Softcover Orphanmaster – First Copies

I was grumping around the Cabin in my chenille socks. I had a couple of bad things troubling my mind, ranging from awful (my close friend’s mother’s demise) to just stupid (bills overdue) and issues in between. It occurred to me, too, that I was no longer on vacation. Poor me.

Oliver began to sound his bassett-style bellow, smearing his nose against the little window overlooking the driveway as though he saw the four horsemen of the apocalypse charging his way.

O at Window

But with him, you never know. It could be a sadistic chipmunk or just a change in the direction of the wind.

Anyway, the UPS truck dumped off its cargo. Inside the padded envelope, an agreeable surprise: the first two copies of The Orphanmaster’s paperback edition had rolled off the printing press and into my hands.

O-Master P-Back Cover

I had seen the jacket before, of course, in correspondence, but I had never run my fingers across the white raised type of the title. I hadn’t met the gray, gleaming, innocent eye of the little girl who stares out from the cover, seen her flushed cheek close up.


Never seen the validating pull quote across the top of the cover:

“The ideal historical mystery for readers who value the history as much as the mystery.” – The New York Times

I hadn’t taken note of the other quotes Penguin put in to entice readers as soon as they opened the book. The words raced now through my still somewhat sluggish-from-grumpiness mind:

“Immersive first novel.” – USA Today

“A rip-roaring read.” – National Public Radio

“Teems with enough intrigue, lust, and madness to give our twenty-first-century Big Apple a run for its money.” –Sheri Holman

“A breathtaking achievement.” – Joanna Scott

“As riveting and nightmare–inducing as any Grimm’s fairy tale.” –

And my personal favorite:

“Compulsively readable.”—Booklist

Etc., etc.

“Poetry makes nothing happen,” wrote Auden, in “In Memory of W.B. Yeats,” likely the most mournfully beautiful poem in the English language. Getting this wonderful version of my book in the mail can’t push back the shadows, pay the bills, restore life. I’m still trudging around in my socks.

But it’s a good thing. April 30th, the pub date, is not far away. Then we’ll celebrate.


Filed under Home, Jean Zimmerman, Poetry, Publishing, The Orphanmaster

8 responses to “Softcover Orphanmaster – First Copies

  1. The designer on the softcover was Alison Forner. Interview here:
    The little girl is based on Flora by Aelbert Cuyp, 1655. Perfectly of the time.


    Who designed the cover? I bet it was the same guy who designed the jacket for the hardback. That sweet, little Dutch girl with flowers in her hair: would a 17th century artist have painted her? I hope so.

  3. Pit-beagle or bassett, not sure.

  4. Lori

    By the by … what breed is Oliver? Does he have a trace of basset in his ancestry?

  5. Lori

    Oops. That would be ‘buy’ … silly fingers. Spell check doesn’t catch homonyms …

  6. Lori

    I like that comment by NPR: “A rip-roaring read.” Being the understated commentators that they are, they didn’t include an exclamation point. However, that is still high praise from them!
    Yes, we here on the Left Coast do have book clubs, and I’m going to recommend this one! (Don’t know if I mentioned this before or not. I lose track …)
    Good Job! This is wonderful! Are is there anyone sniffing around wanting to bye the film rights?

  7. lisa

    Fantastic achievement!

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