The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Yow, did not realize until yesterday that this is ALA time. Writer friends mentioned BBYA, but I didn't think about the Printz announcements till that was mentioned, too. The reason is that I have a very vivid mental image associated with BBYA, from the only time I sat in on it. It was in San Antonio years ago, and the horror of seeing books discussed so casually--some only got a word here or there ("Eh, it was okay."), no comments at all sometimes, and sometimes the covers were discussed rather than the books (!)--was like being punched in the gut with a lead balloon, to mix metaphors. I can still see the room in my head, and the feeling of walking out into the open air of the Riverwalk, sick to my stomach. I guess that was with my first book (whose discussion I was not present for, hooray!), so maybe it wouldn't be so bad now. Maybe it wouldn't bother me at all. But once you get sick from eating something, like, say, macaroni salad, you are very reluctant to ever taste it again.

So anyway, I was thinking about BBYA, and didn't realize the P. announcements were today, and therefore the winners had likely gotten their phone calls yesterday morning. When I did, I was like, Whoa, what a big change from a year ago. A year ago, that was me! And this year I'm cleaning the gerbil cage, with nothing on my mind but what I'm going to work on WIP-wise today.

I cannot believe how lucky I was. I was at a writer-type thing this past year, and one of the students said something, I forget what, along the lines of "Well, that award was confirmation that your book really was a cut above." But no, it wasn't. Repossessed was dead, until that committee brought it out into the light. Repo got no stars, no buzz, and from the straw vote I saw, it wasn't even going to get on BBYA until the P. honor forced it on.* By the luck of the draw, that book came out in a year when the committee members happened to be people who appreciated it, rather than any of the masses of other people who couldn't have cared less. All those masses of other people had other books in mind that would have been "a cut above." The lesson here is that the inherent value of a book is a whole different ball of wax from notice/acclaim.

I wonder if I only get one miracle in my lifetime. If so, that was definitely it. In the nature of writers everywhere, though, I sure would like another one.

And now, off to WIP.

*In deference to my publisher, I won't even discuss sales.

Blog Archive