Can you believe it's the last day of our third anniversary celebration? I know, crazy right! Anyway, before I start my own little ramble (and trust me, ramble I will) I'd just like to say a big thank you to everyone who has joined us - you guys rock and it's your enthusiasm that helps make our genre so awesome! I'd also like to thank all of my fellow TFCers for your wonderful, insightful, honest and witty posts. I know I'm not the only one who has found them incredibly inspiring!!!!
Now, the theme this week has been about what we were all doing three years ago when Teen Fiction Café first started, and while I don’t always own the best memory in the world, I actually do know the answer to this one.
In March 2007 I was living in England getting ready to move back to New Zealand the following month (and by move, I mean that I was trying to sort my way through the acres of toys that my children had somehow managed to accumulate). As well as packing, I was also waiting for my debut book YOU HAD ME AT HALO to hit the shelves in August.
Halo had actually started life as a young adult book but my editor wanted me to rewrite it as woman’s fiction (which I did, and let’s just say that brains and explosion pretty much summed up that experience). However, the thing is that despite how happy I was to have a book coming out, I still really wanted to write a YA book and so I pitched an idea of a zombie novel to my agent in March 2007.
Back then it was all about vampires and quite honestly the only reason I chose zombies was because I thought that the word was funny. Thankfully my agent loved the idea and so I (rather ambitiously) decided to write the book before I moved. Which meant that yup, I spent three weeks in March 2007 writing Zombie Queen of Newbury High. Thankfully it was worth the effort and a couple of months after I arrived in New Zealand, and just before Halo came out, my agent sold it to Puffin.
Now, like all of my fellow TFCers have mentioned, being an author definitely has its highs and lows and my journey since then has definitely had a collection of both. Despite getting some really great reviews and being nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, my first book tanked and was remaindered a year later. Zombie fared a bit better and as well as going into a third print run, I’ve also just found out that it’s been selected by the New York Public Library for their Stuff for the Teen Age 2010 list (which, let me tell you, had me doing some very undignified dancing in front of my highly embarrassed children).
Thankfully the good news definitely makes it easier on the hard days when the doubt monkeys sit on my shoulder and scream so loudly in my ear that I can’t imagine how I could ever write another word again. I’m still working on how to get rid of those doubt monkeys (you know like send them to a lovely farm where they can live a long and happy life because honestly the thought of poking them in their beady little eyes with a sharp pencil had never even crossed my sweet little mind. Honest!!!!!).
So that’s me. The last three years have seen me move country, get to see my books in print and meet some really wonderful YA authors and readers. As for what the next three years hold, well I’ve also got another YA book called Fairy Bad Day coming out in Spring next year as well as a midgrade series about an eleven year old girl who accidently gets turned into a djinn the day before she starts sixth grade and then has to learn how to handle her powers while hiding it all from her mom.
And because no party would be complete without prizes I’m going to give away a copy of ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH (what? You didn’t think I was going to share my snacks did you?). To be in with a chance to win all you need to do is leave a comment. Go on, you know you want to!