And let me tell you, I'm pretty dang stoked about that. If the Blue Fairy herself had come down and asked what I wanted in a publisher, Solaris would be it. (Granted, that is likewise true of my agent, Jennie Goloboy - really not sure how I got so lucky twice in a row, but I will take it!)
Anyway, I understand that tradition calls for a .gif-laden recounting of the epic tale. I've never been very good at those (though I can heartily endorse Jamie Wyman, Annie Neugebauer, and Nathan Bransford for all your animated publishing-saga needs.) Still, I was out for the weekly post-session carouse with my workshop peeps tonight, and this about sums it up:
|IHOP Funny Face Pancake: the emoticon you can eat.|
With that said, I would like to put some more words here. I'll try to make them relevant.
See, it just so happened that while this whole thing was going down, I was in the Pacific Northwest to attend the PNWA and Willamette writers conferences (highly recommended!) I also have family in both Seattle and Portland, so I set aside some extra days to catch up with the clan.
And guys, I just can't tell you what it's like to get some of your life's best news while surrounded by 12 or 15 of your nearest and dearest. My mom and aunt squealed in perfect high-school-girl synchronicity when I first read them the letter from my publisher. Cousins were called. Phones were passed. And every time we added a new person into the fold of what eventually became a giant impromptu family reunion at my grandma's house, the whole story had to be told again from the beginning, peppered with dramatic e-mail readings and supplemented with exciting new tidbits about cover design or contract clauses. Shoot, we even had an expedition to the local big awesome indie bookstore to track down Solaris books. (Verdict from mom and auntie: VERY good covers.)
I have never felt so little, or so loved.
"Well, of course you do," you might reasonably say. "It's a big freakin' deal!"
And it is!
But here's what you have to know about my family. We are a tribe of Addamses and Weasleys and Incredibles. We are teachers and judges and Harvard grads, athletes and veterans, GIS specialists and mathematicians and actuarial super-geniuses whose jobs I barely understand. Hell, my baby sister - the kid I relentlessly harassed from the back seat of the family minivan! - is already a kung fu national champion who dual-wields bachelor's degrees and dismembers dead giraffes at the Dallas Zoo while she works on her vet school application. It's like our gene pool is equal parts mutagen, antimatter, and Diet Coke.
The same is true of my posse at the DFW Writers Workshop. It is, like, a veritable Justice League of literary superosity. We've got Rosemary Clement and A. Lee Martinez, Jenny Martin, Russell C. Connor, Pamela Skjolsvik and Kirk von der Heydt and a whole cadre of phenomenal writers who are getting ready to burst on the scene like so many juicy talent-swollen authorial zits. (You might not be able to see 'em yet, but you can feel them coming in!) I wish I could convey how much these folks have done for me over the past year and a half, or how loud and heartily they clapped for me tonight.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is, people see me as having done this amazing awesome super-impressive thing, and objectively, it is. But I'll tell you this right now: I have spent my life surrounded by love and encouragement and about eight dozen models of hard work and jaw-dropping talent, and there is VERY little of this particular victory that doesn't belong to someone else too.
This does not make me sad.
On the contrary, I am delighted to add my little star to the great Thompson-Mayhugh constellation, and to hang my cape and mask next to the others on the workshop wall, and I absolutely can't wait to show you guys what all the fuss has been for. Stay tuned for One Night in Sixes, coming in August 2014 to a bookstore near you!
And in the meantime, here's to my two phenomenal families - the one I inherited, and the one I found. I couldn't have done it without you.
All we need to strive to be is part of the Apple family.