Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In Praise of Patry: Liar's Diary Blog

Writers are a solitary bunch. We live in our heads and in our work, and come out to do readings. But when one of our own is in trouble, we all band together as a community and help out. Case in point: Patry Francis.

Patry’s Francis’s debut THE LIAR’S DIARY came out in hardcover from Dutton last spring. The trade paper release is set for January 29th, but a few weeks ago, Patry was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. She’s had several surgeries, and her prognosis is good, but given that she won’t have much energy for promoting, ITW Debut Author members Laura Benedict and Karen Dionne, along with Susan Henderson and Jessica Keener, have banded together to do it for her with THE LIAR'S DIARY BLOG DAY.Brilliance Audio has also put together a special audio clip with excerpts from Patry’s novel, and Circle of Seven Productions is producing a promotional video.This is no ordinary blog day. Rallied by ITW members Laura Benedict and Karen Dionne, along with Susan Henderson and Jessica Keener, over 300 people from the publishing community have agreed to mention her book online on release day.

Liar's Diary has an irresistible premise. Suburban school secretary Jeanne Cross has a loveless marriage with a slickly creepy husband, and a secretive son. But when new teacher Ali Mather comes to the school, the two women begin to bond. But what are the secrets in Ali's diary and who is breaking into her house? and stalking her? And what secrets of her own is Jeanne harboring that could shatter them both?

Patry's book makes me want to use all the best adjectives: seductive, dark, thorny, mesmerizing. What I also loved was the way the novel twists, turns and comes to a razor sharp finale. Patry's psychological portraits of these two women are tense, acute and unforgettable. Nothing is what it seems (oh, how I love that) and the last chapter is truly shattering. So Patry, you wrote a gorgeous book that gets under your skin and stays there and I urge everyone to go on out and snap it up. Read Patry's blog. And when you're up at three in the morning because you can't stop reading the book, feel free to email me because I know the feeling.

Now get well fast, Patry, because we need you to write more books. And more importantly, because we need you.

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