Sunday, February 8, 2015

I've Been Silent, but Not Still

A lot happened this past week. I've been relatively quiet on the blog and on social media, but I've had tons to say. Now that I'm a little less overwhelmed, it's time for an update:


Yes! I went to ALA Midwinter and had a great time grabbing ARCs, trudging through snow, and meeting editors, Fearless Fifteeners, and other librarian folk. I got to hang out with some Egmont people, including my former editor, Jordan Hamessley, who I'm thrilled to say landed a new job with Adaptive Studios.

There were a lot of nice people with encouraging words about my current situation -- Sara Grochowski from the Hiding Spot, Ilene Wong (I.W. Gregorio), and Fonda Lee. Ilene and Fonda shared a wonderful panel with Sabaa Tahir, Adam Silvera, and Nicola Yoon.

I made several connections with marketers and editors who ended up interested in I AM DRUMS, adding to the huge list of people who've shown an interest in publishing it. Things are looking up.


Despite all the awesomeness, Tuesday ended up being pretty terrible. It was my wife's birthday, and as sweet as it was to call her from school so my entire fourth grade class could serenade her with the Happy Birthday song, I ended up working almost all night (so did she), and we put off celebrating until later in the week. That was totally unfair, and bad husbanding on numerous levels.

Something else happened. For the first time, the news that I AM DRUMS was orphaned actually hit me. I knew it before then, for sure, but Tuesday was the first day I realized that as bright as things look, it is entirely possible for it to fall into a black hole and never make it onto shelves. I hadn't really let myself believe that in the days prior.


I ran a spelling bee at my school. After months of prepping the kids, forty students competed to be the spelling bee champion, and it all went great. I'm currently dealing with the red tape registering our champion for the county bee, but whatever. I had fun, and the end result was worth all the stress of taking it over in the first place.


As bad as the blues are hitting me lately, it's important to remember that A LOT of editors have come through for me, asking for either second looks at I AM DRUMS if they had seen it previously, or even asking for it out of the blue.

I truly believed that I AM DRUMS was living in a vacuum up until now. I didn't think anyone knew it existed other than my family, agent, and editor. It turns out there are people in the publishing industry already talking about it, even though it wasn't slated for release until fall, and now no longer has a release date at all.

That's kind of crazy, and a nice wake-up call for me and all my silly writing worries.


I just might have a short story almost ready to go. It was originally an idea for a picture book, but it's looking like I might have a nice little work of flash fiction (or a little beyond flash) worth shopping around to some literary magazines.

That's all. Until next time...


  1. Wow. I hope I am Drums gets picked up. I think it will. You just have to wait for the right stars to align. I really think it will happen, Mike!

    1. Thanks Ron! Things are definitely moving in the right direction.

  2. Hoping for the best for you. Totally understand the roller coaster of emotion that ALA Midwinter must have been for you, too, though it was probably even more intense than it was for me. My debut book was an Egmont Spring 2016 title, and I'd been invited to speak on a panel at ALA about debut authors, so that was... interesting. It has been amazing to see the outpouring of love and support. Hope that leads to a new home for your book, and as speedy as possible. I keep telling myself this will all feel better with some distance, but man, distance takes time, and time seems to have slooooowed since that morning at the end of January when we got the call that changed everything we'd been planning for the past 6--18 months.

  3. I wish I had some brilliant words of wisdom, but nothing can take away that empty feeling right now. The good part is that you only go up from here. Big hugs to you. I cannot wait to read I AM DRUMS, wherever it lands. Everything for a reason...

  4. Your wife's birthday was wonderful because of you, silly. :)