Thursday, April 11, 2013

the one about the dream come true.

“Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy-tales again.” 
– CS Lewis



Today’s the day I finally get to share some exciting news with you. 

For me, this news is approximately the size of a wishing star. (So, my apologies in advance for the absurd amount of !!!!’s.) 

Here’s the announcement from Publishers Weekly (!!!!!). And here's a wee-little screenshot: 


Here's the summary: I wrote a novel. And it will be published by Scholastic in 2014!!!! 


I’ve known about this for several months now, which officially makes this one of the longest and most FUN secrets I’ve ever kept. 

I couldn’t wait to tell you. 

Just typing it all up like this ... is about to kickstart the waterworks all over again. In the words of my beloved Avett Brothers, “My hands they shake ... my head it spins.” 

I’m over the moon about working with Scholastic. Scholastic (!!!!) is the happy home of some of my favorite heroes in all of Lit World. One of my earliest book memories is going to B.Dalton in the Knoxville mall with my parents, and zooming toward the candy-colored aisle of Babysitters Club books. Scholastic Book Fairs were the highlight of my school year (bake sales were a close second ...) Those books made me a reader for life. I can't believe my story will have a Scholastic tattoo on its spine. 

I can't wait to tell you more about the book in the coming months, but here are the essentials I want to tell you first, bullet-point style:

- This wouldn’t have happened without my agent, Suzie Townsend. The hype over Suzie is legit; she’s the best. She’s smart and encouraging so fun to work with. Almost exactly one year ago today (April 13th!), I got an email from Suzie containing these words: “I absolutely love this...” ... And I nearly hyperventilated. Seriously though, I’m so grateful she believed in my story, and in me. All the people at New Leaf are fantastic. 

- This wouldn't have happened without the sweetest bunch of friends ever. My writer-peeps, Sarah Wylie and Jenny B. Jones, read this story in its early stages and encouraged me to query that beast.* (*Not their exact words) My non-writer friends, bless them, frequently drag me out of The Cave of Solitude for concerts, fresh air, and cupcakes. I love them dearly. 


-This wouldn’t have happened without my family. My brother and sister give my heart a safe place to crash, whenever I'm feeling discouraged. My niece and nephew remind me the world is full of magic, even when I can’t see it. My dad is my biggest cheerleader. And my amazing, long-suffering mom has read every single revision of this novel. And she still cracks up at the funny parts. (When I got the news, I was on a roadtrip with mom. It couldn’t have been a more perfect day.) 


I’m grateful for them, and I’m grateful for you. This book will be totally different from anything I’ve done before, and I can’t wait to share it with you. 

A Snicker of Magic started, really started, when I left an Avett Brothers concert and said, “That felt more like a magic show than a concert.” From then, until now, this story has turned me inside out. It surprised me and challenged me. It helped me find my way back. Felicity Juniper Pickle, my plucky little hero, is the sort of girl who believes magic always hides in unlikely places. Somewhere along the way, I think I started believing it again, too. I'm so grateful for all of this. 

One more thing, and then I promise I’ll hush. 

Since I’ve been able to daydream, I’ve wanted to be a writer. In particular, I wanted to be a novelist. I kept hoping, and dreaming, and writing. But sometimes when you dream about something for so long ... it’s almost like it starts to feel less real. Does that make sense? It starts to take up space on a dusty shelf alongside all your other quirky hopes and dreams. Paper crowns and cardboard castles and a bunch of burned out wishing stars. And you want to write a novel?? Who do you think you are?! People will flat-out tell you that it's a dumb dream. And here's the thing: whatever your Big Dream is, I hope someone tells you how ridiculous you are for chasing after it. I hope they tell you that, so you get to feel what it's like to prove them wrong. Keep hoping. Keep dreaming. Above all, keep writing. Even if the story you write isn't the one that finds you an agent, or an editor, it's still a story that can help you find your way. Write the next story. Hold on tight to the tail of that wishing star. You never know where it will carry you. 

