Tags: the red umbrella

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My ARCs have arrived!


For all my non-writer friends, ARCs are Advance Reader's Copy and they are sent out to reviewers before the book is actually available for sale.  This is actually the very first time I see my book as a...well, you know...book! I am so excited! Thrilled! Over the moon! Ecstatic! I've even been acting a little like Gollum in The Lord of the Rings (yes, caressing the ARC and calling it "precious").  Random House and my fabulous editor also sent me my jacket flap which is glossy and pretty and beautiful...I could go on and on.  Oh yeah, it's "pre-e-e-ecious".

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Look what Google revealed!


Admit it...we've all done it ...we've googled our names to see what comes up.  I registered my name and book title with Google Alert (it does the googling for me) and look what popped up. 

I'm on the Random House website!  I know, I know, this shouldn't be surprise.  After all, they are publishing my book and everything...but still!  Random House has me on their website with an awesome book summary and author info!  Breathe, okay, feeling better.  Nope, I'm giddy all over again.  Great way to start a Monday!



 

The Red Umbrella

 

Written by Christina Gonzalez


Also available as an eBook and a hardcover library binding.

ABOUT THIS BOOK

The Red Umbrella is the moving tale of a 14-year-old girl's journey from Cuba to America as part of Operation Pedro Pan-an organized exodus of more than 14,000 unaccompanied children, whose parents sent them away to escape Fidel Castro's revolution.
In 1961, two years after the Communist revolution, Lucía Álvarez still leads a carefree life, dreaming of parties and her first crush. But when the soldiers come to her sleepy Cuban town, everything begins to change. Suddenly the revolution hits home. Freedoms are stripped away. Neighbors disappear. Her friends feel like strangers. And her family is being watched.
As the revolution's impact becomes more oppressive, Lucía's parents make the heart-wrenching decision to send her and her little brother to the United States-by themselves.
Suddenly plunked down in Nebraska with well-meaning strangers, Lucía struggles to adapt to a new country, a new language, a new way of life. But what of her old life? Will she ever see her home or her parents again? And if she does, will she still be the same girl?
The Red Umbrella is a moving story of country, culture, family, and the true meaning of home.

About the Author

Christina Diaz Gonzalez based this powerful novel on the experiences of her parents, and of the 14,000 other unaccompanied minors who came to the United States in Operation Pedro Pan. This mass exodus of children is a little-known and fascinating piece of history, and Gonzalez has created a story that brings that history vibrantly to life.
Gonzalez practiced law for several years before returning to her childhood passion for stories and writing. The Red Umbrella is her first novel.
Christina Diaz Gonzalez lives in Miami, Florida, with her husband and two sons. You can visit her on the Web at www.christinagonzalez.com.


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Copyright © 1995-2008 Random House, Inc. All rights reserved
 


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Having breakfast with Pedro Pan "kids"


Today I had an incredible breakfast with about 60 Pedro Pan "kids" (most are about 60 years old now).  For those of you who don't know, Operation Pedro Pan was a secret plan where, in the span of two years (1960-1962), the parents of over 14,000 Cuban children made the heart-breaking decision to send their kids to the US, alone, in order to escape Castro's communist revolution.  This is what my book, THE RED UMBRELLA, is based upon.

Anyway, I was invited to the group's monthly breakfast meeting  (www.pedropan.org ) because a few members wanted to talk to me about my upcoming book and the November release of my book trailer.  I didn't expect to address the whole group and I certainly didn't expect the incredible reception everyone gave me.  People were congratulating me on finally having told their story in a format where young readers will learn what happened to so many.  There were people wanting to pre-order the book now (even though the release is eight months away) and others saying how they will be buying several copies to give to all their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.  WOW!  I was inundated with love and they haven't even read the book yet (hope I live up to their expectations).

I definitely want to do more things like this.  Even though my book is geared toward the 12+ age group and I will be doing school visits and talking to teens/pre-teens in different forums, I hope adults also enjoy reading it.  Especially those adults that, for a variety of reasons, have been separated from their family at a young age.

This was a very inspiring day!  YAY!

