Coming soon from eFitzgerald... available in print and in eformat

Hello and welcome to our book's blog. How David Met Sarah is the story of a young man with Down Syndrome who falls in love with a young woman with autism. What makes How David Met Sarah different from any of my previous work is that I wrote the book for my youngest brother. He is 36 and has Down Syndrome.
I wrote How David Met Sarah with two goals in mind: to give my brother a story he could read and enjoy on his own, as well as one that had a hero with which he could identify. Like the main character in the story, my brother lives at home with his parents, works in a mail room and has even been in love.
I didn't intend to publish the story at first. My brother loved the initial chapters, and that was enough to encourage me to complete it. But one day I needed a sample manuscript to use at a writing workshop. The only work in progress I had to share was this one. I used the opening chapters in the workshop, and the response was so positive, I was encouraged to share the story with everyone.
How David Met Sarah is a story that is not only accessible to those with developmental disabilities, but also offers insight into what it's like to live with such a disability. My brother and I hope everyone enjoys it. Thanks for stopping by....Annie Kelleher (and David Kelly)

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

I've been busy writing When David was Surprised...the reason I haven't been posting is because the story has taken on a life of its own in the way the best stories always do, and I've been working very hard to follow along very closely.  I haven't wanted to break the spell by talking about it too much.  I will say that the story has shown me quite a few surprises already... I can't wait to know what my brother thinks. 

I'll be seeing him tomorrow to give him the first few chapters of the new story... Happy New Year to all!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New YouTube video!

See it.... as well as our other videos.... HERE.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Making progress

For those of you who've read How David Met Sarah, you might be interested to know that I am at work on the second book of the series... When David was Surprised.  Based on my brother's own experiences with theatre, it includes quite a few surprises for the reader as well. 

Some of you may know of National Novel-Writing Month - often referred to as NaNoWriMo.  It's a national writing challenge that many writers seek to complete: produce a 50,000 word first draft in one month. 

Fair enough, but the month they pick happens to be November...which is not only a short month but a busy month in my universe.  Believe it or not, this month is less busy than last month because now the launch is behind me, I only have a few presents to finish buying.  So here's my goal for the rest of month:  to complete a 20,000 word first draft.  As of this morning, I have 3,200 words completed.  There are 17 days left in December.  If I write a thousand words every day - about four manuscript pages - I will meet my goal. 

I'll be keeping you posted on my progress!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Photos from the launch party

Thank YOU!

Thank you so much to all the people who helped to make last Friday night so special for David and me... especially to Patrice Fitzgerald, Susan Forrest, Patricia Bruhn, Doreen Breen, Karen Tyson, the folks at NDSS, and my mother and stepdad for driving David up to the party.  Thanks as well to everyone who came, and to those who couldn't, but thought good thoughts anyway!  We hope you had as good a time as we did!  Photos will follow as well as a new YouTube video...check back soon :).

Friday, December 9, 2011

Looking forward to tonight....

...and hope you are, too!  David and I will be signing copies and celebrating the release of How David Met Sarah with family, friends, and yummy assortment of holiday treats... join us at 7 PM at the Phoenix Rising Art Center at 135 South Main Steet in Thomaston, CT. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Seriously discounted!

If you can't make the launch party, get your print copy at a great price at Barnes & Noble....it's the perfect size for a stocking stuffer ;).  Just send me a note at AnnieKelleher@aol.com and I will send you an autographed bookplate. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thanks, Chris Burke!

How David Met Sarah is terrific. I think the character of David has a lot of heart, is full of happiness and is very thoughtful.  Despite his disability, he has a lot of personality and ability.  I like the story about David’s relationship with his parents and his independence.  I thought that it was difficult for Sarah to accept David in her life, but in her heart she will be there for him.  It’s not about his disability but her ability to grow to trust him as a friend. Anne Kelleher wrote from her experience of what it’s like to have a brother with a disability, and I think this concept is very worthwhile.  If you want my advice, you should read this book about the world of young adults with Down syndrome.

“Corky” from Life Goes On and Goodwill Ambassador for the National Down Syndrome Society
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Just in time for the holidays....

Print copies now available!  Click the link to the right to order your copy :). 