*deep breath*

*dances a jig*

    53 comments:

    1. Don't hush, Natalie! Never hush over such awesome news as that! I'd be jumping all over the place for days and days if it were me. (Perhaps you are? ;)

      Anyway, big big big biiiiiggg congratulations! That is truly wonderful and fabulous and terrific and every other adjective you can think of. Can't wait to hear more about it, and most definitely to read it next year! Yay!

      (did I add enough !!!! for you?) :D

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      1. Thank you, Kara!! I have been busting moves all over the place for months. In my house. In Target. While walking to the mailbox. I'm so excited. Thanks for !!!!ing with me! :)

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    2. OH MY GOODNESS!!! I'm SO excited about this and you better believe I'm going to relive my elementary-school-aged addiction to running to the Scholastic aisle at the bookstore (you weren't alone in your BSC love). I'm so happy for you!! I recently got my dream job too, and it's so weird to know that even though so many people said it was a stupid idea and it would probably never work out, it's really happening. Also, I think it's perfect that this was birthed from an Avett Brothers concert. Perfect.

      Congratulations!!!

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      1. I feel like BSC readers are kindred spirits forever. Know what I mean? That's just one of my favorite memories ever. Do you remember the super specials?! :) So glad your job is working out. What a sweet year it has been for you!! And it really shouldn't surprise me that I tried to work my Avett-obsession into a novel. I should have tried that years ago ... :) Congrats to you too on all the happy stuff happening!

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    3. So happy for you, Natalie!! The book sounds incredible, and I love your title.

      Very much looking forward to reading it!

      Shelley

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      1. Thank you Shelley! I'm thrilled that you might read it. I'm such a fangirl over Trinket that I have jittery anxiety over the idea of you picking it up :) Just so you know - it's not Trinket-amazing, but I think it's a sweet little read. I can't wait for you to see it! :)

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    4. Oh Natalie! I've been reading your writing since Brio Days and I've been hoping so much you would be writing a novel! Paperdoll is one of my fav books. So so very excited for you!!! :D!! Your words are like magic - they are so inspiring and encouraging - I can't wait until your book comes out! Yay!

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      1. Aww, thank you!! I love it when people remember Brio :) I'm so happy you loved Paperdoll. I hope you love the novel too. It's very different (obviously) but it's got plenty of magic and hope tucked into the pages. I'm so excited to see what it's becoming.

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    5. I'm so, so happy for you Natalie - it's an amazing thing when dreams really do come true. Suzie is like a literary fairy godmother! :P Congratulations!

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      1. Seriously, that Suzie Townsend is a fairy godmother (assuming fairy godmothers are crazy-pretty and wear cool clothes. The ones in the movies always seem to wear blue snuggies ... :) I'm so happy for you too. I feel like we're going to a party together!! :)

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    6. !!!!!YYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!! CANNOT even wait to read this! :D

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      1. *hugs* Thank you, Alyssa!! *screams with you!!!*

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    7. Know that I'll be the crazy girl in K-town beating down the doors of Barnes and Noble to get my hands on this. So, so proud of you friend!

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      1. I'll beat down the doors with you. I can't wait to see it on the shelf, even though I'll inevitably have a panic attack. ;) Thanks so much for always believing this would happen. I can't wait to read about your future books :)

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    8. I am so incredibly happy for you! I've been wishing for the longest time that you would write a novel. :)

      And I know what you mean about Scholastic. I was obsessed with book fairs and I loved the BSC, too. When I was younger, that little Scholastic emblem pretty much guaranteed a good read. :)

      Anyway, congrats again! I can't wait to read your book...can I preorder yet? :)

      ~Kristin

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      1. Thank you, Kristin! I hope you like the novel. It's a spunky little story. I sometimes jokingly refer to it as a rockabilly fairytale ... but it really does fit a little bit. And I'm happy to know you share my book fair love. When those cases came open ... oh my gosh. It was like a big vault of magic. :) I can't wait for you to see it!!!

