(the winner of the Countdown to Release Giveaway #3 is @whoaaitskristi! I’ll be DMing you for your address! Congrats! :D)
So, WHAT’S LEFT OF ME comes out this Tuesday, which is only a little more than a full day from now.
I say this with varying degrees of jokey-ness (what, “jokey-ness” is not a word? I’m less than 2 days from release. I’m allowed to make up words!) all the time, but this is literally a day I’ve been dreaming about since I was all of 12-years-old.
Back then, I figured the whole publishing thing would take a year or two, tops. I also figured that at some point I’d be on Good Morning America. Why Good Morning America? No idea. I think that was just on TV in the mornings when I ate breakfast before school.
(in case anyone reading this has any connection to Good Morning America—I am no longer 12, but I still think it would be pretty awesome to be on your show. Just saying)
Nine years is a long time for a dream to develop, especially if it’s the nine years that turn a 12 year old into a 21 year old. (wow, that’s a flip of the numbers! I really just realized that! lol). Even as I write this post now, there’s this sense of “This is for the future, right? This is what I would write if I had a book coming out in less than two days. Because I’m not really having a book come out in less than two days, right? Right?”
I had to stop typing for a moment there because Realization just smacked me over the head with a hammer.
Before you’re “inside” publishing, you (and by “you,” I really just mean “me”) just think about the amazingness of having your words printed in a page, of having your story between covers, sitting on shelves. You dream about finding your book in a store, or having a reader email you telling you they loved your story and connected with your characters. You think, if I could just get a book published, everything would be perfect.
After the book sells, it can be easy to get bogged down in the minutia—which isn’t to say you aren’t still thrilled and excited, but you are thrilled and excited about the individual steps: Hooray, finished copyedits! Hooray, love my cover! Hooray, got a great review! Hooray, Big Professional Reviewer liked my book! Hooray, that was one badass book trailer!
I am over the moon about everything that has happened. I am so very grateful for everything that has happened. For a fantastic agent and co-agents. For a marvelous editor who so gets me and my story. For a wonderful, supportive team at Harper. For all the writer and reader friends I’ve made, who laugh with me and rant with me and cheer with me and are just there for me.
These are the things I didn’t even know to dream about when I was 12, yet I have them, and I am incredibly lucky that I do.
But in the end, paring everything else away, there lies the simple fact that one of my stories has made it out of my head, off my computer screen, and in between covers. It will be on the shelves of bookstores I’ve visited since I was a kid. It will be in libraries and in book bags and maybe someone will read it under the covers with a flickering flashlight, the way I used to when I had to stay up past bedtime to finish a story.
Cheers, twelve-year-old self.