Call me crazy, but the last few weeks before the September release of my picture book, DECK THE WALLS (Sleeping Bear Press) remind me of the long-anticipated wait for the birth of our daughter–without the “beached whale” feeling. (Thank goodness!) So, in honor of Labor Day–yes, I realize it’s not a celebration of THAT kind of labor—I’m launching a new blog topic:
What To Expect When You’re Expecting–a book!
Here’s the Dealey: Every Thursday for the next few months, authors–aka book-Moms and book-Dads, both new “parents” and veterans–will stop by and share their thoughts on the publication process: from conception worries (and misconceptions), to “sonogram” glimpses of illustrations and/or copy-edits, to what to expect after the book is “born.”
Today I’m thrilled to welcome two fabulous authors who have due dates in September, like me.
First up is:
Sue Fliess has a new book on the way, A GLUTEN-FREE BIRTHDAY FOR ME! (Albert Whitman/Sept. 1st),
and a 3 week-old Little Golden Book, ROBOTS, ROBOTS, EVERYWHERE! which came out on August 6th! Check out her fun book trailer here!
Sue’s taking a few deep breaths these days as well, and who can blame her? “The third trimester of a book birth for me is always the most anxiety-inducing,” she admits. “And that says a lot coming from a woman who had preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome—two major complications—during childbirth!”
Her book, A GLUTEN-FREE BIRTHDAY FOR ME!, in bookstores September 1st, is no different. Sue’s book-Mom stress actually kicked into high gear when she was given the news that her Robots book and her Gluten-Free book were going to be releasing within 3 weeks of each other.
“Talk about disparate topics to make things even more interesting!” Sue says. “You try pulling off a gluten-free robot birthday event. I’ve spent the last two months setting up bookstore appearances, lining up blog opportunities such as this one, creating and revealing book trailers (Check out Sue’s Gluten-Free Birthday...trailer here.), sending out social media birth ‘announcements’, researching and reaching out to Celiac disease and gluten intolerance sites, gluten-free bloggers, bakeries, and touching base with schools—because now it’s school visit time—on top of everything else!”
How is she handling all of this?
“I’m not freaking out. Really. I am already exhausted and the heavy lifting has yet to begin. But in spite of all that, I absolutely cannot wait for the book’s birthday—to get it out into the world.”
Lucky for Sue, the WAIT is almost over. Only THREE MORE DAYS until we can all celebrate the blissful BookDay of A Gluten-Free Birthday for Me! If you’re on Twitter, send Sue Happy BookDay wishes on Sept. 1st at @SueFliess and break out the gluten-free bubblegum cigars! Woo-hoo!
Debut author Jody Casella , on the other hand, has a tad bit longer to wait.
In the meantime, let me just brag that the reviews of Jody’s YA THIN SPACE have been glowing:
“A creepy supernatural chiller sets up a gut-punch of desolation and loss…Brutal and brilliant.” –Kirkus starred review
“A spooky story of the highest order… atmospheric and chilling.” –School Library Journal
“Casella debuts with a moving story about a grieving teen whose search for closure is driven by the potential for, instead of the presence of, the supernatural.” –Publisher’s Weekly
Jody will tell you, however, that way back in 2005 (Let’s call this her “conception” stage.), writing felt like taking a huge emotional risk. Check out the full story on her own blog at On the Verge, — but I think this excerpt might resonate with book-Moms and book-Dads-to-be everywhere:
“The hardest thing was the first night [at a Highlights retreat] when our small group made our introductions. Simply saying I wanted to be a writer almost made me start crying. For all of my supposed pursuing of a dream, I hadn’t said these words out loud to anyone in years.”
Jody says a lot has changed since 2005, but here’s what’s the same: “I still feel anxious about what I do. I still have so much to learn about craft and technique and voice and language. I still enjoy connecting with other writers and hearing about their stories and their journeys.”
As for the WAIT: “I’ve been writing away on my next project and trying not think about the fact that the culmination of what’s basically been a two-decade journey to publication, THIN SPACE, will be ON THE BOOKSTORE SHELVES in 12 days!!!! ” Help Jody get through this next phase by following her on Twitter: @jodcase and be sure to wish her a Happy BookDay on Sept. 10th!
Congratulations to both Sue and Jody!
As for me and my holiday picture book, DECK THE WALLS ????
My “due date” was moved from Sept. 1st to “approximately Sept. 10 or 11th…”
Stay tuned next week for news about this baby–plus a visit from the Princess of Awesome, Alethea Kontis (HERO is due in October!) on being your own “midwife,” and the fabulous Holly Schindler (The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky–due Feb. 2014 ) on the “conception” of a book–Negative results (rejections) and POSITIVE.