“We’ll be shelving your book right here.” One of my co-workers, a children’s librarian, pointed at a spot between Laurie Halse Anderson and Avi. “That must feel surreal.”
Have you ever had a moment when reality smacked you upside the head? Well, that was my moment.
I sold a book: Understood. My book will be in libraries and bookstores: Check. Teens are going to read my book: Got it. Teens are going to read my book: Yes, I got it the first time. No, teens are going to read...my...book.
Okay, Ms. Pettit, I’d like it back now. Please give me my book back. Seriously, if you hand it over right now I’ll return the advance. You don’t understand. It’s not really a book. Authors write books. Me? I totally made it up...and I’m not even a good liar.
Sometimes it feels like everyone's been tricked into believing I’m an author. I love Laurie Halse Anderson and Avi and I know they’re going to be so angry at me for pushing my book between theirs (I don’t think they mind M.T. Anderson squeezing in, though). It feels like this all happened too fast for me to process it correctly. My agent got our first offer on Thirteen Reasons Why the last week in September. Then I had an auction, a revision, a line edit, a copyedit, author photos, a blurb hunt, a proposal for Book 2, and we’re only halfway into February!
I’m already freaking out about what teens will think of the story I totally made up. But in the moments when I'm not nervous, another part of me (where’d it go...I thought I put it right...oh, honey, that’s not trash) is wound up with anticipation, mostly because my manuscript’s been so well taken care of at Razorbill. My editor maintained such an incredibly high level of excitement throughout this project that sometimes I thought she was the author and I was the editor trying to make her book the best it could be. My late-night/early-morning revision sessions were fueled entirely by her pep talks.
So I’m feeling nervous, excited, blessed...and completely scared. If I’m ever at a writing conference or an ALA event and see Laurie Halse Anderson and Avi speed-walking towards me, I’m outta there!