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      2. By the way, I forgot to mention that Felicity Juniper Pickle is one of the most incredible names ever. :)

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    9. I'm so happy for you, Natalie! I was hoping this is what you were working on/this would be your big exciting news.

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      1. *hugs* Thank you so much, Leigh! I feel like I've been working on it forever. (The good news is that I've known so long, the hard revision part is mostly over ... and now I can breathe just a bit easier.) :)

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    10. I AM SO CRAZY EXCITED FOR YOU!!! :)

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      1. Thank You!! :) I hereby declare we need to celebrate at Chipotle. If ever there was an excuse to eat my weight in chips and salsa, tis this! :) (And also, I can't wait to read your novel someday. Can. Not Wait.)

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    11. OH, MY LUCKY STARS! Congrats, Natalie! When can I pre-order your magical novel, m'dear?? ;-)

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      1. Thank you, Sarah!! I will definitely post some info when it's up for pre-order! :)

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    12. Hooray! I love reading this post - you make my heart thump for the joy of it all! I hope you have fun this year - it'll pass in a flash!

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      1. Thank you so much. It already feels like it is flying. Everybody talks about how it's so slow but I feel like the whole thing is happening at warp speed. I'm trying to wrap up in the minutes and enjoy them though. Thanks for cheering with me!! :)

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    13. Oh. My. Goodness. I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!! AND I CANNOT WAIT TO READ IT NEXT YEAR!!!

      And yes, please DO NOT HUSH!!! Keep on writing the awesomeness! :) :) :)

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      1. Thanks, Rebecca!! Of course, I'll never actually hush. I realized I was basically writing a novel of a post but it's hard to contain all the happy. I can't wait for you to read it! I hope you like it! :)

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    14. This post is eight kinds of beautiful. I feel so lucky to have gotten to meet Felicity early (and you better believe I've already started all the shameless name dropping). I can't wait to see A SNICKER OF MAGIC on shelves! *HUGS*

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      1. Sarah Wylie, for real, I have been name dropping you for years. :) Thank you for reading that story when you probably didn't have time to read it. You are such an encourager. You're one of the first people who met Felicity and Jonah - a fact that will forever fill me with happiness :) I'm so blessed to call you friend. Thanks for everything you did for me. May Ryan Gosling kiss you senseless in your dreams. ;) *HUGS!!!*

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    15. I am so, so, so happy for you! I'm still screaming with excitement! :) A million congrats!

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      1. I still scream at random! All the time! One day in the Twizzler aisle at Target, I busted a move because I was so happy about it. I'm a mess. Thank you so much for screaming with me!! :) I cannot WAIT for you to see it!

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    16. Oh my gosh! So, so excited for you. Can't wait til it comes out--I will definitely be buying! This is so amazing! :)

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      1. Thank you Brittany!! I hope you love it :)

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    17. This makes me want to go back to middle school, to the Scholastic Book Fair, stand in line with sweaty palms, reach for your book with trembling hands, then jump up and down with it! But since that might look a bit strange, I will watch for it at Barnes & noble. :) congrats, cannot wait! Wanda

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      1. Wanda, I would have been RIGHT there with you at the Scholastic book fair!! I was so methodical about picking out the books I wanted that I nearly had panic attacks over it. I understand the feeling! :) I can't wait for you to see it!! Thanks so much for this sweet note! :)

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    18. Oh my gosh. I am so excited!!! Your novel is going to be SO wonderful. This greatly encourages me, I can't wait Natalie! Congrats! :)
      LF

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      1. I'm so glad this encourages you! I can't wait for you to see it!! :)

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    19. A big congrats, Natalie! I saw this in PW Children's Bookshelf and am hoping you'd like to be interviewed at Literary Rambles with an ARC giveaway when it comes out. I interview mostly debut middle grade and YA authors. My e-mail is rmarma2@yahoo.com

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      1. Hey Natalie! I just emailed you back. Thanks so much for this note!! I love Literary Rambles and pretty much read every word ever written on that blog back when I was researching agents. I love what you do. Can't wait to chat with you! (Thanks for stopping by!! :)

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    20. Still makes me tear up. This has been such a hard, long secret to keep. Thanks so much for the shout out. It's a privilege to be part of this with you. We're all in this and rooting for you!! Can't wait til they read A Snicker of Magic. It's such a beautiful, fun book.

