You've Been Schooled

By Natasha Sinel

My debut YA novel THE FIX's release date and the kids’ first day of school fell during the same week.

We all got schooled.

Here are some things I learnedplease take heed:
  • Sometimes you think you ordered school supplies through that awesome website that delivers everything to the classroom over the summer, but something must’ve happened because you didn’t, and your kids had nothing when they showed up to the first day of school.
  • Going to Staples with three long lists of very specific school supplies during the first week of school/your launch week is not nice.
  • Know that if you invite your kids to your book launch, they might upstage you just a bit. Below you can see they made their grand entrance. The middle one, the one with the glasses? During my talk, he sat next to me and made faces. The big one? He stood outside behind the window and held bunny ears above my head. Yes, that happened.

The grand entrance of the real stars of the show
  • It’s a good thing to have the local casual launch party a week before the big Washington, DC Politics & Prose launch party—that way you can tweak your talk and shorten your reading, which felt like it lasted 20 minutes even though it was only six—note: just under four minutes was the sweet spot.
  • Don’t wear a dress that you don’t love on you, even if everyone tells you it looks great because, even though you’ll feel fine during the event, you'll be devastated when you see the pictures—wear the dress you feel good in at the bigger event, even if it’s less dressy.
Happy debut author in comfortable dress at
Politics & Prose, Washington, DC
  • Soak up the love and support from your friends and family.
  • If something has to go that week, make it the googling and list-checking—it’s better to just soak up the love and support from your friends and family.
  • Make time to listen to your younger kids when they tell you about their first days of school—as they get older, they won’t want to tell you (case in point, the eldest offers up nothing).
  • People are going to post "in the wild" photos like the one below from all over the country. It's going to feel awesome. Keep this feeling close when things are stressful.

There it is. On the shelf.
  • Don’t schedule your husband’s flight to Washington, DC in the late afternoon during prime thunderstorm season—his flight will get cancelled and he’ll miss your big important launch party—you’ll both be very sad. Luckily, your mother-in-law got the whole thing on video with her iPhone.
  • While everything is happening during this week, don’t forget to check your kids’ school folders so you don’t miss some important sign-up or homework assignment.
  • Remember that this week is why grocery delivery service was invented.
  • Remember that your youngest’s birthday is in three weeks and you haven’t scheduled his birthday party—do that right away.
  • Think about how when all this launch stuff/first weeks of school stuff is over, you’ll get back to “real” life of exercising, writing, being on top of your kids’ lives and the household.
  • Laugh at that.
  • But still believe it, sort of.

And there you have it. You’ve been schooled.

Natasha Sinel writes YA fiction from her home on a dirt road in Northern Westchester, NY. She drives her kids around all afternoon, but in her head, she's still in high school, and hopes that no one near her can read minds. Her debut YA novel THE FIX released from Sky Pony Press/Skyhorse Publishing September 1, 2015.


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