair, AND I’ve got brown eyes. (Your eyes are brown aren’t they?) So anyway, it’s me. I’m the fake Jenny. I could even get rid of the slight Aussie accent that living in the US for over thirty years has not diminished, and learn a few Ohioisms. I could.

    Wild Ride was fabulous. It’s on my coffee table ready for a re-read. Even though there were demons galore, there was also something about this story that made me smile softly the entire time I read. It left me with a warm fuzzy feeling at the end. It gets my five star rating, which means super satisfied. : )

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    1. Oh, no. Let us know how your puppy is, will you? Updates.
      And thank you all again for the nice things you’re saying about Wild Ride. It really helps (g). Not that you should keep doing it.

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  15. Hey, there’s a book in all of that. And yes, we know, all of the above follows on from that book. But hey.
    For what it is worth, I think you are lovely, in all ways.

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  16. don’t let this induce guilt, but it’s so nice to have new books coming out again, because with TCD reissues I have managed to find all the old ones and I’ve read them as many times as my Heyers and I still want more. MOAR PLZ!

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  17. I just had a bit of a giggle. I was paging through my Kindle and noticed that they have your names listed on the sample of Wild Ride as “Jennifer Mayer and Bob Crusie”. Whoops!

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      1. I knew it! So you are really Bob and vice versa…which means YOU told me it was okay to stalk YOU at RWA and then gave me shit about it…which is really twisted:-) Almost makes me sorry I gave you Godiva (okay not really, but I would have done TRP if I’d known).
        I have a cat that will eat all sorts of non-edible stuff…when I was having major work done in the dining room/study/that place where I write, he found a four inch sliver of wood. And as I frantically crawled under the table and around the room on my hands and knees trying to get it away from him, he frantically chewed faster and faster so I couldn’t. Ate the entire thing. I waited for days for the bleeding and convulsions to start, but apparently he is as lucky as he is not very bright.
        And I have multiple copies of many of your books. Like, they have different COVERS, dude. And then I had to buy the ones you were signing at RWA anyway. I just loan out the unsigned and paperback ones, get innocent people hooked on your writing, then make them go buy their own. I’m like a Jenny pusher. One free sample…you’ll like it, really.
        As for menopause…sigh. I hit that one early. Hardly crazy at all. Now. And people really don’t need to sleep, right? Besides, I look really attractive when I am all red in the face and sweaty. Folks just think I’ve been chasing the damned cat again.

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  18. This post reminds me of a Crusie heroine, where she’s testing the relationship because she’s not sure we’re here for the long haul.

    Jenny, I think you’re forgetting to give yourself credit for the people who turned to your book because it is a bad economy and you’re providing a bit of escapist fantasy that they can afford.

    A lot of times, a book is less expensive than movie tickets or a dinner out – it’s a more affordable escape for a lot of us, especially because it has a permanence that lets us purchasers come back to it again and again. For every person who didn’t enjoy a particular story – there’s someone who’s wearing out their copy of that same story with love. If anyone thought, “huh – could have borrowed that one and not bought it” there’s someone else who’s already paid for the book five times over in passing it around and re-reading it. And someone else who, even if it wasn’t their favorite Crusie, still enjoyed it because they got to take a break from their money problems and real life worries because of your engaging story.

    The fact that you’ve already hit the best seller list twice this year, has surely helped keep people employed – you’ve already done more than your part, which is just to write amazing stories. I think you could never sell another book again and feel confident that you’ve helped employ a number of people.

    As much as I think you write great sex scenes, I also love when your heroines cook, or paint the walls, or drink glenlivet or quote movies…I pretty much enjoy everything they do. They’re interesting characters, or you wouldn’t have introduced us to them.

    Most of us spend more time in the kitchen than the sack, anyway. I’m still trying to figure out some of Agnes’s recipes…her pecan studded sourcream pancakes in particular… but I don’t spend time thinking about how to recreate some of the sexual positions she was in. So I don’t think that’s what’s keeping your readers, either.

    Would I read Welcome Back to Temptation? Of course. I have a soft spot for Dillie, in particular – and wonder if she’s used Davy’s lessons to con Phin & Sophie into letting her get her driver’s license yet. But, whenever I want to visit her, I can – I just pick up WTT. So I’m more excited to meet Andie and Alice and see where you take me next. I’m all about the Crusie cast of characters and their different journeys. I’ll follow you wherever you and the girls in the basement want to go because I know there’s nothing but good times ahead.

