Actual In Person Events: A Reflection

I had plans for book launch for my debut young adult novel, MAN UP, all set in stone in February, 2020. We all know what happened in March, 2020. Fast forward to April, 2020 and I scrambled to become savvier at Instagram, Facebook Live, and at being flexible and patient.

Fast forward again to May, 2022. Another book, another launch. This time IN PERSON. At my favorite Chicago indie bookstore. With people I love. With people who supported me. With people who came to hear ramble on about Anthony, Sam, and their story in THE WAR ON ALL FRONTS. It was magical. There was a cake with my book cover on it. Not some sheet cake from Jewel. But a HUGE cake that had to be three inches high.

The bookstore is in Lincoln Square, the neighborhood I lived in for two years while attending Columbia College Chicago. My parents were there, my agent, editor, a college roomie, NIAY classmates, my first college friend who flew in from Minnesota (she planned on coming to the MAN UP launch…what a great friend), and the first friend I made in my MFA program at Roosevelt. I choked up when he walked in having not seen him in almost eight years.

Suzy, the owner of The Book Cellar, knew this day was special and long overdue. During my introduction she shared how we made plans just like this about two years ago and we finally got our chance to see them through on May 19th. It was her idea to have the cake made because she knew that an overdue book launch experience warrants one.

My kids are adjusting to this, as Mom has “book things” to do now. They didn’t know that this is what it’s supposed to be like. I didn’t know either. I’m learning about the many opportunities to get my book title out there. There’s going to be more “book things,” kids. I’m not sorry about it. Be patient and understanding as Mom soaks it all up.

Photo: Suzy and I at The Book Cellar, her wonderful independent bookstore. If you want to order a book, please do so from them.
www.bookcellarinc.com

THE WAR ON ALL FRONTS Has a Cover!

Isn’t it beautiful?

Authors like to geek out about their covers. Allow me to do so now:

• The army green: In the original version the words were all in black. The use of army green is awesome.
• The notebook paper with the confetti edges: Sam and Anthony can only communicate via letters while Anthony is fighting in the Vietnam War. It is such a big part of the story and I love it.
• The stick figures. The two boy stick figures. Their little stick heads bent toward one another, holding their little stick hands. One figure even has a flat top and a duffel bag. I almost cried when I first saw these guys. They’re perfect.
• The shadows. I have no idea what to make of the shadow of my two little stick guys but it adds something. I might have my English teacher hat on a bit too tightly here, but I imagine the shadow is cast because of a sunset. A day is ending with something new beginning and neither of the little stick guys know what’s in store. I know what’s in store, and I’m not going to lie little stick guys, it’s going to be rough.

Erica Weisz at Trism Books is an amazing illustrator and artist. She asked me what images and themes came to mind when I thought about the book and she took those phrases to come up with this incredible cover.

Please cross all your fingers and toes and hope that we can welcome this book into the world in a more traditional way come May 7th and you can see this book on a shelf in person.