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Book review: Designated Fat Girl by Jennifer Joyner

A few weeks ago I had lunch with Jennifer Joyner, author of the recently released Designated Fat Girl: A Memoir. It turns out she lives in Fayetteville and I live in Chapel Hill, which means we’re only ninety-something miles apart, or 1 hour and 36 minutes according to Google Maps.

We had a good chat about the publishing industry, weight, and incompetent medical workers. (While I related to many of the fat-girl experiences she writes about in the book, it was her encounter with bumbling Nurse Bob before surgery that really hit home for me. He must be the same guy who assisted with a CT scan I had last year that I’m amazed didn’t turn me into a mutant superhero.)

Joyner’s book is a memoir about her life as a food addict. After years of morbid obesity, encroaching health problems like gestational diabetes, and lack of success with other weight-loss options, she decides to go through with gastric bypass surgery. This comes with its own complications and leads to a battle with dependence on painkillers […]

Chocolate & Vicodin: The book cover that’s good enough to eat

The book cover for Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn’t Go Away appeared on Amazon.com yesterday, so I guess that’s a sign that it’s time to unveil it on the blog:

Please, resist the urge to lick your screen. I hear computers are dirtier than public restrooms because people rarely clean their monitors. I would hate for you to catch an infection because my book cover looked so delectable. Mmmmm, cupcake. Chocolate cupcake. With pills!

I first saw the cover concept for Chocolate & Vicodin at the end of March 2010, long before the final text of the book was completed, which is sort of odd and slightly scary since it’s like taking your wedding photos before you’ve met your groom. However, the cover is needed for placement in the sales catalog the publisher puts together each season to pitch their books to booksellers. Thus, it’s usually created before the book is complete to give booksellers enough lead time to place their orders.

I immediately loved the cover because, really, what formerly […]

Chocolate & Vicodin: Page proofs

When I was a kid, the UPS man used to bring me packages filled with Christmas gifts. Now he drops off my book proofs instead, but opening the manila envelopes they come in feels a lot like unwrapping presents.

Yesterday the doorbell rang and I dashed for the door as fast as any of my cats do when chasing ghosts around the apartment. (Mice ghosts, I’m sure.) I never know when book proofs are coming, so I’m always slightly surprised when they appear. The last set of proofs was for copyediting, so they simply contained the text of the book, double-spaced and printed like a really long term paper. Once we whipped the text into its most perfect version, it was handed to a book designer. The designer took that text and laid it out all nice and pretty like it will appear in the final published product.

The proofs I received yesterday are of that version which includes the copyright notice, the publisher’s logo, and all those little details that real books have. (I love […]

Copyediting: Get your red pencil out!

The UPS man handed me a typical UPS shipping box last week with a surprise inside—the copyedited manuscript for my upcoming book, CHOCOLATE & VICODIN (in stores February 2011)!

It is certainly thrilling to see my book printed on paper and adorned with a cover letter on official publishing-house stationery. It makes me realize that the Word document I’ve slaved over for so long is soon going to put on its best clothes for its coming-out party at bookstores. However, it also means I have to review the copyediting, which is by far my least favorite part of the publishing process. I am not detail-oriented by nature, and copyediting is all about details. I’ve trained myself to be more detail-oriented in my work because it’s a necessary skill, but it’s definitely something I have to work at. It doesn’t come as naturally to me as other things.

By the time you get to copyediting, you’ve already submitted your manuscript and completed any revisions requested by your editor. The book is then printed, double-spaced, and given to a […]

Book review and interview: I’M WITH FATTY by Edward Ugel

The title of this book made me wary at first, but I decided to give it a chance because I’d heard a segment on This American Life with the author a few years ago that I liked about the topic of his last book, Money for Nothing: One Man’s Journey Through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions. Thankfully, what I got was a light-hearted, self-deprecating, weight-loss memoir written from the male perspective, which is certainly the under-represented gender in weight-loss tales.

Ed Ugel’s weight problem becomes an issue when he gains 43 pounds in a year due to depression brought on by various life problems. After his wife complains of his loud snoring, he’s diagnosed with sleep apnea. His weight-loss is largely motivated by the desire to be rid of the CPAP machine that helps him breathe through the night, but is so uncomfortable and odd-looking that it frightens his daughter.

We follow Ed as he slowly eases into his new routines, loses weight over the holidays, suffers relapses and binges, pretends to order for two in […]

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Man looking into telescope

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

Lick the Produce: Odd things I've put in my mouth
Half-Marathon: Less fun than it looks
European Vacation

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