It is so nice to (metaphorically) see you again! I’ve spent the last few months writingwritingwriting (more on that later) so I’m so glad I can finally resurface over here at Ye Olde Blog and talk to you about THINGS. SO MANY THINGS.
First, there are updates all over the website! I updated my FAQ with information about whether or not I’ll do your book report homework for you (spoiler alert: I won’t) and school visit information. I also updated the events page with information about next month’s Ontario Teen Book Festival! I’ll be there all day and I’m really looking forward to it, mostly because I love talking with readers and I love when people provide me with free coffee. So yes. You + me + Ontario + coffee = that cute heart emoji with the little stars. Get into it.
And speaking of events, last weekend was the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books! I absolutely love that festival because as we established earlier, I like when people give me all-I-can-drink caffeinated beverages, but also because it’s just so much fun. I get to see writer friends that I normally only get to chat with on Twitter, 140 characters at a time; I get to meet readers and sign their books for them; and since it’s in my hometown, I can sleep in my own bed at the end of the day. Win-win-win.
I was lucky enough to do a panel with moderator Aaron Hartzler (if you have not read “Rapture Practice” yet, then stop reading my blog right now and go get it), Lauren Myracle (possibly one of the sweetest people alive–we’ve taken a survey and the results should be back in a few days), and Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, aka The Fug Girls, aka superheroes who manage to produce an incredible amount of original content every single day. I have no idea how they do it, but I’m glad they do because they’re the best.
Here we are doing Readers Theatre with Lauren’s book “L8R G8R”:
(photo courtesy of one Mr. Hartzler)
This is us celebrating a very successful event and signing! The celebration then continued into the green room, where I drank two Diet Cokes and ate three Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Kind bars, followed by a plate of jambalaya. (Note: I do not recommend doing this in the future. But those Kind bars are amazing!)
(Photo courtesy of Jessica Morgan)
But this year at the festival, I was a little tired. (Not after those Diet Cokes, though! Woooo!) A few days earlier, on Friday, I did something that I’ve been wanted to do for four years now: I handed in the first draft of my newest book, “Emmy & Oliver”.
(I always put the date, time, and my location at the end of each of my first drafts. It’s become a thing.)
For those of you who don’t know, “Emmy & Oliver” is about two kids, Emmy and Oliver, who were born on the same day and grew up next door to each other. When they’re seven years old, though, Oliver is kidnapped by his father in a parental custody dispute. For ten years, his whereabouts is a mystery, until one day, when they’re seventeen, Oliver is found and returns home.
At least, that’s what I thought it was about when I first started writing it. But as I kept going, and as I got to know Oliver and Emmy and their friends and their parents and siblings, I realized it was about a lot more than just disappearances. It’s about family and love and parenthood, and how some bonds are never severed. It’s about loving someone so much that you let them go, and loving someone so much that you almost will them to come back to you. It’s about how our paths cross in time and how, once in a great while, you’re lucky to share the road with someone more than once. I love these characters so much and I can’t wait for you to read about them. In the meantime, you can add it to Goodreads if you would like, and even add a few little GIFs if you want! I love GIFs.
And before you ask, it will be out in Spring 2015 from Harper Collins. So far and yet so close! Hudson is already exhausted from waiting, as you can see.
As soon as there’s more information about pre-orders and such, I’ll let you know. But I hope you’re as excited to read it as I’ve been to write it. These books, man. They take you on a ride.
In the meantime, though, I’ve been catching up on life. I’ve read an equal amount of issues of the New Yorker and US Weekly (life is all about balance, right?), watching movies (what’s up, Wes Anderson and Captain America?) and I’m about to attack the stack of books next to my bed. It’s gotten quite tall. It’s probably a safety hazard. I should look into that.
I hope you’re all having a wonderful spring so far, that the snow is melting and the tulips are blooming, and that your bookshelves are overflowing!