The Terrible Wonder of Launching a Book (with lots of pictures)

Signing a book for author Fonda Lee and her daughter Photo by Kelly Garrett

Signing a book for author Fonda Lee and her daughter
Photo by Kelly Garrett

I am woefully late in posting this update. I’ve had an Add New Post window open on my laptop for well over a week, but every time I actually went to add said post, I allowed myself to get distracted. I’m finding it hard to explain how great and terrible launching a book is.

The night before Hook’s Revenge was released into the wild,  just after turning out the light, my husband asked, “Are you excited? Tomorrow is the big day!” and I promptly burst into tears. There weren’t words to express how not-excited I was. I was, in a word, overwhelmed.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t all that afraid of how Hook’s Revenge would be received; I was simply exhausted. I was in the midst of a grueling round of edits for Hook’s Revenge: The Pirate Code. I had been experiencing some health problems and was working to sort them out. And I had been ticking item after item off a never ending Back to School list (my book was set to release on the same day my daughter would start a new year at her homeschool co-op).

I explained to a friend that every part of me was stretched thin, that I felt like I was making a peanut butter sandwich with my life, but the peanut butter was almost out and furiously scraping the sides of the jar still wasn’t giving me enough to spread to the edges of the bread.

So I cried. I cried because I felt like the day I had waited my whole life for would be ruined. I cried because I didn’t know if I had enough metaphorical peanut butter in me to make it through the congrats and the parties. I cried because it just felt so big and I didn’t know how else to express it. I cried myself to sleep.

The next morning, I awoke a published author. You know what? Other than the puffy eyes, I didn’t look or feel all that different from the day before. But throughout that day and the days to come, you, dear reader, brought about a change in me. You congratulated me on Facebook and Twitter, via text and email. You sent me pictures of my book in bookstores and in the hands of eager young readers. You filled up all my empty spaces and gave me the energy, the excitement, and the joy I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to find.

Today I’m sharing pictures of my launch parties. Tomorrow I’ll drop back in with pictures from my book tour.

Take a look at my face. That smile is genuine. You put it there. I can’t thank you enough.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day Hook’s Revenge Launch Party at Powell’s Books

Launch at Powell's

Full house! More than 100 people attended my party, many in pirate costume!
Photo by Walt Schulz

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My lovely niece Ashley
Photo by Kelly Garrett

Me and my adorable great-nieces. Photo by Kelly Garrett

Me and my adorable great-nieces
Photo by Kelly Garrett

Author Kiersi Burkhart and her young pirate friend. Photo by Kelly Garrett

Author Kiersi Burkhart and young pirate friend
Photo by Kelly Garrett

Author Susan Hill Long and her daughter
Photo by Kelly Garrett

My husband, Walt, as Mr. Smee Photo by Kelly Garrett

My husband, Walt as Mr. Smee
Photo by Kelly Garrett

My daughter, Hannah, in full pirate dress. Photo by Kelly Garrett

My daughter, Hannah, in full pirate dress 
Photo by Kelly Garrett

Ticktock. Photo by Kelly Garrett

Ticktock
Photo by Kelly Garrett

Pirate Party and Hook’s Revenge Celebration at the Salem Public Library

Salem, OR Launch Party, Heidi Schulz and Landon Springer, Photo by Brittany Springer

Peter Pan and me Photo by Brittany Springer

Launch Party Grog, photo by Heidi Schulz

Walt, Hannah, and I spent a couple Sunday afternoons affixing labels to our “grog.”

Cupcakes and pixie dust, photo by Heidi Schulz

Cupcakes, chocolate gold coins, and Pixie Sticks (pilfered pixie dust). Sorry parents!

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Thank you to my sister, Julie, for so beautifully setting up the food!

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Even my mom dressed up!

Thank you to Powell’s, the Salem Public Library, everyone who attended, and each one of you. You brought the peanut butter!

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Hook’s Revenge Blog Tour Final Stop: Interview at Supernatural Snark

Last stop! Everybody off!

This little blog tour has reached its final destination, but what a special one it is! Drop in on Supernatural Snark for a special interview about Hook’s Revenge with me, John Hendrix—the amazing talent behind the book’s cover and interior illustrations, and Rotem Moscovich—my intrepid editor.

And if you haven’t entered the giveaways from earlier in the week, be sure to click through below and do so. Good luck!

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Friday, 9/12 Reading with ABC, Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway
Monday, 9/15 Paperback Princess, Interview
Tuesday, 9/16 The Irish Banana Review, Glossary of Pirate Words
Wednesday, 9/17 Mundie Moms, Guest Post, DIY Pirate Costumes
Thursday, 9/18 Jenuine Cupcakes, Nubbins’s Hardtack Recipe (Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies with Lime Curd)
Friday, 9/19 Queen Ella Bee Reads, Exclusive Excerpt
Monday, 9/22 Allodoxophobia, My Hook’s Revenge Playlist
Tuesday, 9/23 Kissed by Ink, Exclusive Excerpt
Wednesday, 9/24 Who RU Blog, Build a Fairy Garden Instructions and Giveaway
Friday, 9/26 Supernatural Snark, Interview with me, the illustrator for Hook’s Revenge, and my editor

Thank you for spending this time celebrating with me the release of my first book. If you aren’t quite ready to see my blog tour come to end, never fear, I am beginning my in-person tour next week. If you will be in any of the following cities, come by and say hello (but be forewarned: I might hug you)!

Click the links for details:

10/1 Seattle, Washington
10/3 Salt Lake City, Utah
10/5 Denver, Colorado
10/7 Portland, Oregon
11/14 Boise, Idaho

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In the Middle with Simon P. Clark

Today, we are in the middle with Simon P. Clark, author of Eren, a book I cannot wait to read! (In fact, I just purchased the ebook and hope to read it next week while I travel between tour stops.)

