April 2012

Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful messages of support on Pub Date for Le Road Trip — April 10, 2012. Just think. A mere eight months ago this was all I had:

This is something you don’t’ see any more: a manuscript. Made of real paper. Like in the olden days.

A stack of Damn France pages (and a tea bag). And now:

I admit it, this photo is a tiny bit STAGED.

I’ve got a Damn France Book!

The cats can’t hardly contain their glee and pride at this great achievement.

I’ve certainly been enjoying every single message of approval, validation, and assurance from you dear readers that what I’ve sent out into the world doesn’t suck. Whew.

I don’t know what other writers do on the eve of Pub Dateis there a writer who is cool, calm, and collected 48 hours before The Day of Reckoning? — but this writer gets her husband to take her to Atlantic City. Because I got important people to meet and greet in America’s Playground.

You know who I mean. Under the boardwalk:

A lot of people don’t notice the ally cats of Atlantic City, or the big Ally Cat Allies of Atlantic City sign, until there’s a crazy cat lady taking pictures under the boardwalk, attracting attention.

And then I have to explain that the wild and stray cats of Atlantic City are provided for by a corp of dedicated animal lovers at Ally Cat Allies of Atlantic City who bring food, water, and medical care to the colony.

Although there are people who free-lance it, which is not recommended. (There’s a black cat on the second step there, being fed by the guy in the baseball cap.)

But sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. That is, sit and feel better about the world in the company of a cat.

I also don’t know what other writers do the day after Pub Date — if I were Neil deGrasse Tyson I’d be watching my book leap onto the New York Times best-seller list, and if I were J. K. Rowling I’d be getting a kick out of the tsunami of consumer demand for my e-book crashing the internet, and if I were a soft-core pornographer I’d be signing a multi-million dollar deal with my New York publisher…

…but I’m just a humble illustrator/memoirist, so I’ll be sitting at home, sorting out all my big ideas for my next illustrated travel memoir.

Hmmm….. Maybe I should do a cat book?

Do you think I could possibly do anything with this?

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Surprisingly, dear readers and Damn France Book followers (as far as you have been hanging in here on this blog with me during the composition of my damn France book) we seem to have like-minded amigos in the land of the tsars.

The Russians have bought the rights to my book!  Le Road Trip is going to be published in Moscow!

The National Geographic Traveler magazine has a mention of Le Road Trip in its current issue:

Vivian Swift’s Le Road Trip is both the true story of an idyllic French honeymoon that winds from Paris through Normandy, Brittany, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, and Chartres, and an illustrated road-trip handbook on topics ranging from “How to Vagabond” to “What to Wear in Paris.”

The good people at France Magazine have a lot more to say:

Veteran globetrotter Swift set out to chronicle her French honeymoon but ended up penning a quirky love letter to travel filled with cultural, historical and literary references. Delightful watercolors illustrate this wide-ranging field guide, which offers hilarious travel survival tips for every clime as well as ruminations on subjects as varied as Parisian windows, Breton sailor-stripe shirts, and lettuce (not to mention a highly idiosyncratic A-to-Z on vagabonding in the Bordeaux region).


If you had the idea that I’m basking in such kind words and good news about my book…you could not be more wrong. I’m all nerves, trying to keep the flop sweats at bay. Pub date is next week…this could be the end of my career.

This habit of snatching depression from the jaws of glad tidings feels so natural, so familiar. So RUSSIAN. My people!

Well, it wouldn’t be so bad to keep  Moscow time (eight hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Savings Time), counting down the hours until I see Le Road Trip printed in cyrillic. Chjome to think of it, in Moscow, it’s already Friday night. Friday night!

I have some crying in my vodka to catch up with!

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