Friday, September 11, 2009

My First Best Friend

Dear Friends,

I have something exciting to share--the cover of my new book. It is sizzling in my fingers. Now I can hardly wait for the book to arrive: They will be in stores March 2010. I am delighted by the representation of the different generations in the book and on the cover.

There were both happy and bittersweet days in doing the research and writing for this book. And I was so surprised when I started on the project that there had never been one like it before. The topic, of course, comes up often. I found that these early friendships are much of the stuff that help make us the women we become. I know that I was thrilled when I reconnected with my first best friend.

For those of you who have read Jenny Walton's Packing for a Woman's Journey, you know that at time of that writing I had not yet reconnected with her; but I have been in touch with Jan for several years now. And just yesterday an email from her made my day. She calls me "Fancy Nancy." I can't possibly understand why. (Although, when my husband gave me a copy of the children's book with that title a few years ago, I did note that at the beginning Nancy is portrayed standing with a magazine under her arm! My son told me to really appreciate the gift, "As Dad stood in line in the rain to get if for you, Mom.")

When I wrote about my first best friend some years ago it was in September. I met her on the way to school--a first day in a new school and at the beginning of a new life. I can't help thinking about it today as pencils are being sharpened in classrooms all over the country--and children are getting to know each other in these very special ways. It happens once in a lifetime.

Hope you like the cover. It's a pleasure to share it with friends. And I have to compliment the folks at Stewart Tabori & Chang, my publisher, who worked with me through several revisions to come up with a cover we all think does justice to the beauty and dignity of the women in the book. Yes, there are giggles and tears, and there are memories that I am sure you will all connect with.

My very best wishes,


  1. Dear Nancy,

    Childhood friendships are a special topic that is always near to my heart. I collect children's books with a friendship theme - I especially adore the way L.M. Montgomery wrote the lovely friendship between Anne and Diana."I've always dreamed of having a "bosom" friend...a true kindred spirit"

    In my personal work as a photographer I love to photograph little girls with their best friends - finding that special "something" only the two of them share!

    I was blessed with a couple of very special best friends growing up. I wouldn't trade those memories for the world. One of these dear girls and I recently reconnected - it has been a joy to remember our special days as best friends.

    Thank you Nancy for writing this book. I will be anxiously awaiting its release.


  2. Ta-DAH! This is wonderful, Nancy! And I must say, I'm humbled and proud (if one can be so simultaneously) to be even a small part of this,'s marvelous.

    I'm also relieved to hear that you've reconnected with Jan, because every time I read that essay (which I do each and every blessed Sept), I think "Oh, how sad that they lost touch!" How wonderful to have renewed something so precious.
    I predict a HUGE bestseller (and not just because my picture's on the cover!). I'm utterly convinced that women everywhere will be able to identify and remember precious moments from their early days.

    Admiringly, as always, Karen Marline

  3. Dear Nancy,

    How wonderful and exciting. I can't wait for March to arrive. Yes, I too have never seen anything of this nature on the book shelf and I'm sure it will be a best seller. It is something to look forward to as we count away the winter days.

    Last year I had put together for two young girls, who have become the best of friends, a scrapbooks of memories that they are sharing. It was a hit with both girls and their families. They loved the "Pinky Swear" page of the girls with their baby fingers crossed and only peeling nail polish and the dangle of plastic beaded bracelets showing. I'm sure it will be a treasure all of their life. It also made them aware of the special friendship they hold right now. I hope it last forever.

    With affection,

  4. What a wonderful surprise Nancy. I have been working at putting my childhood memories into words for my family and find that your special childhood friends are woven into the very fabric of who we become.

    I just talked to Beverly, my lifelong friend, last week and our friendship has endured for over sixty years. Living across the country and the twists and turns of our lives have never dimmed our friendship.

    I can't wait to read "My First Best Friend." I predict this will become a classic on my bookshelf and one I will enjoy many times, like an old friend. Thank you! Jean

  5. That is a thoughtful and well-designed over that blends traditional design sensibilities with contemporary taste. I like the photos that were chosen and the way you are identified, Nancy. Someone knew what she or he was doing! But of course. I recently reconnected with an editor friend via Linkedin. We met at a high-school journalism workshop, not in grade school. But the thrill of reconnecting was the same.

  6. This is something I am really looking forward to reading. I love your writing, Nancy. Just lastnight I found a July 1990 issue of victoria , & read the story that "Jenny Walton" wrote, about how you almost didn't make it to your wedding,{which in 1990, you said then , it was 30 years ago}..-& how the kind lady gave you a ride.It is such a neat little story! I loved the way you had picked a vehicle, mainly because of it's Red colored interior!lol I think your friend Jan has it perfectly right to call you -"Fancy Nancy"! lol, it fits you.

    I hope that there is a way that we can purchase your new book & have you sign it. Please let us know where your book signing's are held. I live in Reno, Nevada. If you aren't near here, I hope there is a way I can buy one and have you sign it for me. Love,Valery

  7. I am adding this to my wishlist immediately. My friendships are so important to me and I know I would enjoy hearing about others.

    Thank you so much for sharing so much with us on your blog Nancy. It really means a lot to hear more about your time at Victoria and other things in your life.

  8. How wonderful to see news of your new book! I look forward to reading it. Your blog is a joy -- Victoria magazine was my first introduction to Victoriana and I treasured every issue. It's delightful to read little snippets from your life in your blog. (smiling a joyful smile)

  9. Nancy, I'd like to ask a couple of questions if I may? Firstly, Victoria magazine developed the most wonderful cassettes/CDs themed to the seasons--Summer bandstand music, Spring in the garden, Christmas...but nothing for Autumn! What do you enjoy listening to in this most beautiful season...I want to build a playlist based on your recommendations!
    Secondly, can you give us a few MORE backstage memories related to the Well-Spoken Companion series? I loved your behind-the-scenes peek when you mentioned Richard Kiley going "off script" to sing "Drink to me only with thine eyes...". Your memories are so precious to those of us that read and read and re-read Victoria Regina!

    Karen Marline

  10. I am so looking forward to reading your new book, Nancy-- and it's an extra treat for me to know that my friend Karen was part of the effort!

    I have so enjoyed reading and rereading "Packing for a Woman's Journey," and I'm betting your new book will be another instant classic as well. Good luck!

  11. Hi, Nancy.

    Looking forward to reading your new book "My First Best Friend". Reading the title takes me back MANY years to my first friend. What nice memories the book will dig up from all these years.

    I also enjoyed reading and re-reading(many times) "Packing For a Woman's Journey". I honestly felt as though I was right there with you going through every experience. How I wish I had a grandmother like yours!! What an amazingly giving and caring woman!

    Thank you for connecting with us again - though it is not through our beloved Victoria (how I miss that magazine!!!) sharing your thoughts and memories of your life and Victoria is just as wonderful.

    Thanks for warming our lives again.


  12. Oh I can't wait until March. It will be my birthday present to myself. I just recently read Packing for a Woman's Journey once more and enjoyed it again. Love the cover. It brings memories of my first best friend, Judy.

  13. I will be looking forward to this! I still need to find Packing for a Woman's Journey.
    Thanks again for being here where we can visit with you once again.

  14. Nancy - I am so looking forward to the book. I am now inspired to write my childhood memories for my children. Thank you! Jamie V in MT

  15. Ohhhhhhh..... something wonderful to look forward to! I'll be watching for it in my bookstore come March -- I loved your Jenny Walton book!

  16. Congratulations!!! We have to wait until 2010??? Waaa!

  17. It will be a pleasure to read your stories... in english.

    But I must wait until March. Ohhhhh!