Friday, June 3, 2011
OH HAPPY DAY!!!!
Yesterday, Jen Blom's debut middle grade novel was released. I couldn't have been more excited if it was my own book.
Even though I've seen the cover, it took my breath away holding it in my hand. I found myself saying, "It's a real book!"... Funny enough, the exact same words my writing group said to me when my book arrived at their homes.
It's something. Holding a book written by someone you know.
This book feels personal to me, too. You see, Jen and I started on the publication process about the same time. We'd both finished our first novels and were querying them when we met, and both commiserated thought the early query waters. We formed a writing group together with a few other lovely ladies, and she and I decided about the same time to begin new books.
It was Jen who, three years ago this summer, who challenged me to write 50,000 words in five weeks. At the time, that seemed monumental, but she was doing it, and if she could, so could I, I thought.
And thus I began my own journey with writing Some Kind of Normal. By August, I had finished the first draft of my novel, and Jen had finished Possum Summer.
Our paths in the process went in different direction at that point. I took a few more months to revise, and eventually went with an independent publishing house that took less than six months from acceptance to publication.
Jen queried, got an agent, went through the submission process, got an editor, spent lengthy time in a much bigger publishing house before her book finally made it to print. But seeing the book - holding it in my hands - brought back that summer in vivid form.
It is proof that dreams come true.
Jen writes more than anyone I know. Since writing that one book and querying it, I can think of six other books she has written, at least one of which is currently under contract, and the others in a holding pattern for a different publisher. She is amazing.
If you want to say congrats, you can stop by her blog here. I know it would mean the world to her - even if you don't buy the book. Really - we're all in this together - each step of the way - and every success by one of us should be celebrated.
And Jen - though I've said it so often to you, I want to say it here, too. I am so proud of you. You inspire me and challenge me. And I'm so happy for you that this day is finally here. May there be many, many more release days in your future!