My book that came out a month ago was my first and nearly four years in the making. It didn’t take four years to write Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index, but it did take four years to plan, write, revise, get an agent, revise, find a publisher, revise, complete a slew of publishing firsts, revise, and eventually end up in bookstores. Add on a practice book, the study of the craft, and a commitment to reading, and it’s probably been closer to five years since I decided to pursue writing fiction.
So what’s it like to finally be published?
The answer is…
Pretty much the same?
There are a few differences:
1. I’ve started carrying around a Sharpie. Not to be pretentious—because in regular life I sometimes encounter friends, acquaintances, etc. who’ve bought the book and would like it signed.
2. I have fans??? Most days I wake up to some kind of social notifications from readers who enjoyed the book. I don’t know if this will be the norm going forward or if it’s just because Juniper is new, but it’s lovely, moving, and really kind of astounding! I mean, I remember what a big deal it was for me the first time an author I admire even liked one of my tweets (B.J. Novak after a reading). To be on the other end of that is nothing short of magical—and has me paradoxically fangirling over my fans.
3. People who go out with me are suddenly eager to tell strangers what I do for a living and that my first book just came out. Friends and family have always been supportive of my writing, but now that there is physical proof of success out in the world, it is easier to talk about and boy, are your cheerleaders excited to share for you. Even I am more likely to admit to being a writer in public (but still don’t go out of my way to tell people).
It’s like when you eat out with a friend on a birthday and your friend (un)casually lets the waiter know what day it is.
WAITER: Oh, it’s your birthday? Happy birthday!
YOU: Hahaha, thanks. Yep, another year older. Whoop whoop.
FRIEND: IT IS HER BIRTHDAY BRING FORTH THE CAKE AND THE GLORY
There have also been many firsts in the last month. Scroll or click through the gallery to see some of my favorites as well as other highlights from the first month of publication.
Happy book birthday!
May 30th broke my Twitter.
Congrats flowers 🙂
Little sis texting me updates as she read gave me LIFE.
FREE ICE CREAM for my book birthday!
And then big sis found the dedication… >>>
Old Firehouse Books in Colorado tweeted the BEST review on my book birthday >>>
First finished UK copies!!
On Juniper’s UK birthday, June 1st, a reader posted this magnificent photo.
SPOTTED IN DUBLIN >>>
at this historic bookstore, Hodges Figgis
Another friend across the pond bought Juniper for his b-day!
JUNIPER @ POWELL’S
I WROTE THAT
Made this #JuniperIRL Scavenger Hunt for launch.
Launch party! StarB’s even made us free pink drinks ❤
A U D I O B O O K S
One #JuniperIRL prompt was mirror writing. Fun and deceptively tricky!
reader post: a forever book
mirror writing ii
I’M SO EXCITED SOMEBODY KNEW WHAT ACCOUNT I WAS TALKING ABOUT
Spotted at B&N!
reader tweet: Tears, vol. 1
OH HI V.E. SCHWAB
partial fan cast
This alone means everything.
Penguin Platform knows my aesthetic heart ❤
reader tweet: unputdownable
reader tweet: Tears, vol. 2
reader tweet: warning – page turner
HOUSTON WE HAVE A RE-READ
ANOTHER RE-READ AHHHH
reader post: Tears, vol. 3 – now with added lost sleep
mirror writing iii
reading updates from a friend, aka Tears, vol. 4
Juniper’s Polish cover!
What company to appear with!
reader tweet: hooked
Happy UK book birthday!
TOP BOOK out of these 15 this month?? Yow!
The loveliest message from a friend of a friend in college. Another reader up late 🙂
Found THIS on Amazon one morning…
Hahaha, remember that time someone I had writing classes with read my book in one sitting?
Top 10 of 2017 so far
@YAWednesdays is hosting a buddy read of Juniper! Join them any time and hop on Twitter at 5:00pm EST July 26th to chat and Q&A with me!
Publishing your first book is a legitimate reason to treat yourself, right? Say hello to my first ever Ray Baes
I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW JUNIPER WAS GOING TO BE IN AUSTRALIA
And finally: a new author norm.
To those who aren’t published yet but are working towards publication, I say: even if the world does not yet recognize what you are doing, you are Doing it. Write on.