Monday, December 17, 2012

The Best Thing I Did as a Debut Author

My debut year is almost over. It was an absolute whirlwind.

Soon there will be other writers experiencing the wonder and madness of their debut years. I could sit and wax long and lyrical about everything I learned this year. (Truthfully, I could also wax long and lyrical about all the questions I still have.)

Still, I know there are things all debut authors have to see and experience for themselves: you really wouldn't believe me if I told ya!

That being said, there is one solitary piece of advice I do have: I can, without a doubt, tell you the best thing I did as a debut author.

The very best thing I did as a debut author was...[drumroll please]...join the Apocalypsies and the Class of 2K12.

I truly cannot imagine having gone through this year without the collective wisdom of such a talented and supportive bunch. I partook in multiple events because of them, things I never would have been able to organize on my own. They were the world's biggest mega-transmitters for a debut author: tweeting and amplifying book news of all sorts. We even made silly music videos together.

But, most importantly, they were good friends and such a unique support system: one that could understand all of my biggest worries and fears. If there was an edit letter to discuss, or a marketing strategy to explore, they were the world's best sounding board. They were full of advice, full of humor, and full of pathos. And nobody can pick you up when you're feeling down in the dumps about your writing, your career, or even life in general like an amazing group of people in the proverbial same boat.

So if you are a debut author now or in the future...find this group. I know they'll be there and that this support system will continue. The Lucky Thirteeners, the Class of 2K13, and beyond.

And to the amazing Apocalypsies and Class of 2K12: one big, heartfelt THANK YOU. For filling my bookshelf and mind with your amazing stories, and for filling my heart with your generosity of time and spirit. I will never, as long as I live, forget this year. And I will never forget sharing it with you.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's an Honor Just to be Nominated

I know the title of this post sounds like schmaltz people say in Oscar red carpet interviews...but it's actually quite true!

Yesterday, I found out that The Mapmaker and the Ghost was nominated for Best Middle Grade Fantasy 2012 and Best Middle Grade Paranormal 2012 in the YA Books Central Choice Awards. I was also nominated for Favorite Middle Grade Author 2012.

Looking at some of the books that Mapmaker is keeping company with (and I've read quite a few of them), I truly am honored. Not to mention, it's always a very pleasant surprise to be recognized at all, especially in such a crowded field.

You can vote for the winners of the YABC Choice Awards until December 31st. Please do go and vote for your fave YA, MG and PB books of the year (whether that be Mapmaker or not)! Vote here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Giveaway: Free Signed Bookplates and Bookmarks!

For the record, I love the holidays, and I especially love the holidays in New York. I am a simple girl in a lot of ways: give me some colored lights and tinsel and life is basically peachy keen.

But I digress.

Need a stocking stuffer or Hanukkah gift? I'm giving away free signed Mapmaker and the Ghost bookplates and bookmarks to the first 20 people who sign up using the form below. (U.S. addresses only please). And, just so you know, the bookmark has a special code that will lead you to some exclusive, bonus content. I will also personalize the bookmark if you leave me a name in the form below.

Why, they would be perfect for inserting into a gifted copy of The Mapmaker and the Ghost, don't you think?

If you're looking for more awesome and personalized free swag from authors, look no further than this Apocalypsies post that gathers a bunch of them into one place.

Happy, happy holidays from Goldenrod and the gang!

Update: This giveaway is now closed.

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's the End of the Year as I Know it...and I Feel Fine

I've been thinking about how to write a post about the end of this wild and crazy year for a while now. And then I ran across this interview with David Lynch.

He said,

"There is that expression, 'Man has control of action alone, never the fruit of the action.' So you better enjoy the doing of a thing and not worry about the outcome."

And I realized: that sums it up perfectly.

I spent almost two years anticipating 2012: the year my debut book was published. And now that it has come and gone I can safely say it was one of the most exhilarating but also most gut-wrenching years of my life.

The fact of the matter is that having a life-long dream come true can be a double-edged sword. It's been joyous and exciting. But this is also real life (not the world of fiction I so love to get lost in), and nothing comes without its downsides. Finding out the downsides of a pristine dream can be gutting. And, at times, I felt like I had my dream swept out from from under me.

Even though getting published is amazing, it also doesn't change much of my everyday writing life. I still need to work a full-time job and write on my off time. I still have the same amount of rejections to deal with (maybe even more since there is now a new bonus level: professional and reader reviews). I still have to work through all of that to create something publishable.

But I've been very slowly relearning something I used to know before all this publishing brouhaha came into play: I write because I love it and because it is a part of me. As Mr. Lynch says, it's the enjoying of the thing itself. That is all I can control and that is all I can ever count on.

So my new dream? Is to get back to that. Writing so that I can be the best version of me, so that I can get these voices out of my head and create, create, create. The rest is the fruit. It's tasty and all, but it cannot be my goal. I'm just not programmed that way.

So what are my final words to this soul-searching year? I'm grateful to you, 2012. And I'm grateful to you, whoever and wherever you are, for being here and reading.

Happy, happy holidays to you and here's to a very happy, healthy and exciting new year!