    All this to say, if you have to feel guilty for a little bit, ok – but remember the flip side of it and feel proud about that, too.

    I’d give you a Poor Baby, but I really think a Thank You is more appropriate.

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    1. Thank you.
      And here’s a wake-up call: I can’t remember how old Dille was in WTT, but it was ten years ago and I know she was more than six. She’s pushing twenty now, I think.

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      1. I loved the scene in “Faking It” when Davy tells Dillie the various steps to con somebody and Dillie tries to do it to him right away. A few dozen German high school students were confronted with it, too, because I used that scene when we were talking about con tricks while I was teaching a movie interpretation class in 11th grade English and we watched “Catch Me If You Can”. I don’t know whether they learned the right stuff for their final exams but they sure learned some useful stuff for life in general.

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        1. That was the basic structure for a persuasive paper, which I realized as I researched cons was pretty much the underlying philosophy of most swindles. Of course, it helps to have the Dempsey charm.

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      2. IIRC she had a boy in tow. Actually I think there were two boys. So maybe 14? Or 12. But I don’t think she was younger than that.

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  19. You mean after menopause I’m not gonna like sex? That’s it: hormones here I come. That’s just so unfair!

    Anyway, loved Wild Ride, which I bought even tho’ I very rarely buy hardcover. I slurped through the first reading, so I’m going back for a reread soon. And it’s physically quite gorgeous.

    I look forward to Maybe This Time and the reissue of Trust Me On This. Now if only Agnes weren’t in storage (I try to not buy second copies of anything; I don’t have much room!). 🙂 We love you, Jenny! You are wonderful! And you are like a really great drug: wonderful high, addictive, and with no nasty side effects!

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  20. I love your books, and always buy them when they are released because I know I’m not getting the same story that you told me last time. I’ve followed your books from Bet Me (and believe me, I’ve never looked at a Krispy Kreme doughnut to same way since), to Welcome to Temptation, to Anyone but You, to Agnes, and all the way to Wild Ride. The stories are so different, and that’s great. But the wit, the emotion, and the way you make me forget about real life – that’s always the same. So no guilt – you are not an assembly line, or a machine. Thank you for writing such wonderful books.

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  21. Well, bought “Wild Ride” yesterday morning, finished it by last night and still heart you (and Mr. Meyer). Bought “The Cinderella Deal” last week when I was checking to see if Borders had “Wild Ride” yet, and adored that. I’m thinking you should be feeling pretty okay on the guilt front. And as a reader of both your blog and the Lucy March blog, if she starts writing about Fake Aunt Jenny and Fake Aunt Fake Jenny I’m going to get horribly confused. We just need to arrange people to come to your appearances asking why you don’t look like a Valkyrie to balance out those other deranged people.

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  22. I concur. What every one else has said. It is all that and more. Even with the economy, as someone has mentioned, buying the book is better than going out to a movie, I would and did buy all your published books new and used. I spent the last 2 years reading everything you have written. Why-because your stories resonate. Your stories take us away and bring us back happier for it. The collaborations take us in another direction and we come back happier for it. I have never read a Jennifer Crusie book I didn’t love. Your first works are like a lovely appetizer for the later novels. A little re-read of a good part in any one of your novels is like dessert, especially if it is a sad, mad, or melancholy day. You are probably just having a bad day, throw the guilts into the closet and shut the door. There are people out here who love your work and will support you, the publisher, the little people, the big people, the dogs…..

    Do I win? – 2 Bet Me hardcovers, 1 paperback, 1 audiobook, also downloaded on to Ipod for long roadtrips and about 5 purchased as gifts, because they just have to read your novels, not just for the stories, but, the craft of writing.

    At a RWA chapter meeting, we were discussing your work, someone said they had not read your work, we all said, READ anything she writes, after looking at her in disbelief. She is now a convert and will never be the same again. Okay, now I sound a little crazy.

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  23. I’m in the throes of menopause right now and it’s been a hoot. My mom did the whole hormone thing, but I’m going it alone. And doing just fine, thankyouverymuch.

    Beloved Boyfriend and I keep talking about how our weekend plans always include the idea to actually have sex–*laughter*–but we get distracted by home improvement shows and video games (for him) and knitting (for me). Happily, we talk about it so there’s no stress.

    As far as your books, I’m so happy that your earlier works are being re-issued. I think it’s interesting to see an author’s evolution over time. And “Wild Ride”? Enjoyed the hell out of it–especially the ice cream. I also enjoyed the idea that not all demons are demons, they’re simply demoted gods from long ago.

