As my Debut Year comes to a close-- January 2013, GLORY BE will be one year old-- I'm reflecting on what I've learned so far. And how much I have to be thankful for.
Before Glory hit the shelves, I worried about its reception.
But a very wise person gave me good advice. Like it doesn't matter what reviewers say. It's the kids you are writing for. Your book will still be on library shelves and in readers' hands long after the review has yellowed on the page.
I think the most amazing thing about having a book out in the world isn't how many books you sell or when the reviewers say nice things about you.
Okay, that's pretty great, too.
But my favorite part of the year was when young readers, librarians, even somebody who hasn't read a Middle Grade novel since she finished Little Women back in her own childhood, stopped by a signing or a talk to say how much my book meant to them or their students.
This is Eliza. She came with her mom to my Children's Museum event in Jackson. Her mom told me about the difficulty her neighborhood friend was having in school. And how much my book helped Eliza understand the history of the 1960s.
I also loved hearing from a teacher I'd met at Anderson's AMAZING Literature Breakfast in Illinois. She shared that she was reading Glory Be aloud to her grandmother and some of her grandmother's friends. In the dining room of their assisted living facility.
See, stories like that make all that hard work totally worth while. And make this first year truly memorable. I am a very thankful person this season!
I'm inspired by my fellow debutantes. Caroline Starr Rose has written eloquently about what she's learned and what she hopes to remember. Click on her name to read her blog.
For a little more about the very beginning of my journey, if you missed that and if you care,
or Here (launch party recap)