“I devoured your book and it was so sweet!”: Inside the surprise party for my new novel Cartago


The title of my new novel is Cartago, and to celebrate its completion my wife Laurie threw a surprise party. She organized everything right under my very nose. It wasn’t until the bunting went up that it dawned on me something was going on. Knowing my love of vintage Penguins, she made a stack of tiny Cartagos to string along the colonnade and a bunch more to post on skewers. She even asked baking wizard extraordinaire Ginny Cook to make Cartago cookies, resulting in the most unexpected review of my work ever: “I devoured your new book and it was so sweet!”

Laurie, who’s always been supportive, was especially so during the writing of Cartago — in many ways my most personal book — and this party was the crowning gesture. I’d confessed during one of those moments of depression that seem to go hand-in-hand with creative risks that I always wanted a surprise party. And now I’ve had one, and it was magnificent. My thanks to Laurie for the thought and planning (and for making so many tiny books!), and to Ginny for the beautiful bookies (book + cookie!), and to the lovely, creative people who celebrated with us.

Here’s hoping Cartago gives us more reason to celebrate shortly.




9 responses

  1. SJ Griffo says:

    How wonderful! Kudos to Laurie. Glad you enjoyed your party. Here’s hoping for great success with Cartago.

  2. Tim Hurd (@Tim_Hurd) says:

    Can’t wait to eat it, I mean read it, Mark!

  3. Dan says:

    That’s a fantastic looking book, really gorgeous. Love that green. When and where will it be available?

    • jmarkbertrand jmarkbertrand says:

      The photos show tiny mockups Laurie made for the party, inspired by the classic Peguins of yesteryear. The novel isn’t published yet. I will definitely make the announcement when it is.

  4. Congrats look forward to reading it.

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