Monday, December 29, 2014

My Spastic and Poorly Organized Looking Back at 2014 Post

You want to know what's crazy? Me and my year. Or is that "My year and I"? Whatever.

I've had a certifiably insane year. So much so that it's time for a list:

Crazy Things That Have Happened to Me:

1) I sold a book.

2) I got a really cool editor (because I have a really cool agent who knew how to sell it).

3) I took awesome trips to New York, Michigan, and Iowa.

4) I finished LIFE IN BOOLEAN VARIABLES and started two other books of drastically different themes and tones. Maybe they'll have a race to see which finishes first?

5) I taught fourth grade for my second year after previously teaching fifth. I'm starting to feel the ground beneath my feet. I'm sure it will disappear again soon.

6) I ate a whole lot of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I'm serious. We're talking epic amounts. My wife is thoroughly grossed out.

7) I got ARCs of I AM DRUMS in the mail. Read about how that went here.

8) People are actually reading the ARCs and that is flat out insane to think about.

9) I worked really hard at being a good father. I failed most of the time, but remain proud of the times I succeeded.

10) I had the privilege of... wait, I kind of forgot what this one was going to be.

Anyway, that's my looking back post for 2014. It's not very organized. There are others out there that are much better, but it's honest and it's wonderful to me.

2015 is going to be insane. I'm thoroughly excited and worried, but I'll save that for another post when I have my wits about me.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Funny Reactions to Book Deal News

One of the fun things you get to do when you sell your debut novel is deliver the news to friends and family. It's big news to share, so reactions are understandably extreme. Most often this is a positive thing, but you do end up getting a few reactions that swing the other direction, and they can be pretty entertaining.
Below are some of those reactions, posted for entertainment purposes only. They haven't all happened to me, but I know they do all happen, and are best met with good humor.
1) The Supportive Opportunist:
"I'm so happy you're publishing a book! I can't wait for you to give me seven-hundred free copies!"
2) Disappointed:
"What do you mean it's not out for another year and a half?! Why can't you release it sooner?"
3) Condescending:
"Oh, you wrote that kind of book? I was hoping you'd written something legitimate."
4) Relieved:
"Whew! It's so great to hear you succeeded at something. I was always worried you'd end up in jail."
5) Skeptical:
"Are you sure Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a real publisher? Lots of people are out to rip you off, you know."
6) The Marketing Guru:
"If I were you, I'd get on the Today Show and Oprah's reading list. Why haven't you done that yet?"
7) Unimpressed:
"So what if you got a book deal? Anyone can publish a book nowadays."
8) Me, Too:
"I've always felt I have one good book in me. Maybe I should finally write it. I mean, if you can do it..."
9) Impractical:
"I guess you'll be quitting your day job now, what with that huge advance!"
10) Full of Bad Suggestions:
"Your next book should be about a talking animal that's dead the entire time and wakes up at the end to find out it was all just a dream!"

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Finally.... the I AM DRUMS cover reveal!

It's official. It's set in stone. And I can totally share it with you!

It's the cover for I AM DRUMS, and the wonderful people at Kid Literati are hosting by cover reveal this morning, along with a chance to win a signed ARC!

Check out the cover and enter the giveaway:

A huge thanks to Kid Literati!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How my ARCs showed up at my apartment

The only person more tired than Dad this week is Son. So it is no surprise on Monday, December 1st, when Dad arrives at Son's daycare to find him still asleep in his cot. Son sees Dad and smiles, because he is happy to see him, but pulls covers over his head, determined not to leave until his beauty rest is complete.

Dad gets Son out of his cot and holds him in the air while he puts on his coat, hat, and gloves. Son digs his head into Dad's shoulder and falls back to sleep.

They both head home, listening to music, because Son is a musical child in every way possible.

They arrive at their building, but Son refuses to walk. He is tired, and Dad is tired, but like paper beats rock Son's tiredness beats Dad's. Dad carries Son up to the building, his face smushed into his coat.

Dad sees something inside the common area. Right under the mail slots.

It is a box.

It's a cube, actually, and very heavy. It has dad's name on it, but dad doesn't recognize the return address. Mom has probably purchased something, and since it's addressed to Dad it might be a present he's not supposed to open, lest he sleep on the couch for the rest of the holiday season.

So with one hand holding his heavy three-year-old who should be able to walk himself up the stairs, and the other hand holding a package that is rapidly ripping his bicep in half, Dad trudges up the stairs, angry that Mom has bought him something so heavy.

I mean, it's not like he needs anything that big. Mom should get herself something nice instead -- preferably something light.

Son wakes up just as they enter the apartment. Dad sighs and sets Son and box (oops, I mean cube) on the living room floor. Son runs in circles until Mom gets home. Dad ignores box, because he is angry at it for being heavy and he has to stop Son from destroying their apartment.

Mom gets home and says, "What's that?"

Dad says, "It's something you ordered for me, isn't it?"

"I didn't order anything. Especially not something for you!" (She didn't really say this last part because she is nice, but isn't it a funny line?)

"Whatever it is, I'll look at it later. We have dinner to prepare and a little guy to entertain."

Dad, Mom, and Son eat dinner. They tell each other about their day and laugh a lot. Boy gets into lots of trouble, because he's three and that's what three-year-old people do.

After dinner, while cleaning up, Mom notices two things: "We are out of pull-ups, and that box is from New York. I think you need to open it."

As Dad is opening the box, it dons on him what is inside before he even sees the cover of his book plastered over ARC copies. This is the first time he has seen it in physical form, typeset and beautiful.

"Whoa," Dad says, because he is channeling Bill and Ted. "This is really cool, but we still need pull-ups."

Dad gets back in the car with Son, which is much easier this time because Son is willing to walk. Together, they go to the store and get pull-ups, but the entire time Dad is thinking about the box of books. He has waited a long time to see them. It is a very wonderful moment, and totally worth lugging them up the stairs with a heavy dude in his arms.

Dad gets home and sleeps with one of the books under his pillow, because he really is that weird sometimes.