B is for a BoOk DeAL! We're a part of the FSG/MacMillan Family NOW!

I've been waiting to announce this news so long.
Like six months of wanting to twirl on the streets of Italy and Texas and New York and New Orleans and everywhere I've been recently like this...

greeting strangers and starting conversations by saying, "My name is Tamara. I make beautiful things. I've been self-publishing like a mad woman for the last three years, and I just landed a book deal with Farrar, Straus & Giroux/MacMillan, which is like the Chanel or Dior of publishing. And I used to teach kindergarten and have read countless of their stories aloud over the years...some I can probably recite by heart, so this is a moment. They've also published classics like A Wrinkle in Time & Middlesex, so this is the BIG leagues here. I mean, this is major. Can you believe it? I know, me neither! I really like your sweater...Let me buy you a coffee."

I could go on and on like I'm giving my own version of the "I'd like to thank the Academy speech," because I am just that PROUD and excited and deliriously happy. So I'm limiting myself to just a few lines in hopes that you'll actually finish reading this post. There are lots of folks to thank.

To get to this moment in time was a real TEAM effort sewn together with the golden thread that is God and all that is wonderful and inexplicable and profound and awe-inducing in the universe. I'm so grateful.

Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO
on Farrar Straus & Giroux/MacMillan's Book List
Spring 2019

First, I have to thank my mom, Katharyn McPherson--my first teacher, the most genuine and loving person I know, and my moral and spiritual barometer and reference in life. Where would I be without you? I wouldn't be me. That's for sure. I love you and thank you for your unwavering support over the years. Thank you for letting me jump on the couch as a kid. Thank you for dragging me to church and living what you said you believed. Thank you for being an entrepreneur and yourSELF consistently my whole life. Nappy and I got so lucky to land you as a mom in this life. I love you.

Mom and Nefeterius (aka Nappy)

And I've got to thank my sister Nefeterius McPherson, who left as many gifts in her departure as she brought with her birth, and continues to inspire me from the by-and-by. She was and continues to be my pattern maker in life--someone who I strive to impress. So grateful to have you as a sister, Nappy.

Thank you to my son Noah, who inspires so much of what I write and publish, as do his brothers Milo and Zen and the nearly here new baby wonder. Noah, if you hadn't thought to write the tooth fairy a note when you lost your tooth, Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO wouldn't exist today. I owe you college tuition. And possibly a car.

I want to thank all of my elementary school teachers, particularly those who taught reading and writing and language arts. Mrs. Bray, who never raised her voice, Mrs. Hodges, who was stern and gave out graham cracker squares for good grades on spelling tests, Mrs. Washko, who had a chinchilla as a classroom pet, allowed me to stay over her ranch one weekend, and who I just wanted to adopt me, and, my favorite, Mrs. Newton--who had the best sense of humor and gave spelling tests with words like 'dinosaur'. Thank you to Sugar Loaf Elementary, including the principal Mr. Caruso, which was such a safe, cozy learning haven for me for four years as a kid. It was a place that recognized talent and had programs and curriculum and educators dedicated to honing kids' interests, talents and gifts.

My mom had this on her dresser the last time I was home visiting.
And I smiled from ear to ear. 

And because my life has shown me again and again that there's power in recognizing the sh** in our lives as necessary fertilizer...

I'd like to thank the guy that broke my heart so bad 10 years ago that I just decided to quit America and move to Rome. At the time I had no idea I'd be an author, curator, producer & director with ties to so many artists in Europe and around the world. Thank you!

Thank you to my ex-husband, who once told me I'd be able to do little more than 'wipe my butt with the pages of my books.'  All of my gratitude! And I offer this appropriate quote from Beyonce--
"Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper."


I'd like to thank the horrid woman who promised me a position as Assistant Director at her language school in Rome in 2011 and had me write ALL of her curriculum and handbooks for said school, only to retract the offer once I informed her that I was pregnant and take months to pay me to boot. If it weren't for you, I would not have gone looking for private English lessons as supplemental income and eventually found the illustrator of Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO. So, yeah. Thanks, girl.

That brings me back to the warm fuzzies.
I'd like to thank the brilliant illustrator behind the visual concept for Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO, Federico Fabiani. Thank you for reading the blog post about the idea and taking the time to act on it and then reach out to me. Thank you for believing in my ideas, since The English Schoolhouse was just a tiny language school, and offering your exquisite art to help bring them to life. You're an incredible talent, and I know the best has yet to come for you. For us!

Federico & Iris with a signed Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO art print

Thank you to the physical muse behind Tallulah as a character, my dear friend Iris Peynado.
In real life, Iris is a prominent actress and a staple in Italian cinema. She's also my youngest son's godmother. Iris has been so kind and genuine and loving and sincere since the day I met her that when I wrote Tallulah and thought of who could play a gorgeous boss CEO who is full of grace and poise and business savvy and all the good things, only Iris came to mind. Iris, thank you for being you. And for letting me use your glorious face. It's a great face...with an even greater soul to match.

What a beauty.

Thank you to my love and partner Charles Burchell, who produced the audiobook for Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO and scored it. We recorded it in the upstairs loft in our apartment here in Rome and it was what my now editor heard and saw and fell in love with. We make all the audiobooks and all the babies and all the beauty. And I'm so grateful. Thank you.

Thank you to my friends and extended family who support all of my ideas and projects and books--particularly Leticia McGowan for your endless legal advice and paypal purchases (lol!) and Stephanie Adams, lifesaver extraordinaire, and my former assistant Frenchaire Gardner.

I'm grateful for every.single.person who has purchased, read, shared, posted about, taught with, blogged about, read aloud and/or otherwise supported ALL of my books from The English Schoolhouse. I extend my sincerest thanks to fellow author Gail Milissa Grant, who passed along the audiobook to a friend and literary agent asking if she knew anyone who could get Tallulah to where she needed to be...and the friend did.

The friend knew Joy Peskin--children's books editor at FSG/MacMillan and someone who I could just put in my pocket and hang out with all day every day personally and professionally.
Joy, thank you for loving and believing in Tallulah.

Joy & Monique and me at a business lunch that was all the fun
in NYC in August

In February of this year I followed a gut feeling and flew from Rome to NYC. Though it wasn't the purpose of my trip, I was able to meet Joy then. And in August Farrar Straus & Giroux/MacMillan officially picked up not one, not two, but THREE of my books. (Stay tuned for what the others are.
I mean, can you BeLiEvE THIS?!?! I know! Neither can I.)

My final thank you goes to Michael Seltzer and Ralph Tachuk in NYC.

Here's Michael a couple of summers ago, on his way to accept an award for philanthropy.

Thank you for being family. Thank you for showing me the most exemplary love since the day I met you guys. Thank you for having copies of my books at your home that I didn't have so that when I went to meet with Joy, I had the complete set. I think it's one of my favorite stories of how the universe works--the two other books that FSG picked up, I didn't have in my possession. But you guys did. And you reminded me again and again to take them with me. And had champagne waiting at home once the meeting was over.

Dear Reader,

Believe in yourself.


Love love love
and all the great stories
that end up in books,

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