Open Wounds


This was great.

I had Lunch yesterday with Pam Felzien, her daughter Jennifer, and her granddaughter Victoria – three generations of Felzien women – all writers – and it was definitely the highlight of my trip.  Pam is also reviewing my book later in May at Life Happens While Books are Waiting her blog on books. All three are voracious readers and I love Pam’s handle at her site: joemmama.

We ate at the Landsdowne Pub across from the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Highlands Ranch, Colorado where a spit ball flew onto Jennifer’s plate from the booth next to us just as our lunches arrived. Fortunately it was dry and simply an overshot from a woman who was aiming at her boyfriend – but it gave us all a good laugh to start off our meal with.

All three read my book as a PDF (never an easy thing to do from my perspective) – Victoria finishing it at 2am that morning. They met me at 12 so I hope she got some sleep. Since Victoria is a young adult and the perfect age for my book I was especially happy to hear that she’d enjoyed it.

All three were a delight to meet and speak with. It was so nice to be in the company of three book lovers who also happened to be writers. Talking about books – including Open Wounds – movies, what each was writing, and how we came to be sitting there at that table at this particular point in our lives seemed somehow full of karmic goodness. After the uncomfortable work of selling my book to booksellers (though it definitely got easier as I went along) who knew nothing about me and who took me in as a cold call salesman (even if they were gracious about it)- it was great to relax and enjoy Denver in the company of folks who had at least some idea of who I was. The real fun for me was finding out about them and commiserating on the trials and tribulations of writing.

The kicker was as I was about to leave I took out a pen to take down their address so I could send them a real copy of the book when it comes out next month and Pam took out a pen also. We were two writing gunslingers drawn pens in hand.

“Nice pen,” she said and I noticed what she had already noticed. We both held out a Levenger True Writer – mine the Sea Glass and hers the Kyoto. If you’ve never used one of their pens you’re missing something. They are awesome writing utensils made for the writer who, when looking for something to write with, needs… just the right pen. They’re worth every penny and it was a perfect way to end the lunch.

It felt like I’d just finished lunch with a few friends and the warmth of their company was wonderful. Thank you, ladies, for making my afternoon in Denver just perfect.

2 responses

  1. Anne

    Hi Joe,

    I’m looking to buy your book (in NYC) and would rather get it from an independent bookstore than from one of those . . . I was disappointed Books of Wonder didn’t have it, but they’re not big for YA.

    Despite my lacking sentences above, I’m a copy editor and have worked on a number of Andrew Smith’s books.

    I’d love to know how your trip to NO went (my hometown). Looking forward to hearing from you.


    June 29, 2011 at 10:01 am

    • Anne,
      I’m sorry it took so long to get back to you! I was out camping with my family in PA and didn’t have much in the way of internet service. The following four bookstores (a few in Brooklyn but only one in Manhattan) may be carrying the book (or with a nudge might order) but call first to see if they have it:
      McNally Jackson Books
      52 Prince St.
      New York, NY

      Boulevard Books & Café

      Greenlight Book Store
      686 Fulton Street
      Brooklyn, NY

      126 Franklin Street
      Brooklyn, NY

      You can order directly from Books of Wonder also – which may also help them to decide to carry it in their store. I order YA books from them all the time just because I want to give them business. I haven’t given up on them. It’s been frustrating getting stores to respond but my publicist is working every angle possible. That’s exciting to have worked on Andrew’s books – though I know copy editing may make it difficult to read in the same way you would for pleasure. Still, it must be great to get a sneak peak at his work.

      New Orleans was wonderful. I was like a kid in a candy store. I signed books, worked the booth, met other authors, and basically acted like a “somebody” for a weekend. It was great to be a writer and only a writer for four days. It was a bit of a dream come true and surreal because of that. I really had a chance to see New Orlean’s French Quarter this time too – walked everywhere and stayed in a great bed and breakfast called la dauphine on of course – dauphine. I love to walk and walked everywhere, even if it was 100 degrees with 90% humidity. Where were you from in NO? I just know the downtown area and a little of the Garden District – saw a fencing tournement there and visitied Octavia and Garden District books stories also. Great book stores and the fencing was so much fun I wish I had brought my equipment. I have to remember that for next trip.

      Let me know where you end of getting the book from and what you think of the work.
      All the best,

      July 2, 2011 at 8:55 pm

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