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.
Summer has finally come to NYC and with it, my brain is craving fiction and my body is craving iced coffee. And so, to celebrate summer and receive coffee, I took the Long Island Railroad to Merrick last night, where middle grade author and all-around fab person, Jen Calonita, invited me to speak at the Merrick Library, along with Jenny Han. They have a Summer Beach Bag Book Club – cutest name ever! – and when Jen invited me she said she’d pick me up at the train station with coffee. What coffee do I like?
It’s all starting. A week from today, on Thursday May 28th at noon, I will be signing advance copies of INFINITE IN BETWEEN at Book Expo in NYC. This is my new YA novel. I’ve been working on it for, count them, three years. During those three years, I’ve never wavered in my love for this novel, these characters, and the world I’ve created. It comes out September 1. Continue Reading
It all started with a lunch, veggies burgers at Chat ‘N’ Chew (RIP) down on Union Square. I was meeting my friend, the brilliant author and Scholastic editor, David Levithan. David and I have met for meals around the city many times in the past decade, but this time we were on official business. I’d sent David a bunch of ideas and notes for my first middle grade novel and I wanted him to help me make sense of them.
This is when David slipped me a handwritten piece of paper. At the top it said “Best Friend Next Door.” Under that were bullet points basically outlining how I could turn my ideas and notes into a novel. Continue Reading
With Best Friend Next Door coming out in nineteen days, I’m finally joining the ranks of middle grade author. What could be more exciting? I cut my teeth on middle grade novels. I mean, that’s how I realized that I loved to read.
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.
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