If you would like a book plate, signed by both David and me, please send me an email at AnnieKelleher@aol.com!

Thank you so much to all our readers... see you at the launch party :). 

Friday, November 25, 2011

What I'm thankful for....

...all the wonderful people who have encouraged, supported, and helped to make How David Met Sarah a reality...thank you so much from the bottom of my chest, as my brother David would say!

We wish everyone a happy, healthy, and abundant holiday season...

See you at the launch party... I hope!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lessons I learned from writing How David Met Sarah...

Don't let your goals get in the way ViewsHound

Read all about it and "like" it if you do!

Misplaced baby

The UPS truck pulled up late for our neck of a woods last Friday evening, setting off the dogs and interrupting double Jeopardy.  I was tired and not feeling in any mood to go downstairs to see what had been delivered. 

In fact, I walked the dogs without even noticing where the driver might've left the parcel.

That night, I had a long vivid dream about a baby that I had lost somewhere in the house.  You better go see where that baby is, I kept hearing myself say. 

The next morning, I woke up, wondering what on earth the baby dream could mean but didn't think too much of it.  I was bringing the dogs back from their first morning run, when I happened to notice the flat brown package lying forlorn on top of the low stone planter.   Another comic book, I assumed, and almost didn't pick it up. 

But I did and nearly dropped it when I saw my name on the label and the return address.  I opened the package and inside was the first proof of the print edition for How David Met Sarah. 

I'd found my misplaced baby. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Now live on Nook...

As soon as I can figure out the right link... I'll post it HERE!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The pleasure of your company....

....is cordially requested at a Launch Party for How David Met Sarah on Friday, December 9, 2011, at 7:00 PM at the Phoenix Rising Arts Collective in Thomaston, CT, at 135 South Main Street in the old Seth Thomas factory building. 

We hope you will come and celebrate with us! Meet the "real" David, have your book signed, see amazing exhibits by local artists, and nibble on delicious holiday treats supplied by Passiflora Tea Shop.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Coming soon on Barnes & Noble Nook....

...and in print! 

While I've been spending time in the Stone Age courtesy of Winter Storm Alfred, my publisher has been craftily making How David Met Sarah even more widely available.  By the end of the month, we expect it to be available on Barnes & Noble Nook, and....by early December, in print. 

Please email me at AnnieKelleher@aol.com if you are interested in preordering a print copy... 20% of the cover price will be donated to the National Down Syndrome Society.  Your copy will come to you signed by me AND David. 
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Sunday, November 6, 2011

But which date to save?!

Friday, DECEMBER 9, 2011, 7:00 PM.... see you there!

Thank you to my friend, Judi, for reminding me to include the date :)!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Save the date, spread the word, see you there?

Join us for an evening celebrating both print and e-versions of How David Met Sarah...in historic Thomaston, CT.  Meet the "real" David, Mother and Pop, have your book signed (by both of us :) ) try delicious holiday treats from Passiflora Tea Shop and tour the amazing art-space now claimed by the Phoenix Rising Art Center.  Just a couple turns off Route 8, it's easy to find from just about anywhere. 

20% from the sale of both editions will go to the National Down Syndrome Society to assist with the needs of developmentally disabled adults. 

David is shining up his dancing shoes and I hope you will put it on your calendar now!
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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Exciting NEWS!!!!

I am thrilled to say that the National Down Synrome Society has graciously agreed to help spread the word about How David Met Sarah. 

A print version and book club/reader's guide are in the works and we anticipate that both will be available shortly. 

In the meatime, I invite you to check out the HBO documentary "Monica & David" about a real life David and Sarah. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Announcing a BlogStop Book Tour...

Starting next Monday October 24, and running through November 6, we'll be holding a Blog Stop Book Tour at various blogs.  I hope you will check out each one!   

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Coming soon....

Spanish and German versions of How David Met Sarah! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

We're on Patch!

Check out this very cool article on Canton Patch...thanks to Editor John Fitts!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Me, and my brother, David - or How David Met Sarah came to be...

My brother David was born when I was sixteen. 

Almost from the hour of his birth, my mother knew he was going to be different from her three older children. 

I knew for almost three years before he was born. 

