Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reality

As someone who writes paranormal YA novels, I can say definitively that most of the time reality is not so much fun. Reality is filled with bills, errands, sick kids, frustrating circumstances, insurance companies, hard decisions, disappointments, etc. This is probably why I choose to inject my stories with a healthy does of unreality.

However. Sometimes reality is so amazing it feels surreal. The other night I was in the library editing. Again. Some more. I'm on my third round since Erica sent me edits, and I'm tired, and I feel like I'm swimming in sentences and images and that Evie and the gang are actual members of my life (I certainly spend more time with them than I do any of my friends).

As I was reading a paragraph and trying to figure out how to smooth out a particularly grouchy sentence, it hit me.

This is a book.

It's going to be a real, live book, that will be in bookstores, that people will be able to buy and take home and hold in their hands and read. Having spent my entire life loving and living in books, this is kind of overwhelming.

I know it should be obvious, since it's a sequel and I'm writing it under contract, but it's easy to get so lost in the Word document and edits and things that are wrong that I lose the big picture. And the big picture is so amazing, so unbelievable, it's just plain surreal. I nearly had an out-of-body experience as that hit me. Fortunately I was sitting next to a poster of Neil Gaiman, and his enigmatic grin always reminds me that I'm never as good as I can be. (In a nice way, of course.)

I know I'm living a dream (mine, and probably many of yours) and it's incredible. It's a buttload of work (and I never use the phrase buttload lightly), it's exhausting, it can be very stressful, but when you get right down to the heart of it, it's the best possible reality I could imagine.

And that's saying a lot.

Speaking of surreal, check out the HarperTeen booth at Book Expo America:

ACRONYM! That's EVIE! In a lightbox! As a poster! At BEA!
Also, although I don't have her permission to post this picture, my agent Michelle Wolfson looks so freaking cute I can't imagine she'd object. And say hi to Cristina, my FABULOUS marketing director! Love, love, love.

LOVE.


(UPDATE! Today just keeps getting awesomer. Found out from a fab book blogger than an excerpt from the first chapter is up on HarperTeen's website!)

28 comments:

Suze said...

Waiiiiiiit. The poster says "On Sale October"... Noooooooo. Isn't it September??? That means MORE than 117 days to wait :(

Kiersten White said...

Nope! Release date is still September 21st! No worries : ) Not sure why it says that.

Suze said...

Phew... thank you. I guess if it said "On Sale September" everyone would be looking for it fruitlessly for 20 days.

But - yaaaay for the poster at the BEA... !

Jamie said...

Whew! Thanks for clearing that up...I was having a mini-panic attack!

Abby Stevens said...

Wow! That is incredibly gorgeous! I know you must be incredibly proud!

Marsha Sigman said...

I would be freakin' out every time it hit me that I was actually being published...that your words will influence people you don't know, in ways you cannot imagine. Mind-blowing and totally awesome.

Kristan said...

Love Michelle's dress!

Oh, and ya know, THE LIGHTBOX WITH YOUR BOOK ON IT!!!!!!!!

I would like a few doses of this reality, thank you. :)

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Thank you for this post! My book hasn't sold yet, but I've been so deep in the stress of my agent's revisions I kind of forget that um, my AGENT is making me revise this so she can SELL it. (I also sometimes forget that I actually love my agent, even IF she's making me revise that chapter AGAIN.) SO thank you! I needed this.

And your cover looks even better on a light box. You should get one of those for your house--put it next to Neil Gaiman. He may have an enigmatic grin, but you have glowing Evie!

Tawna Fenske said...

Oh man, that's gotta be amazing for you to see! Talk about a moment of realization that THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!

And I agree, our lovely agent does look totally freaking cute.

Congrats on the lovely promo at BEA!

Tawna

Patrick said...

Cute-plosion on the blog!!!!

GMR said...

Aw...that's wonderful! It's great to see someone realize their dream...and in this case, share it with readers like us! ^_^ Congrat's on reaching the fabled 'golden ring' and just keep that bigger picture in mind...the edits will fly by.

salarsenッ said...

Major way cool, Kiersten!! She was beautiful book size but all big and lit up...Muma!!!

Got my copy reserved. *Kudos*

Dara said...

Awesome!

And I just read the excerpt...now I want September to come even faster!

Linda G. said...

So exciting!!! (See? I had to give it three exclamation points--THAT is how exciting it is!) And, yes, Michelle looks freaking adorable. :)

Crystal said...

Kiersten, I just read the excerpt on Harper's site and I LOVE IT! I was pulled right in and didn't want it to end! Now I have to wait ALL SUMMER to see what happens . . . but at least I DO have something to look forward to in the fall! :)

Btw, the poster looks FANTASTIC and also, just wanted to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY (I'm a May baby, too--mine is on the 27th)! :)

KaT said...

That's pure awesomeness, Kiersten, congrats again!

bookaholic said...

Wow that is absolutely amazing!! Paranormalcy deserves all the accolades! Congrats so many times :)

Lisa said...

Kiersten,

I read the excerpt. And I am totally, totally pre-ordering this (although I do hope that I win the ARC. I would still buy it. Seriously). This made me laugh. Honestly, just that first chapter made me all happy inside. I CAN'T WAIT. And when does the movie go into production?

I've only pre-ordered one other book in my life. (Ana and the French Kiss. I think you might of heard of it.)

I AM SO EXCITED!

Anonymous said...

congrats that was an awesome excerpt now i am more than excited for paranormalcy ! lol
Buffy = Evie in a good way !

Sarra said...

Amazing! The chapter is fantastic, and I can't wait to pick this up in September. You are living the dream, but the best part of it is that you deserve it. You have earned it through hard work and talent. I pray for this kind of dream every day!! Congrats!

Andrea Cremer said...

I'm totally going to the booth tomorrow so I can have my picture taken with Evie...

Vicki Rocho said...

I seriously can't wait until your book comes out. My only concern is the sequel. I don't know if I can wait a year in between books. Do you know what a KILLER that is?

Mundie Moms said...

How awesome is that! We are so excited for you and can not wait for it's release!

Madeleine said...

You are living a dream (mine, too)! Don't forget to take a moment and enjoy it a bit more often!

I'm at the stage when I'm thinking, "Boy, I wrote a full-length draft of a novel. Holy. Crow." Hopefully, I'll be having a similar experience to yours someday soon!

Off to read that first chapter and be amazed...

Marybeth Poppins said...

Too completely awesome!!!

Claire Dawn said...

How much do I love Evie's 'tude? Do I really need to say it?

Holy Water!

Is it September yet?

Jessica said...

Saw the lightbox in person at BEA and did a little happy dance for you! So awesome. Congrats!

Mohamed Mughal said...

I'm particularly intrigued with the portion of your post where you say: "I feel like I'm swimming in sentences and images and that Evie and the gang are actual members of my life (I certainly spend more time with them than I do any of my friends)."

I know the feeling. I cried when a character in my novel passed away.

Best wishes with your continued writing!