September 1st, 2021
Today, I celebrate not one, but two one-year anniversaries: my employment at Harry’s, and the surprise release of my fifth book, Theia.
Losing my job at Old Chicago forever was awful, particularly the way that it happened. To use a exceptionally bad metaphor, it was like I was married for almost 13 years (with a 3-month separation period in which I dated someone else I was not good enough for), and then one day my spouse disappeared forever and nobody seemed even a little bit concerned about it.
“Have you seen my wife?” I would ask around, flyers in hand.
“These things just happen,” the world repeatedly shrugged in reply. There were no good-byes and there was no closure. Just an unsolved open case file.
Joining a team already in progress was a terrifying prospect for me, especially since I had become so used to being the person who welcomed others into what I considered my home.
I got lucky enough to find a place with people who were willing to make a space for me.
Starting a new job in the middle of pandemic while you’re dealing with the news that your mom has cancer is not an experience I recommend. It’s not a good time. That I found a group of people through it who have been supportive and kind and caring and just really dang nice to me has meant more to me than they know, and I look forward to walking through that back door where no stupid people are allowed (am I the exception?!) every day.
On this same day a year ago, I pulled a Taylor Swift and both announced that I had written a new book and dropped it at the same time.
Theia was written, like most everything else I write, because I had to. I had to talk about 2020. I had to talk about one of my defining character defects. I had to write a book with talking animals.
One of my favorite novels ever is Watership Down, and when Richard Adams went to sell it, everyone asked him who exactly it was for. Kids wouldn’t get the adult themes and story. Adults wouldn’t like the bunnies. Turned out, the book was for everyone.
And as someone who has never written for a target audience, I really got that. And that’s why I describe Theia as a children’s book for adults.
I love this story and the characters so much. I love the terrific twist in the middle, which was initially conceived to be the end. And I love the responses I’ve received from people about it, who genuinely seem to adore it as much as I do.
So, anyway. Happy first anniversary to both these things. I’m glad you both exist and have this day to share in my heart.