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      1. I still tear up too! All the time! I'm a mess over it. But you know that b/c I email you non-stop. Seriously - "thank you" isn't heavy enough a word to describe the kind of friend you are. Thanks for encouraging me and dreaming big with me and never letting me stop. As Wilber says, in Charlotte's Web, "It is not often that someone comes a long who is a true friend and a good writer. Jenny B. Jones is both." (He totally said it - look it up.)

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      2. I'm not sure I have ever made it all the way through Charlotte's Web. That story will rip your heart out, stomp on it, then hand it back. And right back at you. I owe you hours in therapy dollars.

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    21. CONGRATULATIONS!! That's so exciting!! Can't wait to read it :)

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      1. Thank you Courtney!! I can't wait for you to see it!! :)

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    22. YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!! That is all. :)

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    23. Congratulations! That is so exciting. I can't wait until 2014 to read it! Scholastic Books have brought me some of my favorite authors. :)

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    24. Sooo excited for you Natalie!! I remember getting to have an (e-mail) conversation with you about writing and publishing when I was in college,and you were such an encouragement to me. I am looking forward to reading your novel; I know it will be quirky and fun and make me smile!

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    25. So happy for you Natalie! You so deserve this! :) I can't wait to read it!

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    26. Congratulations Natalie! I have been following your writing adventures from Brio, to the blog, to Paperdoll and now YOUR NOVEL! I can't wait to add it to my reading list!

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    27. Hiya,

      You don't know me, but I found your inspiring words on http://authormonicasanz.tumblr.com and I just had to thank you for writing those words. Specifically the last para on this blog... erm no, not the *dances a jig* one... nor the *deep breath* one either... (congrats on getting your book published :) ) you know, the last big para :) Really needed to "hear" that. Glad to know it's not just me who felt those moments of discouragement and despair.

      I totally understood what you meant about the "But sometimes when you dream about something for so long … it’s almost like it starts to feel less real." and the metaphor about burned out wishing star was so spot on. As well, the whole "And you want to write a novel?? Who do you think you are?!"

      Have wondered what my r/ship with writing will be if I don't get published. Was kind afraid I would be too demotivated to carry on with other stories but what you wrote about how "... it’s still a story that can help you find your way." really put everything into perspective. The world isn't going to end :)

      Thank you for writing those words. Thanks for existing. Pretty cool to share the universe with you :)

      Cheers.

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    28. Hi Natalie!
      I received an ARC of your book to review on my blog. I love it! Felicity and Jonah have been added to my list of Favorite Characters (seriously, I have a list). Great job!
      -Samantha
      www.youngwriterscafe.wordpress.com

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      1. Thank you so much, Samantha! I'm so happy to hear you like the book!! :)

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    29. Dear Natalie,
      My name is Michelle, and I am a 6th Grade English and Reading teacher. I just finished reading your book, "A Snicker of Magic," and I am in awe. Your book is simply phenomenal. My son took his own life in our home almost a year ago, and I haven't been able to read very much since then, (, I am a voracious reader, and devour as much young adult literature as I can.) However, when our school librarian recommended your book to me, I thought I'd give it a try. My heart soared as I read each page, and I finished the book in just a few hours. You have the most beautiful writing style I have ever encountered, and I am envious of your ability to literally weave words into emotion. I was doubly moved while reading the "Author's Notes," because my faith in Jesus Christ is what has given me the strength to face each day. You said it better than I could have, "Above all, I'm grateful to God for always turning my heart toward hope." Blessings, Michelle

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