19 February 2018

Finding joy amid the grief

Hello friends and readers. I’ve been away from the blog for a while, and before I jump back into my usual bookish news, I thought I’d let you know what's been going on. It’s not a happy story, I’m afraid. 

My husband, Rich, passed away suddenly at the end of November. We had been happily married for 21 years, dated for three years before we got married, and were friends for ten years before that. It has been hard to imagine life without him, and to in fact be living it. He was such a huge presence—full of life and love and energy. He was so eagerly looking forward to what was ahead for our family, in his work and my writing, everything that our children, Sebastian and Anna, would do in their lives, and everything we would do together. His obituary was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write (which I only managed with help from my friend Betsy). It made me realize how fortunate I was to have had him in my life, and for our children to have had him as their father. I think he would’ve been surprised to see how much he’d accomplished in his short life, and how well he was loved. We miss him terribly, but we are trying our best to keep doing what made us happy, what made him proud, and what he would’ve loved doing with us.

I'm finding joy in my children... my son Sebastian is a musician (vocal and guitar) and he continues to perform and audition for colleges and share his music. My daughter is a dancer, and has immersed herself in that art, both performing and doing choreography. 

I’m finding joy in the books of friends... seeing my critique partner Joy McCullough’s historical novel in verse, BLOOD WATER PAINT, approach its release date with rave reviews is a source of considerable happiness. I am uplifted by all the bookish good news of so many friends. 

I’m finding joy in seeing my own books make their way in the world. HOW TO DISAPPEAR is featured in Scholastic Book Fairs this season, and many of those readers are finding their way to the special Instagram I set up for the main character, Vicurious. It's been lovely to connect with them. The book has also been translated into Polish, Italian and French so far... and it's fun to see readers sharing pictures of the foreign covers. 

Many wonderful friends from the YA community have reached out to me, to share their condolences and offer help, and I'm so grateful for that. I do feel surrounded by love and support. It's a tremendous help. 

I hope to be writing again soon. I had started working on a new book before Rich died, and that story is changing a bit, but I'm excited to dive back into it. I know who it will be dedicated to, and that motivates me. 

Thank you all for being here. You are a source of joy for me, and I'm grateful to have you.