This afternoon I signed a book contract with Texas Tech University Press for my second book, The Fifth Season: A Daughter-in-Law’s Memoir of Caregiving. The book will be published in fall 2013. (Subject to change, of course.)
Many of you know that I shared a household with my mother-in-law, Jeanne, for seven years and became her primary caregiver near the end of that time. And those of you who knew Jeanne also knew I was writing my way through the last year of her life. I completed the manuscript, which was also my MFA thesis, last year and began approaching publishers this past fall. The Fifth Season tells about my relationship with Jeanne, with a special focus on caregiving, hospice, and end-of-life issues.
The book project was accepted on what’s called an “advance contract,” meaning there’s still some writing to be done but the publisher likes the project enough to give me a contract in advance, complete with a deadline and word-count limit. Those of you who know how university press peer review works may be interested to hear that the contract was granted on the basis of just one peer review, and the second peer review (by a medical expert) will be conducted this summer, once the manuscript is complete. I have a deadline of June 1 and a cap of seven thousand more words if I need them, along with specific editorial guidance to fill out the manuscript in several areas. I’ve always enjoyed revision, and I’m looking forward to the process.