I don't know how I knew, and I'm still not sure why I knew.  But from the time I was barely thirteen, I knew David was coming.  I knew it in the way I know my name, in the way I know I have brown eyes and am left-handed.  I didn't want to know, and I didn't want to believe it.  And I knew no one would believe me.  

It began the winter I turned thirteen and my mother told us she was pregnant.  It was a tumultuous time in our lives.  Money was scarce, the relationship between my mother and her mother, my grandmother, had deteriorated into what I remember as the Great War of my childhood.  Things were bad, and there was no expectation things would be better any time soon. 

I knew there was going to be an issue with this baby.  Something big.  

I can't explain how I knew this.  I only know I raged at Heaven.  No, I remember saying emphatically one morning as I was getting dressed for school.  Besides everything else that was going on, I remember I was failing algebra for a second time.  No, I said, to whatever - or Whoever - might be listening.  You can't do this to us.  You just can't.

And Heaven acquiesced.  

I could feel it.  Deep, in my bones, in the way I know the sun rises in the east.  A few weeks later my mother had a miscarriage.  A part of me knew it was only a reprieve.  The baby was coming eventually. 

But not now.  Not yet.  We weren't ready.

I remember the dilemma I briefly faced.  Tell my mother what I knew, and risk ridicule... or worse?  I'd read Dr. Spock's Baby & Child Care cover to cover when my mother was expecting my sister when I was ten.  I knew all about magical thinking and sibling rivalry.  I was pretty sure I knew what my parents would think.  I decided to keep my mouth shut.  

But the next fall, at the beginning of my sophmore year of high school, I remember sliding into my desk the first day of biology class and opening the textbook waiting for me to a random page.  My eyes fell on the words "Down's Syndrome."  And a Voice at the back of my mind very quietly said, "That."

When my mother announced her pregnancy, glowing, a year or so later, I remember a sense of "Well, how about it?" from the Voice.  And this time I was the one who said "Yes." 

But I still didn't tell anyone.  .For one thing, I wasn't quite sure I wanted to believe I was really having conversations with Heaven.  I had enough to do with high school and growing up and my crazy family.  Now things were about to get crazier and my active participation seemed to be required.  Besides, I figured, was it really any of my business?  Surely my mother's OB would recommend the necessary tests, even though, as a devout Catholic, my mother would never have considered terminating the pregnancy. 

But he didn't.  And my mother just glowed. 

So no one was expecting David.  But me.   The night my brother was born, I heard the phone ringing while I was giving my little sister a bath.  "That's Mommy," I thought.  "To tell me there's something wrong with the baby."

And when I picked up the phone, those were her exact words.  "Honey, there's something wrong with the baby."

"What is it?" I remember asking. 

"He's...he's slightly mongoloid." My mother's usually firm voice faltered.  

"No," I remember I said.  "He has Downs' Syndrome.  And it's not that bad."

"How do you know?" asked my mother, and I could tell she was taken aback by the certainty with which I spoke. 

I remember my hesitation.  I had an opportunity then, to tell the truth.  "We studied it in school last year," I remember answering, feeling weak.  My answer was true, as far as it went.  But it wasn't how I'd known. 

I didn't spend a lot of time with David when he was really little... his first nine months were spent mostly in a hospital, fighting pneumonia.  And then I graduated high school and went to England,and my life took off in another trajectory.  It seemed odd that something I knew so clearly seemed to matter so little in my life. 
When my mother suggested I try my hand at writing a book my brother might enjoy reading, I wasn't sure I could do it.   On the surface, after all, our lives are so different.  I'm a girl, he's a boy.  I'm the oldest, he's the youngest.  I have brown eyes, his are blue.  He has Downs' Syndrome and I don't. 

And then I remembered how often it has occured to me how much alike David and I are.  We both love music, especially Irish music, and we love to sing.  David knows the words to more songs than I do.  We both love to dance.  We both love to write...in fact, we prefer to spend our mornings exactly the same way: listening to music and writing.  I'm usually either blogging or working on a novel; David writes all sorts of things.   And recently David suffered two things everyone can relate to... unrequited love, and a layoff from a job he really liked. 

Thus, this story - and the ones which will follow it - grew not just out of my wish to give my brother something I've enjoyed all my life: a good story, well told.  This story grew mostly out of the deep connection I've always shared with my little brother... a connection that began even before he was born.  

