Dear Minnie, Rabbit, Alice, Natalie, Fisher, Hastings, Jill, and yes, even Viola,
One year ago today, you were officially loosed upon the world. For twelve months, you've been running around the Bellweather and the world, riding up and down in elevators, disappearing, plotting, detecting, behaving badly and slightly less badly, and more than anything, making music--and readers have been listening, and singing along.
I am so grateful and humbled and proud of the reception you've received. You were optioned! You won a 2015 Alex Award, which I look forward to celebrating in San Francisco at the ALA convention in June! You were read, and you lived in the minds of people I have never met, and probably never will. That is the weirdest, most magical thing about being a writer: knowing that people and places and stories that first existed inside my brain have now traveled into the brains of others.
But you didn't travel on your own. You made it into those other minds through the combined effort of many extraordinary people: my agent Bonnie Nadell, my editor Andrea Schulz and the crew at HMH--Naomi Gibbs, Michelle Bonanno, Liz Anderson, Chrissy Kurpeski and Patrick Barry (who won an award for the design of BR at the New England bookshow!)--who made the book exist, and the booksellers and librarians and reviewers and readers, my friends and family and students and coworkers who spread the word. Thank you, all, always.
And me? This has been a year of change: I moved! I'm closer to family, and closer to the life I dreamed of and needed. I wrote a third book--a messy, distracted third book that I've put in a drawer for now, a warm dark place where I know it will grow into other, richer books. And I've started a fourth book. It's glowing brighter in my brain every day, just like you did, five years ago.
Writing and publishing is a long game. I've lived with you for half a decade, even though the world has only known you for a tenth of one. Where do you go from here? I don't know. But I do know you're on your way.
Happy first birthday, Bellweather!
P.S., a few notes:
- Bellweather Rhapsody will be out in paperback on June 2!
- I'll be at the Barnes & Noble in Easton, PA on Wednesday May 20 for Local Author Night. Come on out and say hi, to me and two dozen other local writers--and get your hands on the paperback of Bellweather before anyone else!
- I'll be meandering around NYC and BEA on Thursday and Friday, May 28 and 29--so if you see someone who looks like me there? Yup. It's me.