Two days ago, I went to sleep with a book forthcoming, and woke up the next morning with a book out in the world. It’s surreal.
Of course, these lines are blurry: people had already read advance review copies, and a few even had hardcovers we’d sent out for press coverage; bookstores had copies ready and waiting in tidy shipments; libraries too, or so I assume. I’d been writing and revising this book for several years, but suddenly it was actual. For everyone. Not just me.
So I got on a plane and flew to Los Angeles, where the jacaranda trees are blooming, and the June gloom is hanging heavy in the mornings (thank god; it’s 106 in Tucson), and I ate sticky rice and fancy little petit fours with one of my very best friends in the world, and today I will read at Book Soup with Edan, and we will celebrate my 9th wedding anniversary, even though Dave had to work, so he’s not here. (Last time I remember missing our anniversary, I was in Singapore, and my dear friend Rachel and I went to a jazz bar; on the way, we had to walk through an enormous underpass, and because we hadn’t been in Singapore very long we got a little nervous. But unlike the sketchy Chicago underpasses I have known, this one was clean and brightly lit and full of teenagers practicing for a dance team—they were pretty much holding an extremely wholesome dance-off—and it was beautiful and we laughed.)
So forgive me if I boast about a few of the things I’m really proud of right now, having written this book and sometimes cried about it, and being here now, eating room service in my pajamas; I promise that very soon I will be back to talking about my dog (who is, of course, featured in this week’s comic, because what could be more soothing to a person whose brain feels like sloshing gelatin than to draw the little animal they love best in the world?).
- INVITATION TO A BONFIRE is an Indie Next Pick (yes, I cried) and also an Amazon Top Ten book for June!
- If you don’t have a copy yet, but you want to check the book out now, you can read an exclusive excerpt at Shondaland (AND SHONDA RHIMES TWEETED IT HERSELF, NBD NBD NBD)
- I already linked to this, but OPRAH!!!!
- Book Page published a fabulous review on publication morning
- As did Lit Hub!
- I love libraries with all my heart and soul, so seeing Library Journal recommend my book for the week was very exciting!
And ok, ok, I’m sorry, just a couple more things, because I actually made these ones with my human hands, and I’m proud of them:
- An essay about Vladimir Nabokov and letting your relationship to your heroes evolve, at Electric Lit
- An interview with Erika Swyler (which was SO MUCH FUN) at The Millions
- An interview with Catherine Nichols (ALSO VERY FUN) at The Rumpus
- An essay about my horse, and the dangers of having a childhood dream come true, at The Tin House Open Bar
- And finally (yes yes yes finally), because I’ve always wanted to do one of these, a playlist of songs related to INVITATION TO A BONFIRE over at Largehearted Boy.
Now I think it’s time to drink my coffee.