(Anecdote: Yesterday at Comic-Con I was signing next to the lovely Maggie Stiefvater. When they brought over a stack of ENDLESSLY for me to sign, she looked at all the spines and said, "That many ENDLESSLYs in a row is kind of tripping me out." Me, too.)
So, ENDLESSLY comes out a week from tomorrow. People keep asking me if I'm excited and I honestly don't know how to respond.
On the one hand, yes! SUPER EXCITED. I am so proud of this book. It's exactly what I wanted it to be, the ending to Evie's story, the book I'd been waiting to write since I started the series in 2009 on a challenge from Natalie Whipple. I sat in the middle of my bed and dreamed up a blond girl with a sparkly pink Taser and a serious distaste for vampire theatrics.
I'm not exaggerating when I say discovering Evie's voice changed my life.
Working on PARANORMALCY deepened my then-new friendship with Stephanie Perkins, who taught me how to self-edit and really gave me the final push I needed to be publishable. It wasn't the book I got my agent Michelle Wolfson with, but it was the book that cemented our relationship, proved to me that she was the right agent for my entire career. And, obviously, it was the book that sold.
It was the book that took me from writer to author. It was the book that brought my editor, Erica Sussman, into my life (a development that would improve any life, anywhere, because Erica is simply that delightful).
This series basically represents a lifetime of dreams made reality, and then that reality surpassing my dreams and building a phenomenal foundation for the rest of my professional life. The success of these books has afforded me a great deal of freedom as a writer and a person, and I have nothing but extreme, deep gratitude for everyone who has supported me along the way--from my publisher, HarperTeen, to bookstores, to family and friends, to individuals who bought the books. Especially those last ones.
(Right now some lovely person or blog is running a contest to win ENDLESSLY, and in the tweet that people are required to post in order to enter, my name is spelled wrong. So every hour more tweets about how my book is a summer must-read pop up in my twitter feed, all with my name messed up. It's hilarious and humbling and I find it really adorable.)
So with all this gratitude and excitement is a pinch of sorrow (for flavoring, naturally, though I prefer salt myself). I can't open up ENDLESSLY without getting teary. Because it's over. This series, at least. I'll never write in Evie's voice again, and I miss her like you miss that best friend you grew up with and then moved away from. You can still see each other, still speak, but it will never be like it was when you stayed up late, whispering secrets, laughing, crying, discovering the world and yourselves together. Because the relationship as it was--magical, intense, occasionally maddening--is done.
OH MY GOSH IT'S OFFICIAL I'VE LOST MY MIND. I AM TALKING ABOUT A BOOK SERIES AND A FICTIONAL CHARACTER.
I'm so freaking proud of this book. One of the reasons I write young adult is I love telling stories about that confusing but amazing time between childhood and adulthood, that time when your decisions really start mattering, when you start building the structure you will live in for the rest of your life. And...I took Evie to the end of that time, and set her on the path for her adulthood. There is heartbreak. There is loss. There is destruction. But there's also clear-eyed hope for the future, responsibility for decisions made, and kissing.
WE CANNOT FORGET THE KISSING.
Plus unicorns and dragons. So, you know, best book ever.
I promise the rest of the posts leading up to ENDLESSLY's release next Tuesday will be all perk. This pinch of sorrow is mine, but Evie? She's anyone's. Everyone's. Whoever opens up her and listens to her voice, travels her story from start to finish.
And that is a small miracle of nothing but the sweetest flavor.