So guess what? Tonight I get to meet a group of my fellow 2015 debut authors face-to-face for the first time! This weekend is the NY Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conference, and while I'm not attending the conference itself, many writers I've gotten to know online over the past few months will be there. And, because I'm lucky enough to live in NYC, it's the perfect excuse to meet authors who live elsewhere but who are sharing this crazy debut publishing experience with me! There seem to be about 15 of us meeting up tonight, so it should be a good time. Lots of talking about books, books, books, I'm sure—the perfect evening for a writer. I'll try to grab some group photos, so that when everyone's books come out in a year, I can point at the pictures and say, see, I know him/her!
But this meetup isn't the only fun writing-related event that I've gotten to attend recently. Last night, my Write Night friend Rebecca Behrens held a launch party for her debut, WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE, at Books of Wonder in Manhattan. (I wrote about Rebecca's book HERE.) It was so fun to hear Rebecca read from the book, to get her to sign my shiny new beautiful hardback copy, and to envision doing something similar for my own book in a year or so. It was also awesome to see my Write Night crew out of our usual Panera/Cosi context, and to catch up with a few other authors I know, and to meet ones I hadn't met yet. An all-around great evening!
So what's next for me and my book and such? I've just about finished my copyedits on THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND, which means the text will go into design pretty soon! Meanwhile, my agent has the opening chapters of my potential next project, and I'm waiting with bated breath for her response.
What the past few weeks of wonderful writer community (I'm including last week's reading under this umbrella) have reminded me is that while writing can feel pretty solitary sometimes, when you do get out into the world, there is a great group of people out there who are in the boat with you. Waiting for feedback, pushing through a first draft, battling tough revisions, anxiously waiting for the publisher's side of the process (cover designs, release dates, etc.)—we've all been there, or will be there, or are currently living in it, and the fact that we aren't alone makes the good parts better and the frustrating parts not quite as bad. That's a remarkable thing.