The other day Tony and I were talking about a woman he used to know who reminded him of Lorelei Gilmore (from the show Gilmore Girls). He described this woman as both looking a little like Lorelei and possessing her same breezy optimism.
“I wish I had breezy optimism,” I said.” You know, instead of…debilitating fear.”
We both burst out laughing. If you’ve ever thought much about humor, you know that juxtaposing two starkly contrasting ideas can be funny. So can being unexpectedly blunt—especially when what you’re saying is absolutely true.
A couple of months ago, a new squirrel came around. He was a bit larger than some of the teen squirrels we had darting about our yard. He moved more slowly too. Then, I saw why. There was something wrong with his left, front paw. It hung there, bent and limp, as he hobbled across the grass.
I immediately extrapolated his life out about three months when there would be a foot of snow on the ground and weeks at a time of subzero temperatures. Minnesota winters are not kind to anyone, much less a squirrel with special needs. I wanted to help him. But what could I do? If I put out food for him, the other squirrels would get it first. I couldn’t bring him inside because of my cats. (And because my mom told me that it’s not a great idea to keep wild animals as pets.) So, I stared outside, knowing that life was only going to get harder for this little guy.
Meet Lester! He’s a smart, funny ten-year-old kid with big ideas and an even bigger heart. And in the summer of 2017, he’ll be coming to a bookstore near you.
I first met Lester about a year and a half ago, which feels weird to say because at that point, I’d been writing his story for over six years. But until that snowy January morning when I received the initial cover art, I hadn’t ever really seen his face.
A few weeks ago, I received the galley of Superstar, my first novel. (A galley is basically a bunch of printed pages that show what a book will look like between the covers. It means the book is almost done. It also means that this would be my final opportunity to make changes to the text.)
“You got something from your publisher,” Tony said when he brought in the mail that evening. “And it’s really thick. Think it’s the ARC?”
I knew it couldn’t be the Advanced Reader Copy. Not yet. There were still galley pages to review.
Oh crap. It’s the galley.