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People are keeping secrets from Oli. His mum has brought him to stay with his aunt and uncle in the countryside, but nobody will tell him why his dad isn’t with them. Where is he? Has something happened? Oli has a hundred questions, but then he finds a secret of his own: he discovers the creature that lives in the attic…

Eren.

Eren is not human.
Eren is hungry for stories.
Eren has been waiting for him.

Sharing his stories with Eren, Oli starts to make sense of what’s happening downstairs with his family. But what if it’s a trap? Soon, Oli must make a choice: learn the truth – or abandon himself to Eren’s world, forever.

Eren is now available for purchase in the UK: Amazon | Waterstones Foyles | Hive (Find your nearest independent bookshop)

The ebook is available now in the US: Kindle | Nook

Or preorder the US version of the hardcover, available June 9, 2015 (retitled Tell the Story to its End for American markets): Amazon

Q&A with Simon

What draws you into writing for a middle grade audience?

I think, in common with a lot of children’s authors, I have very vivid memories of the books and stories I read as a kid. Children read very differently than adults – there’s something wild, something all-in about the way they can get wrapped up in a good tale. When I imagined myself as a writer, isn’t wasn’t necessarily as only a children’s author, but it was always going to encompass that, Maybe I’ll write for adult audiences in the future – if I can dumb things down a bit.

If you had a time machine and could visit middle-grade you, what would you tell him?

Firstly, keep rocking the Thomas the Tank Engine knitted cardigan look – you are totally pulling it off. Actually, I don’t know. I had a good time as a kid – I wouldn’t want a boring adult coming and telling me what to do. Mistakes are important, and they’re a part of any good adventure.

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Choose your own adventure: Is there an interview question you’d love to answer, but haven’t been asked?

Y’know, no one ever asks about the books that didn’t make it – the things I’ve written that will never see the light of day. It’s probably important for people to hear that Eren didn’t just burst from nowhere – it’s the end of a ten year long process. The first book I wrote was a weird Harry Potter-esque portal fantasy about ‘The Moors of Magic’, where all fictional animals are secretly living, and a girl – Adele – who finds out her parents aren’t dead (gasp!) but actually went there. It was … not good. I think my younger sister actually still has a copy. The day will come when she uses it to blackmail me.

And now I think I shall have to find your sister and become her new BFF. Thanks for dropping in today, Simon, and congratulations on your debut!

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Simon P. Clark is a British writer currently working in New Jersey. He likes bread, travel, and books that give you the creeps.
Connect with Simon on simonpclark.com, erentales.com, Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook.

Hook’s Revenge Blog Tour Stop 9: Build a Fairy Garden with WhoRuBlog (plus giveaway!)

Happy Wednesday, friends! As this is the penultimate stop on my blog tour, I felt it was a good time to take a break for thought and reflection. Where better for big thoughts than in a wee little garden?

Join me at WhoRuBlog today for instructions on how to build an adorable little fairy garden and perhaps attract a fairy of your own, just like Jocelyn’s, Meriwether Pennyroyal.

While you are there, enter to win a copy of Hook’s Revenge!

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Friday, 9/12 Reading with ABC, Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway
Monday, 9/15 Paperback Princess, Interview
Tuesday, 9/16 The Irish Banana Review, Glossary of Pirate Words
Wednesday, 9/17 Mundie Moms, Guest Post, DIY Pirate Costumes
Thursday, 9/18 Jenuine Cupcakes, Nubbins’s Hardtack Recipe (Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies with Lime Curd)
Friday, 9/19 Queen Ella Bee Reads, Exclusive Excerpt
Monday, 9/22 Allodoxophobia, My Hook’s Revenge Playlist
Tuesday, 9/23 Kissed by Ink, Exclusive Excerpt
Wednesday, 9/24 Who RU Blog, Build a Fairy Garden Instructions and Giveaway

Upcoming:

Friday, 9/26 Supernatural Snark

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Hook’s Revenge Blog Tour Stop 8: Exclusive Excerpt at Kissed by Ink

Dear Reader,

As we have come to day eight of my Hook’s Revenge blog tour, I felt it prudent to share with you another short excerpt of the book that has brought us together today. You may recall that I began this tale many years ago. It has changed much in the telling; very few segments have remained as they were when I conceived of them. There is one, however, that has stayed largely the same as the day I first penned typed it.

That portion—a letter sent from Captain Hook to his daughter, Jocelyn—is what I wish to share with you today. Do not delay, dear reader, but go directly to Kissed by Ink, and read the missive that charted Jocelyn’s journey.

Swashbucklingly,

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P.S. You may also wish to read this Huffington Post Books interview  wherein I discuss next year’s Hook’s Revenge: The Pirate Code, writing middle grade fiction, and Peter Dinklage.

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Friday, 9/12 Reading with ABC, Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway
Monday, 9/15 Paperback Princess, Interview
Tuesday, 9/16 The Irish Banana Review, Glossary of Pirate Words
Wednesday, 9/17 Mundie Moms, Guest Post, DIY Pirate Costumes
Thursday, 9/18 Jenuine Cupcakes, Nubbins’s Hardtack Recipe (Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies with Lime Curd)
Friday, 9/19 Queen Ella Bee Reads, Exclusive Excerpt
Monday, 9/22 Allodoxophobia, My Hook’s Revenge Playlist
Tuesday, 9/23 Kissed by Ink, Exclusive Excerpt

Upcoming:

Wednesday, 9/24 Who RU Blog
Friday, 9/26 Supernatural Snark

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