Monday, September 9, 2013

"My Daughter the Bestselling Author"

Since time immemorial,or at least from the founding of the Second Temple, Jewish mothers have proudly reported the doings of "my son the doctor." OK, so they used to talk about "my son the rabbi" until the invention of asepsis and the founding of the AMA made doctors respectable at last.

Still, you get the point.

But now I can report to all my friends that my daughter Beatriz Williams is now a "New York Times Bestselling Author."  That's because in this week's NYT Bestseller Lists A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams hit #16 in the e-book fiction list and #24 in the combined e-book and print fiction list.  A Hundred Summers is Beatriz's second title for Putnam.  Overseas, her debut novel, was published in 2012 and is now out in paperback.

And really, what's "my son the doctor" compared to "my daughter the bestselling author"?

What does this mean?  It means that forever after my daughter's publisher can style her on the cover as "New York Times Bestselling Author Beatriz Williams."

It also means that it is not too late to order yours.  A Hundred Summers is a tale of lost love here.  And Overseas, a tale of love across time, is here.  Go ahead.  Click away!

I talked to a friend and asked whether she thought that the title "New York Times Bestselling Author" amounted to a patent of nobility, or whether it was better described as membership in an order of chivalry, the kind that lets you wear a star on your chest.

She thought that patent of nobility came closest.  But I beg to disagree.  In the first place, patents of nobility are forbidden to the United States government by the US Constitution.  In the second place, titles of nobility are traditionally inherited and there is no doubt, at least for now, that the title of "New York Times Bestselling Author" is not heritable.

No, I think that New York Times Bestselling Authors are all members of a glorious order of chivalry.  As in most such orders there are degrees of membership: Members, Knights, Knight Commanders and so on.  The Order of the New York Times Bestselling Authors is just the same.  There are ordinary Bestselling Authors and then there are Distinguished Bestselling Authors and of course #1 Bestselling Authors.  And so on.

All joking apart, this is a magnificent achievement for my daughter Beatriz, the culmination of years of hard work, relentless discipline, sleepless nights, and just raw talent.

Congratulations, daughter dear.  There is no higher honor -- other than being a wife, mother of four strapping children, and devoted Starbucks customer.

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