It all started one October day in 2012, when I was ironing clothes in my family’s guest house.
Leaves were falling. The hot iron-smell was in the air. And my thoughts were far away.
I was pondering myself, my friends, and issues that we dealt with. Certain relationships in my life. Certain topics that had come to the forefront of my mind that year in a personal way they never had before.
And my mind started spinning it all into a story. A story about a beautiful, red-haired girl who moved to a small town and made a loyal friend or two, a girl who seemed to be perfect. Intelligent, dignified, sweet, with an imagination the size of a child’s. But a girl who might not be all she seemed.
Without warning certain scenes popped into my mind, exploring this concept. I knew that each character had sprung directly from someone that I knew, yet they also were not that person. Different names, different backgrounds, different development. But still there.
I decided to write the story for that year’s National Novel Writing Month, but I refused to disclose the title or anything about it to anyone at all. It was too personal. I swore that I was only writing it for my own therapeutic purposes, and that I could never bear to publish it. Or if I did, it would be quietly, under another name.
And I ended up writing about 30,000 words’ worth, just the scenes I had in my mind without much connection. Then I put it away. Perhaps, I thought, forever.
Today, that book, called October, releases. Under my own name, no less. Times change.
It’s been a process. From mailing one three-page excerpt at a time to a particularly worthy and trusted friend, to showing it in its entirety to another friend. Finally starting to read it to my local writer’s group over a year ago to gauge whether it had any merit. Then beginning the process of filling in the blanks and rewriting the story until it was a polished whole, ready to go into the editing process.
I’ve been emotional about stories I’ve written before. I put a little of myself in every book I write, but not like this. This is personal in a whole new way. This is a book I cried over multiple times. This is a book intertwined with the lives of people I love. I love all my publication children, but this, I think, is the first book of mine that I would dare to call important.
I think it deals with things that we need to be talking about. Things that can be overlooked, especially in church circles. Topics that we need to be aware of. We need to know that the people around us may be carrying more than they seem to be. We need to know that sometimes even we ourselves are not who we think we are. And we need to know that it’s okay that some of these topics are complicated and we don’t always know how to deal with them.
I never meant for October to be a happy book. And it isn’t. But I wanted it to be a beautiful book–and I hope, with all my heart, that it is.
About the Book
For Emily Baxter, life is simple. Her world is made up completely of school, church, and the community in the small farming town she calls home. All that changes one fateful Sunday, when a new girl shows up at Pleasanton Baptist—a girl unlike anyone Emily has ever seen. A girl with long red hair, crystal green eyes, and style and posture like royalty.
A girl named October.
The months that follow are filled with magic—the magic of ordinary things, of finding pictures in the stars, of imagination and a new sense of beauty. But as time goes by, Emily begins to sense that her enchanting new friend may have secrets that could break the spell. Is October really all she seems to be?
About the Author
Grace Pennington has been telling stories since she could talk and writing them down since age five. Now she lives in the great state of Texas, where she writes as much as adult life permits. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading good books, having adventures with her husband, and looking up at the stars.
Or enter the giveaway:
October 25, 2017
Bookish Orchestrations – Introductory post
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae – Character Spotlight
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima – Character Spotlight
Lisa Swinton – Queen of Random – Book Spotlight
Audrey Rich – Book Spotlight
October 27, 2017
Liv K. Fisher – Author Interview and Excerpt
Opinions, Thoughts, and General Rambling – Character Spotlight and Excerpt
Leila’s Bookshelf – Book Spotlight
Britbear’s Book Reviews – Guest Post
October 29, 2017
Bookish Orchestrations – Giveaway Winner