    Thank you for sharing your fantasies–they’re always a lot of fun.

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    1. They really are, aren’t they? I finished the book and walked in to work the next day, and my coworker and fellow fan said, “How is it?” with baited breath. My response? “It really is a fantasy! They Eat Ice Cream For Breakfast! Every day!” Her jaw dropped in amazement. If that isn’t every woman’s fantasy I don’t know what is. 🙂

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  24. I think, with Wild Ride, I now have bought more of your books new than anyone else’s. I’m with everyone else who likes something new every time.

    Though I wonder now if your subconscious isn’t working on a book about a woman whose job is *pretending* to be an author.

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  25. Oh, I think Rosa has something there. Maybe the heroine of the next book is a short, thin, dark-haired woman who pretends to be an author so she doesn’t have to have a “real” job. Perhaps to keep her mother from bugging her to do court transcription in her “spare” time.

    Oh, wait. That part’s just me.

    And stop it on the guilt. Guilt is not conducive to good storytelling and we, while friendly, are a voracious base of fans.

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  26. Oh heck. Now I’ve forgotten what I was going to say.

    I don’t think I’m any crankier now than before menopause, but I could be delusional. And who the heck has time for sex. Although I do admit I enjoy reading about it. That’s fun.

    I’ll tell you what, Jenny – I’ll stand in for you, and you can stand in for me! Hardly any crowds at all. In fact, no crowds, although I did pack the local library. (It’s tiny.) I’m a little younger but probably not thinner. But what they hey, it would be fun to be you for a day or two.

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  27. Me, again, because someone is on Amazon on the other computer trying to order the audios of the two coming out tomorrow and they are evidently still all abridged which is the eighth deadly sin and, whoa! The air is turning blue! The dog is covering her ears! I’m covering MY ears! I’m going to go join in the outrage now, because, hey, I’m all about being supportive.

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  28. Hi Jenny,
    Coming out of lurkdom to say she was probably looking at your photo in one of your earlier books where you really look tall, dark and dare I say pretty
    Nanaimo Gran

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  29. Uh, I’ve seen you and Bob together. Talking at the same time, talking over each other, ping-ponging ideas and tips, lots of laughter mixed in. The high from that energy still keeps me going. Anytime I need a burst, I remember that morning.

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  30. Guy In The Bottle says: You may have 3 wishes.
    Woman: No more cramps, no more mess, no more Mad Cow Disease.
    GITB: Shazam! You have earned menopause. Job well done.

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  31. Jenny, I mean this in the most asexual way, but I think I love you. Your books helped me find myself as my kids moved out and menopause moved in. You gave me the push and the confidence to give fiction writing a shot when I felt used up and bored.

    In many ways my experiences are the opposite of yours: menopause changed us both, but for me it freed me of the chains of decades of monthly cycles that had nothing to do with the moon or tides. Well, maybe the tides. I was like, screw the hormones, I’M FREE!! I no longer have to go in hock to Kotex — I wanted to have tampon-burning parties. All those hot cover models half my age suddenly seemed really interesting, And the books? Oooh la la!

    But what it boils down to is that you are you, and that’s all we ask you to be. The voices in your head are so uniquely yours, you could make the Farmer in the Dell into a story I’d want to read. Of course, if Bob was involved the Farmer would turn out to be a sniper and the Dell would turn out to be a goddess named Delilah, but it would all come out right in the end. There would be Tootsie Rolls and a dog or two, and all of us who love you would shake our heads and wish your voices would jump into our heads, but they never will.

    Please don’t feel guilty. Just thinking about your stories makes me smile. And how many writers make people happy with a turn of a phrase? You are in a class by yourself and each of your books is a gift.

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  32. I’ve been documenting computer software for waaaaay too long. All I could think was that the Farmer in the Dell would probably want to be upgraded to Windows 7, or maybe to being the Farmer in the Mac.

    In all other respects, What Becke Said.

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    1. Nah. The farmer is a hands-on guy. He’d be Farmer in the Linux! (Sorry. Couldn’t resist, as one tech writer to another.)

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        1. Well, you’d have your iTunes soundtrack already picked out. It’s just a matter of which you want circling in your head …

          hi ho the derri-o

          or

          ee-ii-ee-ii-o

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  33. If you’re going to go through menopause I highly recommend a lab puppy. You’re going to be nuts anyway might as well get all over with at once.

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  34. “I know a lot of people would like to see Bet Me Again and Welcome Back to Temptation, and I want you all to know, if I could write them, I would in a heartbeat.”

