Dear Ones —
So…I've been doing a lot of interviews in the last few weeks about my new book, "The Signature of All Things". And I've been interested to see this question coming up again and again:
1) "By writing this novel, are you trying to get away from the legacy of Eat Pray Love?"
I find this to be such a curious assumption — that I would ever regard the legacy of Eat Pray Love as a prison, or a punishment, or a ghetto. The journalists I speak with seem to think that Eat Pray Love is something I must be trying to escape, or to put behind me, or to conquer. Or that I must be desirous new and different readers, or some new and different literary identity.
Well, the simple answer is: No.
Why would I want to run away from the legacy of Eat Pray Love, when that journey completely changed my life? And why would I want to separate myself from the passionate, heart-driven readers who sprang up around Eat Pray Love, and who are now part of my life every single day?
I don't know if they get it, but I keep trying to explain to the reporters (one after another) that I KNOW I will always be associated with Eat Pray Love, but that I don't mind that in the least — in fact, I consider it a badge of honor.
That said, my destiny is to keep writing. So I will keep writing — novels, memoirs, whatever comes next. Some of the books may be similar to EPL, but others may not be. People will either read my future books, or they won't. I can't control any of that. The only thing I can control is my commitment to pursuing my creative curiosity wherever it leads me, for as long as I am capable of working. And this time, my curiosity happened to lead me into a historical novel about botanical exploration. Next time…who knows? But I'll follow that thread of curiosity wherever it wants me to go! Because I've never found a better secret to living happily.
But the main thing I keep trying to explain in all these interviews is that I don't intend to leave anybody behind with this novel, or with anything I may ever write in the future. EVERYONE IS INVITED. After all, I wrote "The Signature of All Things" for you guys — for you, my dear readers. Not for the critics, not because I'm seeking some new identity — but for you.
I just wanted you to know that. I wanted you to know that you are ALL most warmly invited to join me on this journey, too — as you have joined me on my other journeys in the past…but only if you really want to, and only if it will bring you pleasure. (Trust me, there is no obligation: YOU HAVE ALREADY DONE ENOUGH FOR ME IN MY LIFE, AND I AM ETERNALLY GRATEFUL!) Just know that you are always, always, always very warmly invited.
As for me, I'm just gonna keep making books.
So that's what I'm thinking about this morning, as I sit by the phone, waiting for the next interviewer to call. And I just wanted you all to know it.
Thank you for being lovely and amazing,