Friday, June 3, 2011


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!


  1. Dammit. How can I be a ramrod-backed surly MG writer when you write stuff like this and I bawl like a baby? You've all but reduced me to sucking my thumb!

    You are the best. XOXOX The BEST. And now I'm totally going to take a pic of Loki with SKON in retaliation. And write a post like this.



  2. Yay Jen! I'm excited for the day I hold one of my crit partner's books in my hand.

    But okay...I'm excited for the day I hold my book more.

    I'll have to check that book out now that I think I want to write MG. It's MG right?

  3. How exciting for both of you! And you're right, we're all in this process together - it's so fun and so worth it to be able to encourage other writers as they take each new step in their journey.

  4. Congrats to your friend Jen! I would feel that same way about holding a friend's book, knowing her journey and seeing her excitement!!

  5. How wonderful for Jen. And how inspiring. It is wonderful to have a writing friend that keeps you inspired. Congratulations to you both for developing the friendship you have, helping you become the best each of you can be.

  6. I'm really looking forward to reading Jen's book!

    Heidi, I agree with you...when your friends have books come out it's so exciting. :)

  7. I hopped on over to her blog to congratulate your friend, Heidi. That's wonderful! And I enjoyed reading her reasons for writing what she writes. Most admirable!

    If you and your friend Jen are any indication, you clearly have the most awesomely talented writing group!

  8. You are such an amazing person. Love your enthusiasm for your friend and I enjoyed your brief description of your writing journey together.

    Off to congratulate your friend.

  9. Thanks you all for your support of Jen! What a great community we writers have!