    Neil Gaiman talked about this once:

    “…the big problem with authors is you can’t train most of them. We don’t train very easily because we’re like otters. You know, a dolphin you can train. You can say, “Do this, and you’ll get a fish.” With an otter, if it does something cool and you give it a fish, next time it will try and do something cooler.”

    So no need for guilt that you can’t write Bet Me Again. You’re an otter! Like Neil Gaiman! 😀

    (link to the post in question for the curious:
    http://www.neilgaiman.com/p/About_Neil/Interviews/Neil_Gaiman%27s_Otter_Tricks_by_Chris_Bolton,_Powells.com_%28August,_2005%29)

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  35. “Also thanks to Google, I now know that it takes 364 licks to get to the center.”

    Okay, I’m seriously contemplating quoting you on that, somewhere completely and inappropriately out of context…

    All I can say is thank god for the comments here. Because after reading the post I was ready to give up writing and all aspirations of being published. You’re right, it’s too much responsibility. The pressure is too immense, the potential for failure and destroying the lives of others too overwhelming. I’m not A Great Writer after all, I’m a scourge on society for even trying. Oh, the prematurely imagined guilt of it all!

    But then I did read the comments. And I tell you what, Crusie, if my work ever receives even ONE comment like the multitudes you’ve garnered here, it will be so worth it. Suck it up and get over your bad self, darlin’. People love you and you make them happy. There are worse things you could be doing. (No, I’m not going to tell you what those things are. You’d go out and do them and do them well just to prove me wrong. :narrows eyes: I know you.)

    And for godsakes, the next time someone says they thought you were shorter and thinner and had darker hair, tell them that was Bob and point them in his general direction after informing them that he just loves to chat with people about random topics and they should be sure to give him a big hug and a Tootsie Roll Pop while they’re at it. Then at least you will have earned “the chaser of guilt that follows the weird.”

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  36. Well, then, Bob is even more into danger than we knew about. I’m glad the collaborating worked out for you because as much as I love your blog, I really enjoy your books and want you to write them. If it takes a Bob or a Lani to get the girls out of the basement, it only makes sense given the communities you’re always building out of unlikely people in your books. (Plus, St. Martins put two of the bestest book covers ever on Don’t Look Down and Agnes.)

    Yep, sometimes people won’t like your stuff. Them’s the breaks. (But they’re crazy. Not that I judge.) But after getting constructive feedback, you just gotta be happier with those who came to your party than upset by those who didn’t. And as a proper hostess, you do that. Still and all, it probably helps just to freak out for a while, huh?

    If you need a distraction, take sweetness and light to see How to Train Your Dragon (in 3D). It’ll cost a small fortune, but I went tonight and it cheered me right up. (“You’ve got to be less like…” [pointing]…”Um, you’re pointing to all of me”) I’m pretty sure it’s even appropriate for youngins, but I don’t have a good sense of that so doublecheck first.

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    1. Sweetness and Light are out of town for Spring Break which no doubt is contributing to my general insanity here.

      But everybody’s been so lovely, now I feel guilty about moaning around here. Time to suck it up and get back to work. Thank you all VERY much.

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  37. Hi Jenny, I’m new to your blog (although I’ve been a fan of your books for ages) and I’m still trying to work out who Sweetness and Light are, as well as all the other wonderful people and animals in your household. But, can I just say that you have nothing to feel guilty about. I reckon I’d enjoy the reading the phone book if you wrote it.

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  38. I had to look up ‘Tootsie Roll Pop’ on Wikipedia. And then ‘Tootsie Roll’. 😀
    But I understand the feelings of guilt — those transcend culture!

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      1. Not to my knowledge, Jenny, but I might not have noticed them if they have infiltrated the UK over the last couple of decades — I do rather live under a rock. Anyway, they are definitely an American cultural thingy. Oreo cookies, which some Americans rave about, have become available here in recent years. (To my mind, they are just a another variety of custard cream. Not all that exciting…).

        Definitions of brand names that both cultures use can be misleading, too: for example, *our* Mars bars are different from *your* Mars bars!
        😉

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        1. I guess there’s similar stuff in Europe under a different name. If it’s truly American, it’s hard to find sometimes, particularly if you live in rural areas like we do. My daughter complains every week that none of our local beverage shops has Dr. Pepper. I wouldn’t mind if they did, either.

