So it’s out.
Three and a half years and thousands of pages later and my new novel, INFINITE IN BETWEEN, is out.
In many ways I’ve been working on this book for more than three and a half years. Maybe ten years? Maybe more? For so long, I’ve been thinking about the five characters who eventually became Gregor, Mia, Whitney, Jake, and Zoe. I’ve been thinking about writing a novel that began at the start of high school and ended at the end. I’ve had scenes and tidbits of dialogue running through my head. And I just had to find the right way to tell it.
Was it easy, writing INFINITE IN BETWEEN? No! Three and a half years is a long time to stick with one novel. I tried writing it in first person. I tried in present tense. I had sad endings and extremely sad endings. I had a sixth main character for a while (RIP). I had many full chapters that I axed. At one point I got so overwhelmed with writing this novel that I actually wrote my first middle grade novel, BEST FRIEND NEXT DOOR, just to have a break from YA for a while.
But here’s the important thing: I never, ever, ever got tired of INFINITE IN BETWEEN. Through all the ups and downs I loved this novel and I always believed it would happen.
INFINITE IN BETWEEN has gotten starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and School Library Journal. And just this past weekend, a teenager read an advance copy and tweeted to me that is the first time in his life that he picked reading over playing Xbox. Total score.
Happy publication to INFINITE IN BETWEEN!
I can’t quite believe that INFINITE IN BETWEEN comes out in less than two weeks! (That’s right! September 1!)In preparation for the pub date – and to celebrate INFINITE’s 3rd starred review (That’s right! Kirkus! PW! School Library Journal!), I went down to Harper this morning and met with my amazing publicist, Rosanne Romanello, to go over plans for the INFINITE IN BETWEEN book tour and other plans for launch.
Despite the fact that I’m not security-camera photogenic and the badge has me looking rather shady, Ro and I had an awesome meeting. And I even got to guzzle an iced coffee, which always has me looking extra happy in photos.
On the way out, Ro was leading through the halls of Harper to the book closet to pick some books for my kids (See?! Isn’t she awesome?) and we ran into the super talented (and super photogenic) Aaron Hartzler, who was there to film footage to promote his new YA, WHAT WE SAW. Enter some great posing – and we even got to exchange advance copies of our books.
And in true happy-ending form, I got to be the mom-hero by returning home with a stack of great books for my boys.
It’s been so fun to send Best Friend Next Door out into the world. Three weeks later, I’m hearing such effusive and encouraging words from coast to coast! Every time I get a note or a text, I’m excited all over again.
Some of my middle grade heroes have gotten in touch…
Lin Oliver, co-author of the Hank Zipper series and a zillion other books wrote and said:
So I stayed up reading your book last night. It’s wonderful. Turns out you have a terrific middle grade voice!!! Great characters, so unobtrusively modern and relevant without feeling the adult presence at all. A fabulous read.
James Howe, author of The Misfits (and my all-time favorite book in second grade, Bunnicula) and another zillion books said:
Just finished Best Friend Next Door. What a sweet friendship story, and what a PERFECT book to put out there for 3rd and 4th grade girls (well, all girls) (well, all girls and boys) with so many wonderful messages about how to be in relationship. I loved not only the relationship of Hannah and Emme (so fabulous), but the relationships of the girls with their parents. The girls were so likable and good and sweet, without being saccharine about it. They were both girls you were rooting for, girls with good parents and good values and good hearts.
And this REALLY got me smiling. A mom of a third grader sent me this shot after her daughter read Best Friend Next Door in two sittings.
Thanks, friends. Keep on reading!
I have a special place in my heart for best friends. That’s one of the reasons I loved writing my soon-to-be-published first middle grade novel, Best Friend Next Door. When I was growing up, my best friend lived three houses down. I moved onto Centennial Avenue when I was nine. When I heard that a girl around my age lived on the corner, I rang her big formal front doorbell. Her older sister Tasha answered and I asked, “Can Stephie come out to play?”
Stephie wasn’t home that day, but I didn’t give up. We played the next day or the next. We didn’t stop playing until the day I tearfully left for Vassar nine years later.
I’m feeling so much excitement and energy as I prepare for the publication of Best Friend Next Door and The Infinite in Between. I’m thrilled for both of these books to hit the world. I can’t wait to get out and read, talk, film, tweet, smile, and spread the word.
But sometimes a girl just needs silence. Continue Reading
Greetings from Ithaca Bakery, in Ithaca, New York. We are up visiting my mom and stepdad, who live in a gorgeous cabin in the woods on the shores of Cayuga Lake. It’s April, but seeing that it’s Ithaca, it’s snowing out. I’m sitting at a table by the window, drinking an Americano with steamed soymilk. They’ve just clued me into the fact that this, my all-time favorite coffee drink, is called a “misto.” How did I not know this before? Continue Reading