The galleys of The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove arrived yesterday morning.  I had hoped to hug the FedEx man, but he dropped the box and ran before I had time to properly thank him. I had wondered if the second time around would be less exciting, but it wasn’t.  Not at all.  In fact, I have to say it was just as thrilling holding this almost-official book in my hand as it had been when the Dairy Queen galleys arrived more than two years ago now.

And for some reason, all day yesterday I kept thinking about the birth of this book, and the on-going balancing act I strike between writing and living.  It’s very easy to settle into a routine of sitting behind my desk and writing about the world and not taking the time to go out and be a part of it.

When I was writing Dairy Queen, I started working two days a week in a small gift shop in San Marino, California.  It kept me part of the real world  and even dealing with the very occasional rude customer was a welcome experience.

When I moved to Nashville, I immediately started volunteering in an inner-city school, again, to be a part of the world — to hear things, see things, know things, I wouldn’t otherwise have experienced sitting at my desk looking out the window.

And my dear sweet Bezellia was born at a dinner party.  I still remember what was on the menu from the jasmine rice to the Chilean seabass.  (You will hear more about this later!) The woman across from me introduced herself as Zee.  I told her that was an interesting name.  She replied, “Well, if you think that’s something, my name is Bezellia!.”

“That is something,” I admitted.

“Well, if you think that’s something, I’m fifth-generation Bezellia.”

“That is definitely something!” I told her.

But I knew at that very moment that Bezellia was more than an interesting name — she’d be a girl that that would take me on an exciting and memorable journey.

Posted March 30, 2010 at 8:19 am · 6 comments · Leave a Comment


  1. bermudaonion (Kathy), March 30th, 2010, 9:03 am

    What a wonderful story! I'm so excited for you and your new book!
  2. Lisa, March 30th, 2010, 12:53 pm

    I'm so excited for you and can't wait to read the new book!
  3. Julie, March 31st, 2010, 6:45 am

    The world is in for a treat getting to know Bezellia! The cover is beautiful!
  4. Randal Patrick, March 31st, 2010, 9:08 am

    Susan, This is my favorite of all your newsletters... interesting and well done. Your Fan Randy
  5. Darnell Arnoult, April 1st, 2010, 12:31 pm

    I just received my advance reader copy and I can't wait to sit in my rocking chair and start chapter one. I love the cover, too. Congratuations, Susan.
  6. carol mierendorf, August 13th, 2010, 2:58 pm


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Susan Gregg Gilmore