✩ The Good
Holding the first copies of Violet on the Runway in my hands was like holding a new baby. Okay, I don't have kids yet, so I can't say that with authority, but I was pretty ecstatic and excited. I did lots of silly things with the books in an afternoon photo shoot, including making this Gargoyle shelter.
✩ The Hard
Not long after my book did come out in 2007, I learned that no one cares about your book as much as you care about your book. Like my TFC pals have been saying, it ain't all wine and roses post-publication. I basically made it my part-time job to get press for my books -- I emailed other authors, editors, any publication the world has ever heard of (I had an angle for why each of them should write about me or my books). And while I'm not sure it sold copies, I know that it helped raise my profile among editors and other writers, which is valuable in itself. Authors I respected seemed to know my name, generally, and to have heard of the books. That made me happy, even though I was tired (and a little bit sheepish) after all the self-promoting. It did get me a killer press page though -- here's a favorite little snippet from NYLON.
✩ The Totally Elating
Here's the thing about writing YA novels: My 15-year-old self would be over-the-moon ecstatic to hear that this is my 32-year-old self's job. That someone pays me to put words on a page and create characters and dream up stories. So all the rough drafts and the false starts and the revisions and the "Am I good enough?" moments (also known as the "What if I suck?" moments, of which there are many) is totally worth it because this writing life is a dream come true. I don't know how long I'll get to do it -- we all worry about when the next contract will come and if anyone will want another book from us -- but I'm going to enjoy every minute while I'm in the game. And I hope to be in it for a long time!
PS-What really makes it all worthwhile? The readers. A fan recently emailed me about my latest novel, Lovestruck Summer, and she said, "I want to be Quinn! I want to dye my hair blue and live in headphones and fall in love this summer." And that is why we do this thing.
♥ So what was/is your 15-year-old dream? Comment below and one random commenter will win a signed copy of Lovestruck Summer!