I am happy today. Content, even.
That's weird, guys.
Past book releases have been filled with nervous, panicked, frantic energy. I didn't know what to do with myself. Today, I am playing with my baby. Enjoying the sunshine. Working on some editing.
I think part of that is because this is book number seven. (SEVEN.) One can only be an anxious wreck so many times before one gets tired of it. But I think it's mostly to do with the fact that I am so ridiculously proud to be a part of this book. And just that--I'm only a part of this book. It's not mine. It's ours, Jim Di Bartolo and me. The whole process was different. Working with a partner was an incredible, energizing experience, and I do believe that what we created is bigger than the sum of its parts. (Well, if you've seen Jim's biceps, admired by librarians around the world, you might disagree with me on the book being bigger than those.)
Along with that, I want you (yes, you) to experience the book. Because it is a book to be experienced--the combination of art and words, the way in which the two storylines dance around each other, the satisfaction of a mystery lived and solved at the end--is unlike anything else in the YA market right now. And Jim's art (his glorious, glorious art!) is on a whole new level. You can see a bit of the process here to understand just how much work went into this book:
I still remember the first piece of art he sent me--stunning, bright, beautiful, but also layered and atmospheric. I wanted my writing to be the same. I think you'll be surprised by it. I hope you'll love it.
Along with that, I've been teasing photos of some of the covers hand-painted by Jim:
Well, one of you.
Here is what you can do to enter to win this one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
Step one: Buy IN THE SHADOWS.
Step two: Take a photo of the book. Be as creative or wacky or boring as you want.
Step three: Post that photo somewhere online (Twitter! Tumblr! Facebook! Blog! Instagram!) with the phrase, "I got lost IN THE SHADOWS."
Step four: Email me the link to your post at firstname.lastname@example.org. (If your accounts are private, which I totally understand, you can email me a screenshot of the page instead.)
Step five: Do all this by May 20th.
Step six: Wait and see if you win the random drawing of all the entries!
(Please note: I will be posting many of the pictures I receive, so be aware of things like giving away your location, including your children, etc. Safety first!)
And that's that! I hope you enjoy the book as much as Jim and I enjoyed creating it for you.