“Fourteen Kids. One Superstore. A Million things that go Wrong.”
And I have lifted that word-for-word from the inside flap. I can tell you how I know the book is going to do well. First, my daughter’s best friend read the blurb and demanded to read the book at once, though it’s YA and she’s just eleven, so her mom and I thought we should read it first. Then I’ll buy her a copy of her own. Second, Monument 14 has already been called “the next Hunger Games” in The Grindstone. Third, on the day of the book signing, I arrived late because of traffic, only to discover that the book store which held the event had run clean out of the book, as had the nearby Barnes and Noble! My friends and I had to check out three different book stores to find copies, at which point we raced back to have Emmy sign our books. That said, I haven’t read it yet because I’m still reading my book group book and I want to read Monument 14 uninterrupted. I can’t wait though. I know Emmy is a fantastic writer because we were in a writers’ group together briefly. I had an opportunity to read one of her works in progress as well as benefitting from her wise insights on my own work.
Anyway, after the book signing, a group of us—Emmy’s family and friends from inside and outside the publishing world—went to a bar to celebrate over beer and munchies. I wish I could describe the feel of love, enthusiasm and pride everyone felt just to share in the victory. As an unpublished writer, and not the only one in attendance, I felt a few things in addition to awe at Emmy’s grand success. One was a sense of hope. Not that I expect to be as successful, but this night made me feel that yes: completion, representation, and publication are within the realm of possibility. I also felt reassured that—despite all the remarkable new devices proliferating and the apps that go with them—people still like books. Period. They will buy them and hold them and treasure them and … can you imagine someone trying to sign a Kindle? And hand it down to their grandkids? Nuff said.
I also had a chance to talk with Emmy’s editor, one of the nicest young women I’ve met, who just gushed about her job, reading and discovering books. I talked with Emmy’s publicist too, another unpublished writer, just as nice, about the writing, submitting, and wishing process. The whole evening made me feel positive and proud and enthusiastic about this whole business of being a writer.