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        2. Oreos are more like an experience than a snack. I’m not a huge fan, but it’s hard to resist pulling one apart and eating the center first. And it’s not even on the same scale as custard cream. It’s just sugar whipped into the consistency of shortening. Other than holding together well when dunked in milk, there isn’t anything much to recommend them. They aren’t all that special, really; but they have a hold on our cultural psyche that’s hard to explain.

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          1. For me, the thing that sets Oreos apart from any other creme-filled cookie is the fact that they turn into chocolate sludge if you dip them in milk. There is something so sublime, so earthy, so fundamental about Oreo sludge! I haven’t found any other cookie that does that (well, besides another American favorite: graham crackers).

            The pull-em-apart thing is fun, too, but I think that’s mostly advertising, and to tell the truth, I’d prefer lemon-creme cookies for my cookie-dissection experiences.

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  39. You could write the phone book and I’d buy it. Seriously. Especially if they had an audiobook version with Richard Armitage reading it.

    I just saw your Youtube University of Ohio interview, and I really enjoyed it, so I linked it in my blog, and it made me think of how much I love Welcome to Temptation. But I don’t want you to write it again and again. I love and admire the fact that you can’t do the same book over and over. And even when you do (SB & TCD), each version is quirky and of itself.

    Ditch the guilt…you don’t need to feel guilty. Just go out there and enjoy your imagination.

    And another thing – did Emily Dickinson’s Mermaids in the Basement influence the Goddesses in the basement?

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    1. Barbara Samuel borrowed them from Stephen King’s Boys in the Basement. No idea where King got them but my guess is not Dickinson. “The basement” is pretty routine as a metaphor for the subconscious, and I think gender of the inhabitants is probably more a function of the preference of the writer needing the muse.

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  40. So many compliments, so little time. I finished Wild Ride last night, and will probably re-read again tonight. I’d like Cindy’s ice cream parlour next door, if you could arrange that. I’ve loved every book you read, although sometimes I had to grow to fit a book (for some reason I didn’t click with Fast Women the first time, but we’re best friends now, I suspect I changed more that Nell and Co did). So just keep doing what you do, cause we’ve got your back.

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  41. Which is ridiculous because some people are not going to like my book, that’s a given. Nobody has ever published a story that everybody liked, or if they did, a good portion of those everybodys hated the next one, so it’s a fact of the author’s life: I will be constantly disappointing somebody.

    It’s also a fact of your author’s life that you will be constantly pleasing, entertaining, delighting many somebodies.

    Are you positive that the sugar overload from the TRPs isn’t inciting you to only view the negative?

    I’d also like to point out that if you’ve written the best book that you possibly can — which you ALWAYS do — then you have fulfilled your side of the between author and reader.

    There’s a world of difference between a story that some readers don’t like and a story that’s poorly written.

    As a reader, I know the difference between a book that just didn’t do it for me and a book that is crap from cover to cover.

    I have never once felt that I did not get my money’s worth from a Jennifer Crusie book, even if the story in one doesn’t rank among personal Crusie favs.

    Now to discuss books with food in them. When I read Agnes and the Hit Man, I wanted someone to cook for me like Agnes cooked for everyone. It’s a happy, happy thought. Now I’d like Cindy’s ice cream next door, too, but then I’d condemn myself to eventually being one of those poor people who need to be hoisted from their beds with a crane because I’d eat way tooooo much of it.

    I recently began reading Barbara O’Neal’s books. Talk about integrating food, cooking and storytelling. Oh, she is marvelous. I’m not surprised she has a Rita-nominated book this year. I’m half-way through my second O’Neal book and ready to shop for more.

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  42. Wow, I thought I had the market cornered on guilt. I know most of these 70-something comments are all saying better than I can that you’re awesome and have nothing to feel guilty about. But why not do my best anyway?

    I honestly don’t think you are capable of writing a bad book. Or a bad blog. Or a bad comment. You’ve got IT. In spades. I can see where that could be a burden, but really, as long as you keep sharing IT with us, then you’re doing all you need to be doing. Because were you to keep your IT to yourself, I’m guessing there would be a posse of Cherries storming the castle.

    And no need to apologize for the moaning. That’s another thing we love about you. You bemoan just like the rest of us, one pant leg at a time.

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  43. Oh, poor Jenny. I wish I could give you a hug. Mary Stella– you are right on about the only real obligations between an author and her reader– on the authors side to write the best book she can at the time, and on the reader’s side to be open-minded and generous.

