Feeling Like a Flower Child

The last couple of weeks have been very exciting for me, since I’ve been up for a new contract and I’ve enjoyed the thrill of feeling wanted by publishers in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The new book I plan to write is one I’ve wanted to work on for several years–a true “book of my heart”–and it’s been so validating to see that publishers feel the same way about it. I’ve made the decision to publish with St. Martin’s Press in the US and Macmillan in the UK and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’ll be forever grateful to my agents in both countries for all their hard work on my behalf. 

I wasn’t  surprised, then, when a florist van pulled up in front of my house Saturday, but I was surprised to see the massive size of the arrangement the driver pulled out of the back of the van. He staggered under the weight of it as he carried to my front door, and the only space big enough for it in my house was in front of my fireplace. As the driver dragged himself back to his van, I opened the little envelope sticking from the arrangement, quite certain it would be from my agent. But the card inside read In Sympathy and Joy and was signed by strangers. I ran outside and managed to wave the driver down before he took off. He checked his records to find that I had the wrong card but the right arrangement. He gave me a different card, this one with a warm and happy message from my agent, and I took a picture of the floral arrangement to send her in a thank you email. I felt just a little uncomfortable about the whole situation, because in addition to being insanely large (it’s in a galvanized tin basin!) there was something, well, funereal, about the arrangement.

So this morning my agent called me to say ACK! They’re not the flowers I sent! She’d carefully selected a florist in my area and just as carefully designed the arrangement she wanted delivered to me, but apparently I received one that was to go to a family celebrating a simultaneous joy and sorrow (which set my fiction writing imagination afire, you can be sure. My heart does go out to this family and the person who wanted to touch them with the flowers he’d selected for them). Within an hour, though, I had the flowers my agent had wanted me to receive (oh, wow, does she have phenomenal taste, or what? They are stunning!), plus the florist sent along the little vase of blooms at the top of this post as an apology. My house now smells unbelievably delicious and I love being surrounded by all this color!

What’s the funniest (in retrospect, of course) experience you’ve had with a delivery? 




  1. Gina on August 10, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Diane, I know I mentioned on facebook but just wanted to tell you again, I congratulate you on this amazing move to St Martin’s Press. I’m so excited for you! Looking forward to your next book.

  2. Sheree Gillcrist on August 10, 2011 at 10:58 am

    One Christmas as a child. a long lost great auntie from out west, who we had never met , took it upon herself to send we four children Christmas presents. Never one to turn down another present, my ten year old brother who was already a man’s man even at that age, ripped off the wrappings of his gift. Inside was a very beautiful doll. My auntie thought his name was Marie. It was Murray.lol. Before I could plead my case and take ownership of that little beauty, he had ripped her head off and tossed her under the tree. Henry the VIII would have been proud:}

  3. Diane Chamberlain on August 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    lol, Sheree, and thank you, Gina!

  4. Shannon Evans on August 10, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    I was expecting our second child and all the ultrasounds indicated a boy. My husband and 4 year old son were ecstatic and everything was painted blue in anticipation of David Edward’s pending Christmas arrival. As the men were ‘painting’ my son said to his dad, “But Daddy, what if it is a girl!?” Without missing a beat the notorious prankster (now former) spouse quipped back, “We’ll toss her back and get a boy!” All went well and on the Feast of St. Stephen Jennifer Amanda Marie Rose Evans was born. Her father was instantly in love with her and could not take his eyes off her for a good 24 hours after she was born. Then my dear friends who were keeping big brother while I was in hospital brought him by to see his new sister. He marched in and firmly placed his sturdy little four year old self between his new sister and his dad and announced, “We are NOT tossing her back! She’s mine and you can’t take her back!” Needless to say we all still chuckle about that…and while Taylor and Jenny fight the hardest (even now as adults – usually over books or politics) they also defend each other with such loyalty against anyone who tries to perpetrate ill-will on the other…even against Mom and Dad!

  5. Anne Barnhill on August 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Love this, Diane. And love the fact that your agent sent you flowers! Very cool! Congrats again–you more than deserve it!

  6. Margo on August 11, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Diane, I am so happy for you that you will be writing the ‘book of your heart’ and I can’t wait to hear more about it. The fact that St. Martins will be publishing it is wonderful news!…I wonder, does this mean it will be in hardcover (I hope!).

  7. Diane Chamberlain on August 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Margo, yes indeed! Back to hardcover, at least in the US. I’ve already heard from librarians around the country. They are happy and so am I! Trade paperback doesn’t wear well in the libraries.

  8. Margo on August 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Oh Diane, I’m SO thrilled!!…I have missed your hardcovers so much!! They last forever on my bookshelves and altho I’ve loved every book you’ve written, the hardcovers are just so nice to read.
    I’m absolutely ecstatic for you and can hardly wait to hear about the new novel that is the ‘book of your heart’.

    • Lori Wicker on August 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm

      Ditto from me!


  9. Julie Kibler on August 17, 2011 at 1:52 am

    I just laughed so hard my teenager had to come see what all the snorting was about. I worked for a florist in high school and college, so was doubly entertained picturing all the behind the scenes craziness.

    And you know how thrilled I am for you about this great news! Congratulations again! You deserve it!

  10. Beverly on August 22, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I just want to say YIPPPEEEEEEEE! I can’t wait for another book. When I read your books I cannot put them down and am so sad to finish because there isn’t another one. You’re an amazing author! You derserve those beautiful flowers.

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