I hope you’re doing okay. I hope your families and friends are safe and healthy, and that you’re making it through this bizarre and painful period as painlessly as possible. Lydia had the virus, we assume — she had cold symptoms for over a week, fatigue, lost her taste and smell — but so far I’ve remained asymptomatic. We both still have our jobs, and a perfect dog. We’re lucky.
As some of you might already know (and thank you if you’ve already put up with my promo on other channels), I had a book come out mid-pandemic. It’s called Girl Crushed, and it’s my young adult debut. It’s also my first hardcover. Lots of books come out paperback only, including my first four, and sometimes that’s better because they’re more affordable from the jump. But there’s still prestige in hardcover, an actual and metaphorical weight. I worked really hard on this book, and having it out in hardcover feels like a recognition that it’s important. Not important, like, current-world-crisis-important, but important to me, and hopefully to the people who read it. I wanted to write a book about gay teenagers who are out when the book starts and feel fine about it throughout. I also wanted to write about what happens when expectations and plans fall apart — this part, and the plot line about struggling small business, feels more apt than I expected it to.
I wouldn’t blame you if you’re having a hard time reading right now — I certainly was, until my hold on Writers & Lovers by Lily King came in on Libby, and I read it over a few days when I could manage to break from the news. Only certain types of books will work for me right now, and I would love if Girl Crushed were that type of book for you. It’s happy and sad at the same time. There are restaurants and coffee shops and shows and even a dance party. It’s funny, too.
The best option, if you have it, would be to order a copy from your local indie bookstore, provided they’re still fulfilling online orders/delivering. If you can’t do that, buying from Bookshop.org is a great (new) way to support indie bookstores broadly. They need it, especially now. You can also click the image below to buy. :)
Last fall I started working on my next book, but for all of March and most of April, I couldn’t work on it. It felt pointless, and I was too depressed to really try. But after I regained the focus to read, I regained the urge to write. Every other day (sometimes multiple times within a day) I feel impotent, embarrassed to be doing so little of real use during this time. But before I get to that part of the day, before 7:00 am, I am once again able to do the thing I most love doing. Just 500 words a day. Or something like that — I’ve been handwriting this new book, for whatever reason. (Another great thing to buy from your local bookstore: a new notebook and pen.) Every morning I wake up telling myself to just get through today. Every night I go to bed saying thank you for as many things as I can remember before falling asleep.
So yeah: thank you.