Image by Bart van Damme via FlickrI'm throwing a party, and you and your kids are invited! Coming up this Saturday, September 25th: Writopia's first Open Mic event in Northern Westchester. (Indeed, Northern Westchester's first Open Mic event!) It will be emcee'd by me at the Borders bookstore in Mt. Kisco at 5PM. All of my students from over the summer will be reading, as will hopefully, other kids and teens from the community.
I am both excited and nervous - as with any party I throw, I worry if people are going to come! I think this excitement and anxiety translates to the publication of EDGES too. It takes nerve to throw a party, and it certainly takes nerve to write a book. Backbone. My heart and soul - in varying degrees - are in both of them.
And I'm feeling a bit bitter about Borders not stocking my book. And the fact that I haven't been able to reach any of my peeps in the publishing industry. My head goes straight to - they don't like me anymore because the chains don't want me. Yes folks, I have been known to - once in a while - succumb to stinkin' thinkin'.
And it's crazy - I don't need to hover on the edge of despair. I have made it this far - through getting an agent, a publisher, the editing process, getting an audio deal - there are so many people who believe in and are behind EDGES. It's not a commercial book, but my hope is that it will slowly rise to the top, and that I will be among the ranks of Laurie Halse Anderson, Jay Asher, and Ellen Hopkins. Is this hubris, vanity, delusion to dream big? (Who am I not to dream big, and have hopes?)
Speaking of these three authors, September 25th also happens to be the first day of Banned Books Week. Censorship is a hot topic with me, as it was with my grandmother, who stirred up controversy with A Wrinkle in Time (ridiculous, I know). I think about it a lot with the kids/teens I work with, and one of the reasons I love Writopia so much is that we are allowed to write whatever we want. Many kids want to explore dark material, and aren't "allowed" in school, and I am no different. I am interested in the human psyche and the healing of what's broken.
Books for me are love letters to the soul. It takes nerve indeed!