    Buying a book is a risk. Nobody knows that better than a bookseller. There’s some guilt for you– I make my living convincing people to buy books that they may or may not like. If I’m a good bookseller, I can figure out what they like. If I can’t… As a book buyer, you just have to accept the risk and move forward– it’s part of the purchase price. I feel kind of bad for you, Jenny, because I feel like you’re the one that has to take all the crap for it when people feel like they’ve made a bad investment. But it’s their risk to take. You’re just the author. You’re the artist. And what you create is Good, with a capital, like God and like Mab. I’m a book buyer as well as a bookseller, and I take responsibility for my own book investments, thank you very much. 🙂

    Incidentally, you can feel good about the fact that the sale of what you create puts food on the table for the families of thousands of people who work for your agent, your publisher, your publicizer, the book binders, the book distributors, the booksellers, your author escort, and the UPS men who shuttle the books around among us. And we’re very grateful for it, I assure you. Not only does it keep me employed doing what I love, but honestly? It’s books like yours that make being a bookseller such a joy in the first place.

    (And now, stop feeling responsible for the thousands of us in the book industry, as well– we’re responsible for ourselves, thank you very much! 🙂 )

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  44. Whine all you need Jenny. We’re here for you. We love you and your books, or we’d be reading some other blog.

    Your books are always on my auto-buy list. I have one whole shelf of keepers dedicated to all things Crusie (and Crusie/Mayer). And, I check your blog M-F when I’m online. Always! When nothing new is posted, I reread in the archives.

    Tootsie Pops are always a favorite. I’m on a Gummy Bear kick lately.

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  45. Jenny. Doggy update. Thanks for your concern about my dog, Nikki. She’s still in the hospital but no longer in ICU, but at 11 years of age this year, anything can happen. It looks like she’s going to make it through what must have been a nightmare for her, vomiting and copious bleeding from the bowel. She (I think) had a reaction to Previcox which is a NSAID, although nobody has confirmed that yet. She started the drug on Friday morning and by Sunday was a mess.
    I was so thankful to have blogs I could go to yesterday to keep my mind occupied because I sure as heck couldn’t write anything. I’m hoping to bring her home today, but despite the horrific cost, if she needs another day of hospitalization she’s got it.

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    1. I know. Lyle’s broken wrist set us back a bundle, but it was Lyle. It’s not like we were going to say, “Just deal with it, dog.”
      And eleven isn’t too bad. She’s got some time yet. Fingers crossed she’s good as new soon.

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  46. @ Robena — best wishes for Nikki’s recovery!

    Jenny — you are on my must buy no matter what list! Now that your reissues are coming out, I will probably buy them also just b/c new covers! shiny and pretty!

    You are such an engaging writer, not just your books, which are addictive alone, but your blog has made me a dedicated reader no matter what. When as a reader, I can put a face and a voice to a name, it makes me that much more loyal to an author. I know that it’s not easy, but you put forth such hard work, good humor and relevance, I always come back for more! I love your characters and your blog b/c you are so easy to relate to. Seriously, you first got me addicted to blogs…lol… my dream breakfast would include you, Lani, Bob and Ryan Reynolds sitting around w/ omelets and pancakes just clowning around. However, Bob would have to be nice to Ryan — he’s included b/c he’s pretty and sarcastic.

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  47. Someone asked for some menopause experiences since no one ever talks about it. Well, the no interest in sex thing – that goes away. There was a 6 month period about 3 years into menopause where the sex drive – which had previously disappeared – came back and brought all the hormones from the previous three years along. Was that ever fun. Then things leveled off. Some women have no sex overdrive experience. Some women have no leveling off !!!! Those are probably the one who start losing weight after menopause instead of ballooning up like the rest of us. Also what was fun before isn’t necessarily fun or even pleasant anymore. Although 364 licks with a TRP or just 364 licks is probably still good. And while the hot flashes may go away for some they come back for the occasional visit.

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  48. Menopause. My gyn and I discussed it last visit. She asked if I was having mood swings. I said no. But, funny thing, the rest of the world has turned into raving idiots suddenly. I’m not quite sure what to expect. There are many females in my extended family, and I have my mom’s anecdotes; but they all seem to have had extenuating circumstances to go along with hormonal imbalances. I did tell my gyn that if I get the hot flashes like mom did, I’m mainlining drugs and hang the risks. I refuse to spend several years of my life being that uncomfortable.

    The mood swings, though, will be everybody else’s problem.

