Post first appeared on Uncommon YA, 1/15/14.
Hollywood has not come calling. I have not been mobbed on the street by eager readers. I have yet to churn out—in the words of Publishers Weekly—my next “solidly woven … well-executed plot.” Hopefully, this doesn’t mean I’m no longer a “name to watch” (Thanks, PW!); just that watchers will need a little patience. So those are the disappointments of THE NAMESAKE’s year in print. Rather minor, eh? And clearly tied to unrealistic expectations (on my part, not those of Publishers Weekly).
THE NAMESAKE follows Evan Galloway’s exploration of his family’s past as he attempts to solve the puzzle of his father’s suicide. While the secrets he uncovers are as dark as a Death Eater’s cloak, THE NAMESAKE is clearly no HARRY POTTER. Dang, if I’d only added wands! So I guess that explains Hollywood’s reticence, chuckle. And a throng of readers would probably be frightening for someone who’s fairly shy at the core.
But seriously, the path to publication was long, filled with arduous work, multiple wrong turns, and plenty of frustrations. So I guess I made the (admittedly foolish) assumption that once THE NAMESAKE was actually released, all would be smooth sailing and accolades. I’ve learned a lot. About writing. About publishing. About accolades (and critical disses). And about myself. Minor disappointments aside, it’s been one amazing year.
Some highlights include:
Walking into several bookstores and libraries to find a novel that started out as an idea in my head on a shelf in front of me. Never gets old!
Having an It’s a Wonderful Life experience at my book launch on January 18, 2013. People from every stage of my life came out to support me. Truly amazing and humbling!
Making appearances at several libraries and bookstore events. Whether running a writing workshop or having the honor to sit on a panel of authors, it’s always special to talk about my writing with readers and fellow writers.
Doing interviews and guest blogs on sites like Jean Book Nerd and Dear Teen Me to promote the book and having the opportunity to correspond with folks around the globe who have been touched by Evan’s story.
Each of these opportunities has been a gift, so my first year in print has actually been like a solid twelve months of Christmases and birthdays. As for the disappointments, those are small potatoes in the face of all the joys of this experience. Besides, those Hollywood folks might just be taking their time.
And as THE NAMESAKE’s official birthday nears, I’d like to thank a few people for making this year a truly special one. To my agent, Victoria Marini, and my editor, Jackie Mitchard (and everyone at Merit Press), I’m so grateful for your guidance and faith in a rookie author with a challenging story to tell. To my friends and family, especially my wonderful wife, Janet, a million thanks for support and belief. To my Uncommon YA friends, thank you for making the writing and promotion process far less solitary. And finally, to my readers—past, current and future—I can’t thank you enough for embracing THE NAMESAKE. Hang in there; I’m hard at work on the next one! It’s a YA about a girl named Teddi Alder, her boozy mother, two guys with potential, and of course, some dark, twisty secrets. Stay tuned!
Publishers Weekly praised my novel as “an introspective debut.”
Kirkus Reviews called the book “a memorable, disturbing story, carefully wrought.”
Book blogger, The Subtle Chronicler, said, “The characters were all perfectly laid out. I was able to connect with each and every one of them.”
Book Blogger, Dayla F.M. at Book Addict 24/7 chose THE NAMESAKE as one of her top ten reads of the year, calling the book “heartbreakingly real.”
Leave a comment here by noon on Wednesday, 1/22/14–Evan’s birthday–for a chance to win some NAMESAKE swag (swag to be determined)!