We Have a Hardcover!

My paperback advanced reader copies of A Misfortune of Lake Monsters arrived on election day last fall, and it killed me that I had to be at the polls all day, denied access to the box o’ books–and so I was thrilled that my hardcovers (my contract stipulates I receive a certain number of them) arrived a few days BEFORE Pennsylvania’s primary election. It’s nice seeing my name not just on a book, but on a hardcover version with a nice jacket, etc. I’ve had a short story included in a hardcover anthology a few years back, but this is the first time I’ve had a hardcover all to myself.

Publishing is weird. I’m not just talking about seeking publication, but more of publishing as a thing. As a field, I guess. I started submitting my short stories and writing toward publication about 15 or 16 years ago. My first novel–The Trajectory of Dreams–came out in 2013, and I shifted gears toward the young adult market (at least for novel-writing). I love writing YA because my own experience as a teen was kind of hideous, and I write the types of things that would have spoken to me at that age. You can see a lot of that in Lake Monsters–the friend trio I had at the time that made life bearable, the weight of expectations, the challenges of growing up in a rural area, the barriers to getting the future I wanted. There are a few young adult manuscripts I’ve written over the years that I still stand behind, and I’d like to see them find a home. All that said, I’ve been chasing publication of a young adult novel for a really long time, and getting what I want doesn’t quite feel like I thought it would. I’m not unhappy–I mean, I’m thrilled! There’s a lot about the process and the game, so to speak, that isn’t fulfilling and joyful. I think sometimes about Kondo-ing my life, and what that looks like in terms of publishing and my writing. Then I think that maybe this is an emotional time, and I shouldn’t make any real decisions. I have time for that later, once Lake Monsters comes out. I argue with myself constantly about what I want, what will make me happy, what I want to write–but it’s true: I don’t need to decide anything right now.

Writers go through stuff like this–existential crises and yips and all that. Anyone who says they don’t is probably lying. A colleague told me it would maybe feel anticlimactic once my book cover was revealed, a feeling I managed to avoid. Maybe I just delayed it? Whatever the case, being only around two months away from publication day for Lake Monsters is giving me all sorts of feelings, mostly excitement to see the book find its audience, and hope that I’ll figure it all out.

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