Monday, July 16, 2012

ENDLESSLY Complicated

(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.



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.


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.


SarahJ said...

Beautiful. So excited to hear the end to Evie's story abd to read your upcoming stories!

You are such an inspiration to me. Thank you for showing me that you can be a mother and pursue a writing career at the same time.

ashley said...

I know I flail about you all the time on twitter to you. Hint: LETS FLAME HIGH FIVE! But I am so excited for you and happy for you and glad you wrote Paranormalcy because I can't recommend it enough and I can't flail about you enough. Plus, when I met you this past January even though you had talked to me online and have figured out I'm a weirdo. But you're okay with it. And that's awesome.

So basically I'm thrilled for you if you can't tell.

Sheepa said...

That was the sweetest post ever!!!! Worry not, we will all treasure Evie like the mad Evie-loving people we are!

Mundie Moms said...

You bleeping rock!! Evie's story is one of my favorites and ENDLESSLY ROCKS!!

E.B. Black said...

It's okay. Your readers are as "crazy" as you are.

Whenever I read about a character I love and get to the end of the series, I get upset because I miss the characters and although I know I can read their books again, it just won't be the same. Sometimes I get depressed for an hour or two afterwards even and I always have to hide it from people because it seems too ridiculous

Lynne Matson said...


This post made me teary. Congrats on wrapping up a KILLER series. So bittersweet. :)

I'll be rooting for you next week! Evie rocks.

Natalie Whipple said...

Thanks for making me cry! Punk. I miss Evie already, but you've made some cool—and sometimes insane— friends in "college." Can't wait for people to meet them too!

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Just finished reread of Paranormalcy, will start Supernaturally Wed, as a lead in to Endlessly . . .

Stepper the Mighty said...


To think! I used to live practically next door to you and had no idea you were a writer.

I was so excited when I heard about Paranormalcy winning the Whitney - and being a NY Times bestseller! I was like, Hey! I know her!

So I picked it up.

And couldn't put it down.

Frankly, I'm jealous that you created such a lovely and compelling character, and a true page-turner of a story. But Oh! How I enjoyed it!

And THEN I learned that the next one is available for purchase, and the third is nearly here!

Can you die from glee?

So now I have to wait for my new debit card to arrive (stupid identity theft) before I can order the second book.

Incidentally, while I'm waiting, I've picked up my copy of linger to finally read. Crazy that you know Maggie Stiefvater.

Anyway - rambling comment short: loved the book. Very well done, you.

Stepper the Mighty said...

(PS - thanks ever so much for not making the kissing LAME)

Laurence King said...

Great post, Kiersten! And congratulations on all you've done...I am so looking forward to read what comes next :)

Ivy Hawthorn said...

Beautifully written! I'm excited for Endlessly's release and am bummed I don't live anywhere close to the west coast!

Kiersten White said...

I just want to hug ALL OF YOU.

Also, Stepper, are you sure I'm the Kiersten White you know? Because...well, Stepper isn't a very common name, and your picture also doesn't ring any bells. Kiersten White, however, is a surprisingly common name. I just took all the URLs and twitter accounts for myself, because I am selfish like that.

Kristin Aragon said...

I'm going to tell you, this post made me tear up a little. I can't imagine knowing you are finished with Evie's story but the great thing is, she still lives on our book shelves and in our hearts, because of you!

Thank you so much. And I look forward to reading anything and everything else you write.

Whirlochre said...

I've accidentally burned many family breakfasts "not forgetting the kissing".

My Sausage Claim Form is in the post...

Stephanie Perkins said...

Like Natalie, I got teary reading this, too!

You and Evie are so, so loved.