I’ve been notified by my editor that the American Booksellers Associaion, by virtue of its committee’s reading of SO SHELLY, has chosen me as one of its “New Voices in YA.” I’ve always believed that Shelly has something unique to offer the YA community, but I also knew that its uniqueness might also be a hindrance as it searched for an audience. However, I kept the faith that, more-often-than-not, if a work of art is truly deserving, it will find its audience and be recognized. I absolutely trust the marketplace of ideas and artistic taste. Hopefully, the “New Voices” recognition will inspire additional bookstores to fully stock Shelly, international publishers to show greater interest, and, most importantly, more readers to give her a whirl and those, who have already read Shelly, to read it again.
The news couldn’t have come at a better time. These past few months have been a struggle as I’ve worked on finishing a second novel. I’ve actually completed and set aside one novel in order to write another which, I think, shows greater promise for successful publication. There have been many, many moments in which I haven’t felt much like a writer at all. This recognition, if nothing else, reaffirms that at least on one occasion, I was a writer.
I would be more than remiss if I didn’t thank my agent, Katherine Boyle of Veritas Literary Agency, and my editor at Random House/Delacorte, Michelle Poploff. Without their vision and talents, this award would never have been earned. When the complete list is announce on August 25th, I’ll provide a link to the ABA website.