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    1. If you’re looking into meds, please, please investigate bioidentical hormones. My mom’s doctors think the synthetic hormones she took are the reason she developed breast cancer– lots of studies demonstrate that link. She’s in remission now, thank God, but watching her go through the treatment was hell, and there are always fears for the future. No one in my family would wish this on anyone else. And if anyone in the Northern Cincinnati area is interested in exploring that option, I know some completely wonderful people who can give you lots of information, so let me know.

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      1. Not looking into meds, but thank you, I’ll keep that in mind if I find out I have to move beyond TRPs. I’m not good with meds, my mind doesn’t play well with them. My therapist gave me an antidepressant once to get me through a book tour, and I ended up sitting in the middle of the bed in the hotel room, convinced room service was plotting to kill me. At that point, even I knew I was paranoid and I flushed the rest of the pills. I’m sticking to TRPs. They’re soothing, and if I eat four of them, they knock me out cold–sugar crash–so who needs sleeping pills?

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        1. I think I was replying more to McB, but it’s good advice for everyone. 🙂 And I don’t do well with meds in general, either. They make me go all wonky. I think almost every other member of my family has been on antidepressants at one point or another, though. I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m pretty sure they’re all watching me to see when I’ll crack and have to go to therapy and get drugged up. 🙂 Or maybe I really am paranoid, and really do need help!

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        2. My new doc tried me out on new meds for the anxiety. The first one made my eyes dilate a huge amount — to different sizes. I got the shakes, was dizzy and nauseous, and found myself looking at my hand with that “oooh, cool” thing going on. The *second* med was a sister to the first, just less powerful. That class of drugs is completely out of the equation now. Especially when both the pharmacists I called and my own doc said “Hmm. Those aren’t normal side effects for this drug.” Forging new roads in drug side effects! Maybe my doc will write a paper about me! 🙂

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  49. it’s interesting to me that you grouch at lani for apologizing for everything, and then you feel such guilt over so much that is completely out of your control. pot/kettle?

    i finally got my hands on ‘wild ride’ – damn podunk bookstore had ONE copy, hidden. b*st*rds. it’s not like your previous stuff so much, but i liked it. one thing that i noticed, you’ve said before that your earlier stuff was less emotional and then you went for it and added emotion… your latest books seem to be less emotional again. bob’s influence? (that’s not a negative, btw, just an observation.)

    save me a cherry trp – those things ROCK.

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    1. Do as I say, not as I do. And don’t think she hasn’t pointed that out.

      Less emotional with Bob. Probably. More action on the page, which I desperately needed, leaves less time for developing emotional content. Plus with two different, really three different love stories in there, that diluted the emotional content, too. Mab hasn’t even really begun on the serious relationship of her life. She’ll get into that when she gets back from the Statue of Liberty.

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  50. When people buy a book and don’t like it, they give it to Goodwill, who’ll sell it to someone who’ll love it. They’ll use the money from the sale for good, and the new reader will go buy all your backlist from new.
    I really don’t understand why you feel guilty about that. 🙂

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      1. Mine too! I bought Bet Me because I loved the cover with the clear shoe with cherries on it. I’ve been hooked ever since.

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  51. Wow. Where to start. Sometimes as a 57-year-old woman, I wonder about writing Chick Lit with twenty-something heroines. Does this say something about my emotional maturity? I went through premature menopause 20 years ago. That was a shock. I was still hoping to get married again and have children. The reality was that without the hope of having children, I didn’t see much reason to get married again. It was a tough time in my life and I was diagnosed hypothyroid too, so my energy and enthusiasm just kind of drained out of me.
    But life goes on and humor is the way I deal with not getting the life I’d hoped for. Your books helped me get through some really tough mental periods in my life. Premature menopause back then wasn’t discussed; even my gyno didn’t know much about it. All he told me was that I had no choice but to go on estrogen. Dealing with feelings of the loss of my feminity were really hard because I didn’t know anybody my age in the same situation. I really thought I was losing my mental capacity. It gets better. You learn to accept being less than you were and appreciating other things.
    I skip over a lot of sex scenes in books. I never skipped over yours because they were funny and insightful and sharp. I don’t have much interest in sex now but at least I can live vicariously through books with great sex scenes, but the humor is even more important. Humor gets me through a lot things, and when I get published, I hope my humor can help someone else like your humor helped me.
    I’ve loved all your books, some more than others, but I’ve read every word, some multiple times. Forget guilt, just write.

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  52. I view your stuff as about relationships and humor. The sex scenes are quite nice, too, but when I really want some I simply mainstream serious erotica. It’s all about balance! Besides, I *learn* stuff there! If I didn’t, I’m not sure I would ever be able to write a compelling sex scene.

