supposed to die

I need a tough, leathery skin

This has been an interesting week. There's been a ton of good news:

Girl Who Was Supposed To Die- The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die got picked up by Scholastic.  I wasn't even dreaming of this, because I figured Scary Cover + Character Who Gets Two Fingernails Pulled Out (off camera) = Not a Book Scholastic Would Buy. But I was wrong! Scholastic really gets your books in front of a ton of kids and librarians.

- I've gotten some really amazing fan mail, including one from a formerly reluctant reader who said, "I just wanted to thank you for changing my life! actually enjoy reading now and I'm sure anybody would be surprised to hear that from me!"

- The person that optioned The Night She Disappeared for film has renewed his option.  And there might be be more news on a related front soon.

Girl Stolen_crime 2But on Wednesday, I also clicked on a Google Alert for Girl, Stolen. It was a teenager's blog.  And she hated Girl, Stolen.  And three of her blog readers chimed in saying now they would never want to read the book.

Now you would think that after everything else Girl, Stolen has received:

  • YALSA Quick Pick

  • YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults

  • Barnes & Noble Top Teen Pick

  • Named one of the best books of 2012 by Children's Books Ireland

  • Winner of Maryland's Black-Eyed Susan award

  • Winner of Missouri's Truman Readers Award

  • Winner of South Dakota's YARP (Young Adult Reading Program)

  • Finalist for Worcestershire Teen Book Award in England

  • Finalist for Oklahoma's Sequoyah Book Award

  • Finalist for Oregon Book Award

  • Finalist for New Hampshire's Isinglass Teen Read award

  • Finalist for Nebraska's Golden Sower award

  • Chosen for St. Louis Book Battle

  • Chosen for One Book, One Community in Olney, Illinois

  • Chosen as a Cafe Book in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford schools and the Central Rappahannock Regional Library in Virigina

  • ALAN Pick [Assembly on Literature for Adolescents]

  • Rights sold in the United Kingdom

  • Rights sold in Germany

  • Rights sold in Turkey

  • Audio rights sold to Brilliance

That this would not upset me. But it did.

I'm starting to be old enough that I can figure out why something like that becomes like a pebble in my shoe. And it's because she leveled some criticisms about areas that I always worry about.

So I'm going to try to think about those things when I write my next book. Because even though I've been around this block nearly two dozen times (if you count unpublished books) there are always things I could stand to work on.  
I think this:

- I've gotten some really amazing fan mail, including one from a formerly reluctant reader who said, "I just wanted to thank you for changing my life! actually enjoy reading now and I'm sure anybody would be surprised to hear that from me!"

trumps any negative review. That is a writer's dream fan letter. If you are getting through to that formerly reluctant reader, you really don't have to worry about a snarky teen review.

Congrats, and congrats on all the other honours!
I sometimes wonder if humans are hardwired to focus on flaws (proverbial fly in ointment)

But yes, lately I have been hearing from a LOT of reluctant teen readers.