On the eve of my debut YA novel, Lies Beneath (Random House/Delacorte), launching itself into the world, I am, as my mother would say, “completely and utterly discombobulated.” I don’t know what day of the week it is; I forgot to pick up my kids; I stored the milk in the pantry.
It’s like driving in my car, arriving at my destination, then looking around and realizing I have no memory of how I got there. All the scrapped drafts and bitter tears are gone, leaving behind a certain surprise at finding myself where I never dreamed I’d be. It is a humbling place, which begs not only the question of how did I get here, but when will the black-suited man show up at my door to tell me there’s been some mistake?
Don’t get me wrong. There was certainly a lot of hard work and a lot of thankless hours at the computer. But there were also many, many strokes of dumb luck along the way. Any one of these small opportunities could have easily escaped my notice, or shrugged its shoulders and taken a completely different path, leaving me with yet another manuscript collecting dust under my bed. And that’s the message I want to share. [Read more…]