In the writing world, this last year has been a real roller coaster ride of firsts, leaving me to wonder...what's next?
My first book made two 'best of' lists (BFYA and Bank Street) and won its first and only award.
I gave my first award speech...ever.
I gained the courage to go out in public and do my first signings.
I participated in my first book tour, with a group of other authors.
I attended my first book related conference (NCTE) where I spoke on a YA writing panel for the first time.
A group of teens made their first movie based on my first book.
My second book made it onto major retailer shelves (a first for me).
I'm writing my first thriller, a completely intimidating and game-changing experience for me. It's forcing me way out of my comfort zone and making me take a hard look at where I'm weak as a writer.
The last book I wrote, my favorite yet, was the first to not sell. Broke my heart.
My first book did not make it to paperback.
I got my first taste of how a writer's numbers can affect a career.
For the first time since my short career started, I'm completely unsure of what's next for me. I have no new books coming out, and I don't know if I'll sell another.
I got my first hate mail and hate thread.
The verdict? I'm still here. I'm still writing. I'm not giving up. 2012 is going to be the year I take risks. It's going to be a fresh start. The first time I say--why not--when it comes to pushing boundaries in my stories and 'going there' with my characters. We'll see what happens next...