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Entries in New Book (17)


I love that new cover smell

After three rounds of cover ideas the Design Fairy finally waved her magic wand and this appeared in my inbox, much to my delight. Is it September 10th yet?


Let's make a book deal

It’s oh-fish-ul; I have a new book deal with Random House (Or Penguin Random, or Random Penguin, whatever the new name is post-merger). The hopeful release date for this unnamed novel is 2015, so gods willing, there won’t be such a wait between books.

Speaking of waiting, we’re getting close to nailing down a cover for SONGS OF WILLOW FROST. When we finally have the art in hand I’ll post the cover along with my roughs, like I did last time for HOTEL. I didn’t want to be another cook in the design kitchen, but they asked what ideas I might have, so as a former art director I booted up Photoshop and went to town. Nice to flex those creative muscles once in a while, if only to see that they haven’t completely atrophied.

In other news, HOTEL continues to find it’s way into colleges, high schools, or in this case HOTEL was being read by a precocious bunch of eighth graders. Their feedback was most enjoyable, especially the part about Henry turning into a zombie.


Dear Jamie,
It was such an amazing experience getting to Skype you this morning! I loved getting to hear about the book from your perspective and about the process of writing this book. The way you write your books was very interesting to me. I have never thought of planning the ending of the book before I start it to let that guide me. It seems so logical and simple, yet I have never tried that.  Not only did I enjoy learning about the book and the writing process, but I enjoyed learning about your life as well. All I have to say is that you did not seem like Chaz. Thanks again for taking time to answer our questions.


Hello Jamie,
Thank you so much for Skyping with us. I thought it was really fascinating to hear about how you wrote Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, as well as your writing life in general. I especially liked learning about how you created the characters, like Chaz being a kid who threw rocks at your father when he was a kid, and Henry, in some ways, being your father. Again, thank you so much for Skyping with us, and I am really excited to finish the book, and good luck on your next book.      

 - Mads

Dear Jamie Ford,
    Thank you so much for skyping our class! I have enjoyed every second of your eloquently crafted novel, and look forward to reading your next book. It was amazing getting to meet you and here your inspiration for the story and characters, as well as learn about your writing process. I just want to compliment you on your story. I feel like this is a very accurate representation of life because every character in every group of people is very bitter and sweet. Everyone has there own problems. It's rough all over. I really love your book. I think it's ridiculous Hollywood wants to make Henry white. This only further proves how pretentious these moviemakers are. P.S. I really hope that Henry doesn't turn into a zombie because that would mean Marty was a zombie and he ate people which would totally change my view on Henry as a person. P.P.S. My grandfather is a writer too.


Dear Jamie Ford,

It was such a pleaser to "meet" you! The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is such a fun and interesting read. I have been enjoying every page and I can't put it down. Every character seems so realistic and I feel like I now all of them personally. I learned so much and I am very inspired. One thing that I learned was that you wrote a book in three months! I was astonished that your very own father wore a "I am Chinese" pin. I can't wait to read your next book!

Thank you,

Dear Jamie,
It was super-fun Skyping with you and discussing your book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.  I have read ahead a little and I am intrigued by the decisions that Henry makes.  I am very excited to find out if Henry ever sees Keiko again in 1942 and 1986. I loved how you made the story just like your father's life in World War Two.  Thank You for giving us the rare opportunity to talk to an author about their book.


Dear Jamie Ford,
Thank you for Skype-ing with our class and answering our questions about Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.  Thank you for answering my question about the writing process and how long it took to write the book.  I was really surprised that it took twice as long to do the research than to actually write the book.

Paul M.

Dear Jamie,
        Thank you of talking to us through Skype today about your book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I really enjoyed hearing about the writing process and the characters. I thought it was interesting that you would consider yourself most like Marty. I also found it intriguing that your father wore a "I am Chinese" button during the time of WWII like Henry does as a child. Thanks again for taking time out of your day to Skype with us.

Thank you,

Dear Jamie Ford,
     Thank you so much, for teaching us about your book and taking your time to Skype us and answer all of our questions. I learned so much about the process of writing books and all the challenges that you have overcome to come out with a wonderful novel. Such as having to edit your book for more than three months.
 From, Abner   

Dear Jamie,
Thank you so much for finding time to Skype with us about your novel.  It was a really interesting experience to hear what the author intended to express in the book that we are currently reading.  Something that I realized while talking to you, was that writing a book isn't just putting words on a page, it's really about letting the characters come alive and form their own personality.  This was an interesting topic that I think will help me when writing in the future.  Thanks! 



I love the smell of printers' ink in the morning. It smells like, victory

We're so close. Seriously close. I know, September 10th is still several months away. (Actually 172 days, 8 hours, and 43 minutes, but who's counting?)

For authors this is a time of furious activity: writing author's notes, acknowledgments, proofing galley pages (see above on the right) and watching with nervous anticipation as advance reader copies (see above left) go out to...advance readers. Who are these mysterious people? Well, they tend to be key book buyers, industry bigwigs, and also a few relatives who it's always nice to remind that, yes, I am still gainfully employed.

Also these early manuscripts go out to foreign editors, so as I merrily type this WILLOW has already found a home in Italy, Norway, Brazil, and the UK.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, no, that's not the actual book cover. That cake is still baking. But soon, so very soon, we'll serve it up.


Sneak preview, just for you

The new book is in copy edits. Cover designs are coming. And in the meantime I thought I'd share a glimpse of rough copy from the inside flap of the book, courtesy of the fine folks at Random House:

From Jamie Ford, the New York Times bestselling author of the beloved Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, comes a much-anticipated second novel. Set against the backdrop of Depression-era Seattle, Songs of Willow Frost is a powerful tale of two souls—a boy with dreams for his future and a woman escaping her haunted past—both seeking love, hope, and forgiveness.
    Twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese-American boy, has lived at Seattle’s Sacred Heart Orphanage ever since his mother’s listless body was carried away from their small apartment five years ago. On his birthday—or rather, the day the nuns designate as his birthday—William and the other orphans are taken to the historical Moore Theatre, where William glimpses an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. Struck by her features, William is convinced that the movie star is his mother, Liu Song.
    Determined to find Willow, and prove his mother is still alive, William escapes from Sacred Heart with his friend Charlotte. The pair navigates the streets of Seattle, where they must not only survive, but confront the mysteries of William’s past and his connection to the exotic film star. The story of Willow Frost, however, is far more complicated than the Hollywood fantasy William sees onscreen.
    Shifting between the Great Depression and the 1920s, Songs of Willow Frost takes readers on an emotional journey of discovery. Jamie Ford’s sweeping book will resonate with anyone who has ever longed for the comforts of family and a place to call home.

Holy cannoli it's been a long wait. Is it September 10th yet?