Phew! LOTS has been going on since the last time I popped in over here. The first being that EDGE OF EXTINCTION- CODE NAME FLOOD has been released! (Cue the happy dance, confetti, champagne corks, and glitter.)
I no longer feel the need to apologize for the cliffhanger ending of book one, because now you can finally find out WHAT IS IN LAKE MICHIGAN! Hint-It’s pretty awesome, and the illustration of said thing in Lake Michigan by the one and only Eric Deschamps is even better.
I’ve learned quite a lot in this first year of authoring (post to come on some of those lessons), and the launch of this book was quite a bit different than the launch of book one. For one thing, there actually WAS a launch! Two launches if we are being accurate.
I remember the night before my book came out last year. I had the same feeling I used to have the night before Christmas. I was that excited. And then the day of…not much happened. I did my normal mom routine, and I had friends and family send me pictures of their newly arrived books, and I felt my excitement turn into something more like the pre-race jitters I used to feel before running my leg of the 4×800 in high school-a combination of nerves and the desire to vomit or hide, or do both simultaneously.
Sigh, the joys of running long distance track. Gosh, I miss it.
That night my mom came over and my husband and I went out to eat, a rare thing with a two year old and a two month old at home. Of course, being only two weeks post-baby NOTHING I owned fit right, so I made due with a maxi skirt, which, let’s be honest people, is just a fancy way to wear yoga pants, and we hit up the local Barnes and Noble where I took a picture with my book on the shelf.
And that was it! Book launched! I sat at dinner that night and had a hard time talking with my husband, and it wasn’t just because we were out of practice carrying on full conversations without two small children flailing about in our midst…it was because I’d finally seen my book on the shelf, amongst ALL these other beautiful books, and it was terrifying. How was I going to convince people to spend their hard earned money on a book about dinosaurs of all things? How?
Fast forward to this book’s launch. Totally different ballgame. I had an event scheduled the day the book came out at my local library, and another signing scheduled for that night. I was actually LAUNCHING my book…crazy right?
The first event was at my local library, and it was AMAZING. If I had ten librarians on my side like this girl right here, I’d be on the best sellers list tomorrow.
And I’m not even joking about that.
The entire event was dinosaur themed (of course), and there was everything from a fossil expert with specimens the kids could touch and examine, to exploding dinosaur egg experiments, chiseling dinosaurs out of rock, guessing out much dinosaur poop was in a jar, and a survival hike.
The amazing 4Kids bookstore was on hand to sell books. (PS. If you’d like a SIGNED copy of CODE NAME FLOOD just contact 4Kids! They can ship you a signed and personalized copy!)
I did a short presentation for the kids while they had their “Desert with the Dinos” about some of the behind the scenes stuff that went into creating the covers for book one and two.
Afterwards I had a pretty impressive lineup of kids waiting to get their books signed.
It was AMAZING. And I got exactly ZERO photos of it. #authorfail. Oh well.
The second event was at the Barnes and Noble in Carmel, Indiana, and it was scheduled for six o’clock. I left with plenty of time to get there, and made the snap decision to go five minutes out of my way so I could restock on my go-to dinosaur gummies.
World Market is the ONLY place I’ve found that sells them (unless you want to spend 3x’s the normal amount on Amazon), and I use them for promotional purposes etc. (You can see some of the fun giveaways I put together for the library event below. I had some EDGE OF EXTINCTION T-shirts bundled with the dummies and some dinosaur ring pops!)
Bad choice. I got stuck in a MAJOR traffic jam. I still managed to run (literally run) in and grab every dinosaur gummy they had in stock and made it to Barnes and Noble ten minutes early. I’m usually a half hour early to signings, so I FELT late, even though I truly wasn’t. I was met at the door by one of my favorite store managers and escorted to the kid’s section at the back of the store, where a LINE OF PEOPLE WAS WAITING.
TEN MINUTES EARLY.
I about choked. This was a first. I was so flustered I didn’t even take the time to pull out my dinosaurs. I just sat down and started signing. SO COOL.
And again, ZERO pictures of said line. But I promise it was there.
So the book is launched, and to be honest, I wasn’t even really mentally prepared for it.
Because….drum roll please…..HarperCollins just signed me for two more books in 2018 and 2019. Go find that confetti and glitter again! No big deal if you can’t find it, I’ll happy dance and throw glitter for the both of us.
I can’t offer many details yet, but I can say that the next two books AREN’T more Edge of Extinction books. (Right now that series stands at just the two books. Never say never though…I’d love to write a few more books about Sky, Shawn and Todd!) Never fear though, if you liked EDGE, I’m pretty sure you’ll like this one too!
In order to make 2018 happen my amazing editor and I have been hustling to get edits done and off to copy editing before May 30, which you may recall was also the launch date for book two. Things have been busy in the best possible way.
Meanwhile my episode of The Read Aloud Revival went live! (You should just keep that glitter at hand come to think of it…)
Listening to it was equal parts exciting and terrifying. I’m still pinching myself that I had such an amazing opportunity, and I grin like an idiot every time I have my cup of coffee out of one of their amazing mugs.
If you’d like to listen to me talk about how to engage reluctant readers you can check it out here.
I was also featured in my town’s weekly newspaper. I got the cover! And… I look like a goober.
This is how my life usually works. Ha! I had an awesome time taking pictures for the story, and the very last shot the photographer took was the one that made the cover. She said, “Hey, pretend the dinosaur is kissing you!” So, because I follow directions to a fault, I did. When I got home I mentioned it to my husband, who said, “You did what?!” I shrugged, and reassured him that she took tons of other pictures, and I doubted that she’d use that one. Well, I was wrong.
When I mentioned the general dorkiness of the picture to a friend she said, and I quote. “It’s fine! Authors are supposed to be quirky.” Well, I nailed it then!
I was also featured in a pretty awesome interview and book review by the one and only Middle Grade Ninja.
You may remember that I wrote a guest post for the blog last year. Well, I am now lucky enough to be in a writing critique group with the GRAND NINJA HIMSELF!
Life is funny that way. It turns out that he lives not far from me, and had I known that all those years I stalked his blog for agent interviews…well, let’s just say I would have found a way to introduce myself.
And last but not least, I was also interviewed over at Brock Eastman’s website. His questions are always some of my favorites, and he has been a HUGE supporter of the EDGE series from almost day one! (Have you read his books yet?! SO good.)
Sick of listening to me talk about books yet? I don’t blame you. I’m kind of sick of listening to me. But before I sign off, I wanted to thank ALL of you who have supported me on this author adventure. The last year has been a whirlwind of wonderful, and it wouldn’t have been possible without you guys. Thank you for reading my books, for talking about them to your friends, for reviewing them on Amazon and Goodreads, for showing up to book signings and for letting your child buy my book when I visited their school. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Signing off for now.