Thursday, June 5, 2014


WHEW. I made it. I survived Debut Novel Release Day.

PUSH GIRL's birthday was an amazing but exhausting day for me, so to recap you on how it went, I thought I would share SEVEN TRUTHS ABOUT MY BOOK RELEASE DAY.

Truth 1: I was more nervous the night before the book came out than I can remember ever being for anything
I'd been having upsetting anxiety dreams in the days leading up to launch, which is normal for me. (OMG, the back to school dreams I get are terrifying) But nothing prepared me for the nerves that hit on the night before. Acting on stage, public speaking, running a marathon, public dancing, karaoke...NOTHING has made me this nervous before. NOTHING. I seriously felt like I was one second from crying and/or throwing up at any given moment, and it stayed that way all night. It was as if I would wake up in the morning and NOTHING IN MY LIFE WOULD BE THE SAME. But that was ridiculous, because everything was exactly the same.
I painted my nails to match the book cover
Truth 2: There was more social media than I could handle
There were a lot of tweets, you guys. A LOT. And I've been on facebook more in the past three days than I was in the past three years combined. And all those guest blog posts I've been writing over the past month pretty much went live at the same time. It was awesome, but it was way overwhelming. Like standing in the middle of a room and having an entire crowd of people shouting at you at the same time. It was really, really cool, but it was really, really overwhelming and I think I spent too much time replying to people online and not enough time present in the moment and enjoying myself.

Truth 3: I don't think I would have been happy either way when it came to my day job
A lot of advice from other debut authors said to take off from the day job no matter what. But it's not that easy for a teacher, especially during the last full week of school. And it's not like something was going to HAPPEN (see above) aside from me tweeting at people all day (see above again), so I went to work. But I had a rough day with the students, I could only get online on my breaks, and it all stressed me out...and no one wants to be stressed on launch day! But taking off would have been a lot of trouble (sub plans, kids going wild), and I think I would have thought halfway through the day, "I should have just gone in."

I think I just needed the day job to not exist on that day. Note to self: don't release next book so close to the end of the school year.

Truth 4: People surprised me
I was truly amazed at the people who reached out to congratulate and support me! People I haven't spoken to in a long time shared the news about my book, and seemed genuinely excited for me, and that means a lot. It was one of those Sally Field moments.

Then, flowers arrived for me in my classroom from my dear friend Smash! Smash (her name is Ashley, but we call her Smash) and I have never met in person, but we chat online and text and I consider her a wonderful friend. These flowers were so sweet and thoughtful and they absolutely made my day!
Beautiful flowers from my beautiful Smash!
I had so many wonderful surprises from people I know and love. It made me feel so special.

Truth 5: It was an awesome day, but shit still happened
In the midst of my release day fun, I got the terrible news that a friend of mine passed away. While I was having one of the best days of my life, her amazing husband lost his wife and her two daughters lost their mom; this will always be remembered as their worst day.

On a day that's all about everyone telling you how great you are and shouting your name and signing your praises, it's easy to forget that life is going on for other people. And it's not always as good for them as it is for you. It's a special day, but it's still just a day.

Truth 6: Not everything went as planned
The one big thing I wanted to do was go into a bookstore and see my book there on the shelf! Well, my only local bookstore is Barnes & Noble, and, apparently, their shipment of my book has been delayed. Everywhere. So, I didn't get to have that release day moment I had been dreaming of. (And neither did my mom.) I didn't get to have it on the day after release day, either. Let's hope that moment will happen for me today...otherwise I'm going to get pretty sad.

It's your day! Do what you want! I got a yummy vanilla coffee on the way to work, and, after popping some bubbly, had a delicious meal at Umami Burger. Because not everything went as planned (see above), the bakery I was planning to get dessert at was closed, so I improvised with donuts and ice cream from 7-11. I think the official word is that calories don't count on your book birthday. That's what I'm telling myself, anyway.

Thank you all for celebrating my book birthday with me! And for getting the book and being so excited about it! You guys are all the best. <333


  1. YES to Truth #2! That's why for my next book, I probably will take that day off from work--I felt like a crazy person trying to juggle actual work and the delightful explosion of tweets and Facebook notifications.
    I hope Truth #6 happens today! I never realized until this year how loosely most "pub dates" are adhered to.
    Congrats, and keep celebrating!

  2. I can't even imagine how overwhelming release day must be, especially for a debut. I'm glad you got the chance to celebrate a bit, even if you didn't get to see your book on a shelf. I hope B&N gets it in today, too, because I put my copy on hold at my local B&N and want to be able to pick it up! Congrats again!

    I'm so very sorry to hear about your friend.

  3. <3 Friend.

    I just sent a blast email out to my coworkers to pick up the book! Like soon! :-) To say I'm happy for you and proud of you wouldn't be the best way to describe how I feel. I'm elated, tearfully joyful and tremendously honored to have witnessed even a glimpse of your journey. I often wished I could have been by your side actively and loudly supporting you but I bet that might have been distracting to your creative process.

    "Working hard in silence and let success make the noise." In the years I've known you and in the thousands upon thousands of words I've read written by you, it makes me tremendously happy for you to see your name on your book and reading again the words you've put together to make a great story with Chelsie Hill. Congratulations again, my friend. I can never ever describe in words how truly, madly, deeply and utterly happy I am for your success.