Okay, those weren’t their exact words…but I’m really good at reading into things.
I first met Ellen Hopkins at the 2007 SCBWI national conference (a couple months before my book came out). I introduced myself while getting her to sign my copy of Crank, and she said she’d already heard really good things about my book. Seriously, that made me almost collapse. Then, soon after my book came out, I somehow found myself sitting on a panel with her during a bookstore gig. Hearing her talk to the audience about her philosophy on writing, I became a huge fan of hers. I mean, I was already a fan of her books, but I gained a deep respect for her as an author. Her take on dealing with difficult subjects and presenting the story honestly made me feel like I had a kindred spirit in the world of authors. And I thought she might like my book if she ever read it.
When Robin and I crashed the Big Sur writing conference, where Ms. Hopkins was on the faculty, I had the chance to listen in on her discussing my book with other faculty members. She hadn’t finished the book yet, but had definite opinions on what she’d read so far, and it was extremely positive.
But then…I didn't hear from her. And authors are constantly letting each other know when we like a book.
Being an overly sensitive guy, I assumed that meant she hated the rest of the book and was afraid to tell me so. Eventually, I crossed my fingers and e-mailed her, asking if she’d be willing to give me a blurb for the paperback. But I closed my e-mail with something like: Of course, if you hated my book, there’s no need to respond.
And she returned my e-mail with this:
Every once in awhile you come across a book that you can't get out of your mind, one you have to rush back to if you must put it down for some reason. Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why is one of those books, and is at the very top of my personal "Must-Read" list.At that, I uncrossed my fingers!
Ellen Hopkins, author of NY Times bestsellers, Crank, Burned, Impulse and Glass