Two years ago today, at 4:30 in the afternoon, my life completely changed. I was a single mom with two kids, barely any money in my bank account, and a dream in book form. The phone rang, Swoon Reads offered me a two book deal, and I became a genuine, bona-fide mainstream YA author.
It still feels surreal, even now that the first book has been out for five months, and book two hits the shelves in the spring. Even now that I’m working on a third book unrelated to the first series.
Do you know, when my editor emailed me a few weeks ago to say “Hey, we need to talk about your next book – when can we get together?” I was sitting on the couch with my daughter, and I pushed the laptop off my lap and let out this enormous sigh of relief. My daughter asked why and I told her the truth:
I was still half-expecting my editor (now that the two book deal is done) to say “Hey, it’s been swell, but we don’t need you anymore.” Or for her to just sort of forget about me and for me to have to write one slam-banging book and pitch my ever-loving heart out to get it considered. Instead, she asked me. What a relief!
My daughter looked at me like I’d grown a second nose when I told her that. She pointed out that my book sales are good. That my reviews are good. That I get fan mail and fans who make me things and want to send them to me. That her friends think I’m “low-key famous.”
Heh. Had to chuckle at that. But it still all feels surreal, two years on. I suspect it will for the rest of my life. But I love the hell out of what I do, and the truth is, I’d do it whether I got paid for it or not.
Thanks for reading me and believing in me, all of you. You’ve changed a life.