Thursday, June 21, 2007

How Low Can You Go? -- Jay

The last nine months have felt like that 45-degree climb at the beginning of a rollercoaster. Things were click-click-clicking higher and higher. The book sale. The cover art. Foreign sales. The audiobook.

Everything was so exciting...and the book wasn’t even out yet! I could hardly wait for the actual ride to begin.

But now? Limbo-land.

Other than the people who received my galleys (and our fabulous Disco Mermaid supporters!), no one will know about Thirteen Reasons Why until October. After working on the book for almost four years, it’s come down to four months of limbo. And it is the most insanely agonizing waiting game I’ve ever played. I would love a call from Razorbill saying, “You know, we’d like to go ahead and release your book this weekend. Are you okay with that?”

So to pass the time (because that ain’t gonna happen)—and to fulfill my contract—I’m working on Book 2.

They say you never forget how to ride a bike. But did you know it’s entirely possible to forget how to write a book? At least, it feels that way sometimes. A different story with different characters means a whole new set of problems. Who knew?

A handful of people have read the basic outline for Book 2, but only a few actual pages have been read by anyone…until now. On Wednesday, I sent the first 54 pages to my editor. So far, in this whole process, she’s been like my own private cheerleader. But now she’s putting on her coach’s whistle and pulling out her clipboard.

And as I wait to hear back…it’s back to Limbo-land.

- Jay


TadMack said...

This IS the hard part.
I honestly am so neurotic I try to work on three things at a time so I never have that blank time, but oy - you know the limbo-land is there.

May as well put on some music and dance to it.

Colorado Writer said...

So what you are saying is that the WAITING is never, ever going to be over?

Good gracious!

And here I was just trying to hang on until August for SCBWI LA!

heidi said...

Yeah. And the other weird thing is with all the book covers being out for so long as people's icons etc. I forget that a book hasn't debuted yet! WICKED LOVELY JUST came out and I've been looking at that gorgeous cover for months, same w/ INTO THE WILD--but don't worry, October will come soon enough and then you'll be back on the coaster again riding full speed ahead. After all the buzzing excitement though, quiet time is unsettling--Good luck w/ book 2.

Rilla said...

I'm with Colorado Writer...had some vague notion that once you'd gotten to where you are, Jay, the waiting would be over. Well, that's it then, the wait is over...I refuse to define my life by the wait instead of the journey...
Can't wait to see your antics in LA or read your book in October...wait, what did I just say? Urghh.

Rilla said...

Oops, Jay, I forgot. Since you're just waiting around, and you're so good with MeMe's, I'm giving you another shot at a WeWe. I tagged Eve with the First Memory Meme and I am tagging you and Robin as well. It is very simple. All you have to do is dig deep into old memories and pull out the one you think is the oldest (no one's checking for accuracy) and write a blog post on it.
The meme was started by LindaBudz, thank you Linda.
My contribution is:Stuck in Memory Lane
Another response is:Scribbly Katia
and I have tagged Heidi and Natalie. as well. What can I say, ya'll feel like family now...cyber family that is.
Can't wait to see what ya'll come up with...there it is again, that ugly little word...WAIT!

Laini Taylor said...

Oh, I know, I KNOW. And my book actually came out TODAY, and to be perfectly honest, it's still kind of like limbo -- my favorite bookstore hasn't even gotten it in yet!!! And as for the second book, yeah, I thought I'd finally figured out how to do this, write a book. But um, this is a different book, and it's just as hard!!!

Disco Mermaids said...

Listen up! I've got an assignment for everyone. Head on over to Laini's blog right now! Not only does her post act like the perfect bookend to my post, but it's the best example of what I love about children's lit bloggers. It offers insight, excitement...and reality.

Need help getting there? Now you have no excuse.

- Jay

Brenda Ferber said...

Welcome to the club. The second book is just as hard as the first. I'm still hoping that maybe the third book will be the easy one! Although someone once told me that each book teaches you something new.
You have to let yourself write really bad stuff for a while, which is what first drafts always are.
Good luck!

LindaBudz said...

So that puts you at the top of the coaster, waiting to go down? Then try to relax and enjoy the view, Jay! Let the "limbo" time free your mind up for the creativity your book needs!

And yea, Laini!!

literaticat said...

hey j-bird.

I thought I had a card from BEA, but I can't find it. Maybe that was my imagination. So what's your email? Better yet, email me, would you?

not your mother's book club
jlaughran at

heidi said...

laini's site is awesome--it's so colorful! thanks for the tag rilla--oh and guys, my novel is going to an acquisition meeting!! yay!!

cynjay said...

Jay - don't think of this period as limbo, think of it as your last chance to go incognito. The last few months of not being mobbed at conferences, not being recognized in the supermarket checkout line, of still being able to go out and pick up the newspaper in your ratty old bathrobe because the popperazzi aren't yet waiting outside your driveway.

Relax and enjoy.

HipWriterMama said...

If you need to procrastinate while you organize your ideas, you can think of some of your favorite posts and share them on my blog via Mr. Linky. Thanks!

cynjay said...

Okay, so I just checked the spelling and it's paperazzi. Why isn't there spell check on comments?

nina nelson said...

So Jay, this has nothing to do with your post, but since you don't have a webpage and I couldn't find you anywhere else, I have to post my little anecdote here.

When I saw you won the Smartwriter's WIN contest, (I placed third that year in the MG category) I thought your book was titled "Bakers Dozen: The Autobiography of Anita Baker"--as in the singer Anita Baker. Yeah, can you tell I tend to speed read and graze over things? And I thought, Well that doesn't make sense, he's a caucasian male and Anita Baker is an African American female, but I didn't think too hard on it b/c I just had a baby and really, nothing was making sense at that time.

Flash forward a couple years to when I finally see your cover and think..."THAT doesn't look like Anita Baker." Yeah. Duh.

Anyway, I was on the 2K7 website this morning (I'm a 2K8'er) and seeing your cover reminded me of my original mistake and I thought I'd share for a laugh.

Anyway, love the cover, love the new title and can't wait to read the book, even if it doesn't come out until October--oh, look, I just connected it to your post. How clever of me :).

Nina Nelson

Disco Mermaids said...

Funniest comment of the year goes to...Nina!!!

- Jay

(Nice to meet another SmartWriters W.I.N.ner and 2k#er.)