David loves "his" story.  We both hope that others will enjoy it, too.   

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What's next?

Now that How David Met Sarah has finally hit the shelves, so to speak, what's next?  This morning I'll be speaking to a representative from an organization to which my publisher and I would like to donate 20% of the proceeds.   We're setting up a blog-stop book tour, too....if you'd like to be part of it... let me know!  There's a launch party in the works, too.

I've already started to write the next book in the series... When David Was Surprised.  You can read the first chapter at the end of How David Met Sarah.   I hope you'll check it out!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October is...

National Down's (or Down*) Syndrome Awareness Month!

- People with Down's have 47 chromosomes, not 46.  No one understands exactly what causes the condition, but it is known to occur at conception. 

- There are approximately 400,000 people with Down's Syndrome living in the United States today. 

-Although likelihood increases with maternal age (and some researchers say paternal age as well) most children with Down's Syndrome are born to women under 35.

- It is the most common genetic condition and it occurs in all races, both sexes, and throughout the world. 

- People with Down's Syndrome are more like people without Down's, than unlike.       
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Did you know...

there's a FREE Kindle App you can download? 

People have asked me if we have plans to release How David Met Sarah as a regular paperback book.  Although we won't rule out anything, I do encourage anyone who hasn't tried an e-reader to check out the free download on Amazon...you might be surprised how addicting ebooks can be!
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Congratulations, David!

I'm proud to announce that David brought home a GOLD medal in golf at this past Sunday's Special Olympics in New Jersey.  Congratulations to all who competed and way to go, David!
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Anything Goes

Today my husband and I are meeting up with my parents and David in New York City for our annual Broadway birthday bash.  They treat us to lunch and we treat them to a show.  This year, it's Anything Goes.  Hopefully I'll have a photo or two to show you how it all went!

We have a cover!


Isn't it beautiful?! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Second YouTube Video posted!

Thanks to my amazing publicist... there are now TWO videos posted on YouTube about the book... please check them both out! 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

We're on YouTube!

How David Met Sarah.... please watch!

I had a dream...

...and in it, it occured to me that How David Met Sarah should be translated into other languages, because after all, we don't all speak English.  When I woke up, I realized that through the magic of the Internet, How David Met Sarah can easily be made available internationally.

When I mentioned this dream to my publisher, she was just as excited as I am.  My hope is that over the coming months, we will be able to make my dream a reality.  We're already working on finding translators.  Check back to see what versions will be available and when!   

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, David!

I believe birthdays are special and today is David's.  Next weekend we're meeting up in New York City to have lunch at Carmine's and to see the show, Anything Goes.  It's been a tradition we instituted a few years ago to celebrate four family birthdays that occur within about a month of each other. 

What are your family traditions (new or old) to celebrate birthdays?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Update!

I've seen the preliminary sketches of the cover and they're beautiful.  Yesterday, David made time out of his schedule for photos - I'll be posting them as soon as I can figure it out :). 

David is busy practicing for Special Olympics...he is competing in golf.  David has a long history of involvement with Special Olympics and has even represented the United States at the international competition in New Haven, in the equestrian events.

I wanted to share the thank-you note that David wrote to me:

Dear Nan -

Thank you so much for the book about David.  It's the nicest thing from the bottom of my chest. 

Lot's of love,
David. 


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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Check back soon...

The final draft of the manuscript has gone to the editor and the cover should be ready any time! I'll put it here as soon as it is finalized - I can't wait to see it!

Meanwhile, while we're all waiting, you can read Chapter One by clicking on the link entitled "How David Met Sarah - Excerpt."  I hope you enjoy it as much as the real David does :).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Me and my brother, David

My brother David was born when I was sixteen. 

Almost from the hour of his birth, my mother knew he was going to be different from her three older children. 

I knew for almost three years before he was born. 

I don't know how I knew, and I'm still not sure why I knew.  But from the time I was barely thirteen, I knew David was coming.  I knew it in the way I know my name, in the way I know I have brown eyes and am left-handed.  I didn't want to know, and I didn't want to believe it.  Not just because it seemed like a terrible fate...it was also because I knew no one would believe me.  

