Pub Rants

We Interrupt This Program For A Great Story

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STATUS: Finally, after two weeks, things are easing up and soon I will be able to share all kinds of good news…

What’s playing on the iPod right now? RAINY NIGHT IN GEORGIA by Brook Benton

I think it’s good to take a few breaks from the agency agreement blogs and mainly because I just had to share this story.

My author Jennifer O’Connell was doing an event to promote the Judy Blume Antho this past weekend. She thought it a bit odd that there was a person dressed in a baseball cap and sunglasses in the back row but didn’t dwell too much on it.

She had a great time talking about Judy Blume moments and about the essays. At the end of her author talk, the ball-capped person approached her and whipped off the cap and sunglasses to reveal, and I’m sure you could see it coming from a mile away, that she was none other than Judy Blume herself.

She jokingly commented that she thought she’d have to be dead first before getting a tribute like this.

But this story isn’t even the coolest part. Judy is so delighted with Jennifer and the anthology that she has joined in the chat at the B&N bookclub site. It’s going on right now and if you ever wanted a chance to talk with Judy Blume, then click here.

I’m only jealous that I didn’t get to meet the legend in person myself! I’m off to join the chat…

15 Responses

  1. Kim Stagliano said:

    Congrats. Isn’t it wonderful when authors are gracious and pleasant and appreciative? We hear about the shrews and the divas all the time. This is a nice report. I never put on a raincoat without thinking of Judy Blume, even at age 43! I had a sister (nun) hand me “Are you there God..” in 7th grade. Ms. Blume has touched so many lives. How nice she is enjoying the tribute.

  2. WitLiz Today said:

    I’m sorry, Ms Blume. But the standing in the back of the room, wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses? This has me worried.

    Is this the price one pays for literary fame?

    Or were you the fan that almost caught Barry Bond’s record-tying HR ball, and probably would have if the ball hadn’t bounced off your laptop as you were writing your new series?

    Field work is good and all that, Ms Blume, but sometimes you gotta leave it at home. Know what I mean?

  3. Jennifer O'Connell said:

    Actually, Judy always wears a baseball cap and glasses – it’s sunny on the Vineyard and Sunday was brutally hot.

    It wasn’t a covert act, although she certainly gained the element of surprise!


  4. Trish Ryan said:

    I saw this story on the B&N chat – and Ms. Blume herself is posting, too, which is so cool. There’s quite a collection of authors over in that neck of the woods right now…fun, and definitely worth checking out 🙂

  5. Vicki said:

    What a great story. Regardless of baseball cap and sunglasses, Judy Blume came there and introduced herself. To me, that’s pretty cool. To know she pleased with the work you’ve credited towards her.

  6. Anonymous said:

    YA porn? Sorry but you lost me. What are you talking about? I think I’ve read every thing written by her and she deals with real issues, real feelings, real life stuff. Stuff that a lot of other authors (and editors, maybe) didn’t have the chutzpa to address in print. She’s ground-breaking.

  7. Allison Brennan said:

    I wish I’d seen this yesterday, I would have so been over there.

    Judy Blume is one of the only writers who ever “got it” about being a girl. Her book (and please forgive me if I got it wrong, but I don’t think I did) ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME MARGARET was about a girl who didn’t have a dad and how that impacted her. I grew up without a dad and it really made me feel like I wasn’t the only one out there.

  8. Paul West said:


    Evidently you missed one of her books. I can’t recall the title, but it was one of her earlier YA novels. I thought since it was Judy Blume who wrote it, it would be great, since her middle grade books were absolutely great. I was shocked. She got so graphic, describing the sex act, I had to quit reading it. I don’t know how it ended, and frankly I don’t care. I think we can talk sex all day long, but once we cross the line and become graphic about it, then, at least for children, we need to reconsider our motives. Graphic sex has NO place in children’s literature.

  9. Rachel said:

    Paul, I think it’s not just a stretch, but an outrageous mischaracterization to call Blume’s books “young adult pornography.” Yes, she’s written about sex in teen and adult books but as someone who both reads YA and writes pornography, I think I can safely say her work is NOT YA porn. It may not be to your taste or too graphic for you, but that doesn’t make it porn. Oh? And, shockingly, some people under 18 do, in fact have sex. And some people even write about it! On that note, I recommend Good Girls by Laura Ruby.

    And this interview in the recent Heeb Kids issue with Judy Blume:

    I wrote this book for my daughter when she was 14. She asked if there couldn’t be a book about two nice kids who ‘do it’ and no one has to die at the end. I was going through my own late-adolescent rebellion at the time (I don’t recommend rebelling in your 30s). Given the time—the ’70s—I felt I’d missed out on everything. I married after my junior year of college and never had any of the experiences I later longed for. The sexual revolution was in full bloom and I was questioning whether any love, especially first love, could last forever in one’s life. I recently met a lovely young woman from Scandinavia. She said to me, ‘When we were growing up, we didn’t understand the fuss about Forever. Americans are so much more puritanical.’