  
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The Red Umbrella Book Cover


Here it is folks!   The book cover for The Red Umbrella.  My editor told me I could go ahead and share it because it has been getting a great response from the the powers-that-be over at Random House and Knopf.  So, of course, I'm sharing it with just a few people.   :-)

Personally, I love it!  Let me know what you think.


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I feel like an empty-nester

Today I sent the master pages back to my publisher and I'm having a little withdrawal.   Is this what it will feel like when the kids grow-up and leave for college?  I'm very proud of those 200+ pages (my how they've grown and matured over the last year), but now they are beyond my influence and control...*sniff* they are so grown-up!  The next time I see them they will be a real book. 

Don't get me wrong, I've been waiting for this time for a while.  I'm very excited and can't wait to see my ARC (advance reader's copy---- I know how much my non-writing friends love it when I explain these terms).  Yet, the moment is a touch bittersweet.  Hmm, bittersweet... I bet chocolate can make me feel better.  I can use chocolate for celebration or as a comfort food.  Sorry...I got side-tracked there. 

So, today I'm going to think of those early days when The Red Umbrella was only an idea bouncing around in my head.  Tomorrow I'll start on my work-in-progress again, but for now... just pass me some Oreos.
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The Truth About Copy Edits


Well, I'm almost done with my copyedits (or is that copy edits... see I need a copyeditor for just that word!) and it isn't too bad of a process.  Yes, I feel like an idiot for my total lack of knowledge when it comes to the proper use of commas, but then again, I'm not a copyeditor.  (Did that sentence require an additional comma after "but"?)  The bright side is that there was one page (yes, only one out of 200+pages .... don't laugh) that did not have a single red mark on it.  Here's the page...

Wait for it...



Ta-da!!!!!!






Yes, there are only two lines on that page, but that's two good lines and I'm proud of them!



Ahhh, the truth about writing!
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Copy edits are here!

The nice UPS guy just dropped off a package from Random House (I really should learn his name and not call him the nice UPS guy) and inside werer my copyedits!  For those of my friends not involved in the writing community, copyedits are the corrections/suggestions made by the copyeditor (duh!) about grammar and inconsistencies in the book etc.  I now take a look and see if I agree or disagree with their comments.  All I can say is that I must have failed the test on commas in middle-school because, oh my, a ton of them were missing!
So far I've agreed with almost every little red mark/comment made (but I'm only up to page 15), but I really need to read carefully as this book will now be in its almost final stage.  As my fantastic editor puts it... "it's not your absolute last time with [the book], just your last time before lots and lots of people will read it!" And by that she is referring to all the reviewers. 

Eeek... this is really happening people! 
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The Book is Taking Shape

In about eleven months (11 months, 7 days to be exact) The Red Umbrella will be officially released.  Yep, May 12, 2010 is THE day, but already the book is starting to take shape.  Several things have happened in the last few days...

1) My author picture for the book jacket has been chosen (it's the one I'm now using as my blog profile picture)
 
2) Copy edits have been sent for my review (although I haven't received them yet)

3) My amazing and fabulous editor (I don't say that because she might one day read this... I really do think she is fantastic) had her launch meeting with the sales and marketing team at Random House and things seem  to have gone well (not sure what that means exactly... but we'll find out in a few weeks)

and

4) I got a peak at how my book jacket will be written up and I love it!  It is finally sinking in... I'm going to be published!

There are still a few big items pending... namely my cover art,  but I'm sure that will be done relatively soon. 

So, now I'm going into the summer (kids got out of school today) all jazzed up about writing.  I hope this translates into my finishing my second novel in the next couple of months.  We'll see.

Hope your summer is starting on good note too!
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Ta-Da! My website is up and running!


Go check it out at www.christinagonzalez.com. Seriously, drag the mouse over the link and check it out. Then tell me what you think (good, bad or just a shout out to say you visited).

I will be updating the site with my author pictures (once I take them) and some slightly embarrasing pictures of me growing up (once I dig through some photo albums--- old high school friends beware - you may pop up in these photos, too). I will also post an excerpt from my book once I get the green light from Random House, but until then check out the playlist I made for The Red Umbrella (it's under the Books category). It's got some great Cuban music and some oldies from the early '60's. A great way to start the weekend!


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