It began the winter I turned thirteen and my mother told us she was pregnant.  It was a tumultuous time in our lives.  Money was scarce, the relationship between my mother and her mother, my grandmother, had detiorated into what I remember as the Great War of my childhood.  Things were bad, and there was no expectation things would be better any time soon. 

I knew there was going to be something wrong with this baby.  Something big.  

I can't explain how I knew this.  I only know I raged at Heaven.  No, I remember saying emphatically one morning as I was getting dressed for school.  Besides everything else that was going on, I remember I was failing algebra for a second time.  No, I said, to whatever - or Whoever - might be listening.  You can't do this to us.  You just can't.

And Heaven acquiesced.  

I could feel it.  Deep, in my bones, in the way I know the sun rises in the east.  A few weeks later my mother had a miscarriage.  A part of me knew it was only a reprieve.  The baby - the baby with something wrong with it - was coming eventually. 

But not now.  Not yet.  We weren't ready.

I remember the dilemma I briefly faced.  Tell my mother what I knew, and risk ridicule... or worse?  I'd read Dr. Spock's Baby & Child Care cover to cover when my mother was expecting my sister when I was ten.  I knew all about magical thinking and sibling rivalry.  I was pretty sure I knew what my parents would think.  I decided to keep my mouth shut.  

But the next fall, at the beginning of my sophmore year of high school, I remember sliding into my desk the first day of biology class and opening the textbook waiting for me to a random page.  My eyes fell on the words "Down's Syndrome."  And a Voice at the back of my mind very quietly said, "That."

When my mother announced her pregnancy, glowing, a year or so later, I remember a sense of "Well, how about it?" from the Voice.  And this time I was the one who said "Yes." 

But I still didn't tell anyone.  .For one thing, I wasn't quite sure I wanted to believe I was really having conversations with Heaven.  I had enough to do with high school and growing up and my crazy family.  Now things were about to get crazier and my active participation seemed to be required.  Besides, I figured, was it really any of my business?  Surely my mother's OB would recommend the necessary tests, even though, as a devout Catholic, my mother would never have considered terminating the pregnancy. 

But he didn't.  And my mother just glowed. 

So no one was expecting David.  But me.   The night my brother was born, I heard the phone ringing while I was giving my little sister a bath.  "That's Mommy," I thought.  "To tell me there's something wrong with the baby."

And when I picked up the phone, those were her exact words.  "Honey, there's something wrong with the baby."

"What is it?" I remember asking. 

"He's...he's slightly mongoloid." My mother's usually firm voice faltered.  

"No," I remember I said.  "He has Downs' Syndrome.  And it's not that bad."

"How do you know?" asked my mother, and I could tell she was taken aback by the certainty with which I spoke. 

I remember my hesitation.  I had an opportunity then, to tell the truth.  "We studied it in school last year," I remember answering, feeling weak.  My answer was true, as far as it went.  But it wasn't how I'd known. 

I didn't spend a lot of time with David when he was really little... his first nine months were spent mostly in a hospital, fighting pneumonia.  And then I graduated high school and went to England,and my life took off in another trajectory.  It seemed odd that something I knew so clearly seemed to matter so little in my life. 
When my mother suggested I try my hand at writing a book my brother might enjoy reading, I wasn't sure I could do it.   On the surface, after all, our lives are so different.  I'm a girl, he's a boy.  I'm the oldest, he's the youngest.  I have brown eyes, his are blue.  He has Downs' Syndrome and I don't. 

And then I remembered how often it has occured to me how much alike David and I are.  We both love music, especially Irish music, and we love to sing.  David knows the words to more songs than I do.  We both love to dance.  We both love to write...in fact, we prefer to spend our mornings exactly the same way: listening to music and writing.  I'm usually either blogging or working on a novel; David writes all sorts of things.   And recently David suffered two things everyone can relate to... unrequited love, and a layoff from a job he really liked. 

Thus, this story - and the ones which will follow it - grew not just out of my wish to give my brother something I've enjoyed all my life: a good story, well told.  This story grew mostly out of the deep connection I've always shared with my little brother... a connection that began even before he was born.  

David loves "his" story.  We both hope that others will enjoy it, too.   
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