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  53. Several years ago, when I was slogging through heavy ground mentally and emotionally, the part of my brain tasked with making me feel better kept moaning, “If we just had a new Jenny Crusie book to read, we’d feel better.” ‘Cause, it’s all about the dopamine, and my brain knew a Crusie book would do the trick. So, I’d check the old website for something new, but it was like Jenny fell off the face of the earth.

    Then I got spayed (hallelujah), and shortly thereafter Jenny was back. Turned out that she’d been mired in similar muck. What a prankster the universe is! 🙂 Since then, what with new books and new websites, there’s always a little shot of feel-good available somewhere in Cherry land. That’s the kind of community you created, Jenny, and it’s a reflection of the books you write.

    The guilt thing, though, is kind of interesting. It seems like the majority of things you feel guilty for are things that might happen, not things that actually have happened or will happen. It’s like your brain is putting out a guilt forecast. I know ‘glutton for punishment’ is a key definition for ‘writer’, but agonizing over hypothetical future guilt? Stop it right now, or there’s going to be a TRP intervention.

    It really is all about the dopamine, and those other pesky biogenic amines, from menopause to Tootsie Roll Pops. Did you know sugar causes the brain to release dopamine?

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    1. I had a clue that it might. And yes, I have future guilt when it comes to readers. Fortunately, I also have an EXTREMELY short attention span.
      Where was I?

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      1. I think the problem here is that your brain reads a little like the Worst-Case Scenerio Survival Handbook: Authors’ Edition. Which might be a little unbalanced. But which I admit I can totally relate to.

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  54. What can I say that the others haven’t already said so wonderfully? Well, allow me to repeat that your responsibility ends when you’ve written the best book you possibly can. We, the readers, are responsible for our own orgasms, so to speak (-:.

    And, you do go above and beyond the call of duty by training and encouraging new writers, who can provide some more of that literary crack to us addicts (-:.

    But when has guilt been a rational feeling? (-: I hope you are feeling better about the whole thing by now. You really are a great writer.

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  55. First time here and am so excitied to learn about all the issues coming out this summer. I love your books. I have learned one thing though and that is I’m never loaning out another Jennifer Crusie book because some people don’t return them! I lost Bet Me and Tell Me Lies, hardcovers both! Currently, I’m in the middle of Crazy for You and have been up worrying about Katie. Although from reading your posts, I know she’ll be saved. Thanks Jennie!

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  56. Oh. My. God. Finally, I’ve figured out what it is that’s wrong with me! Can it be menopause (or the promise thereof)? Fifty-five years old, six books for Mira under my belt, got dropped by them two years ago, and haven’t written a damn thing since. I don’t want to write about sex any more, don’t care if I never hear the word “sex” again. I’m crazy and angry and ready to kill most of the time, and worst of all, the voices are gone. All the people who lived in my head have moved out with no forwarding address, and I’ve been blaming it on either a lackluster marriage or just plain insanity. Is it possible that this is a temporary condition, and eventually my voices will come back? Is it possible that I won’t have to resort to the rope and the rafter, or take up alcoholism? I have to say, there’s nothing worse than being a writer who can’t write because there’s nobody in my head screaming to be let out. I still have nothing in my head, but at least now I have a possible answer as to WHY THEY ALL WENT AWAY AND LEFT ME. Who needs a shrink when I have you? I think I love you.

    P.S. This isn’t my first time here, but it’s the first time I’ve posted.

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    1. Welcome to menopause. Took me five years to start to see the light of day again. Thank God for my collaborators, that’s what I say.

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  57. I think I may almost have all your books. The last few I bought as ebooks. I suspect I haven’t read one or two, but I’m getting there 😛
    Although I love all your books, especially the one’s you’ve cowritten with Bob, and Getting Rid of Bradley (Best book ever), I really love your other cowritten stuff, like The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes (Other, best book ever) and Dogs and Goddesses (third bbe).
    Anyway, it makes me kind of sad when I see writers say they panic over whether people will like their book. Mainly because I kind of hoped you got to the point where you were successful enough that you didn’t care? That you wrote awesome all the time?
    But still, if you can still write after all that, there is hope for the rest of us hopefuls 😀

    <3 <3

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      1. Well maybe not – not care (poor choice of words), but that the fear of rejection was less. I mean, whenever I submit a piece of work to my beta, I always suspect that it is in fact rubbish. And I kind of hoped one day, with practice and if I ever get published, that that would no longer be the case.

        Oh well. 😀 😀

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