You were welcomed by family and friends . . .
And all manner of goodies . . .
Because you came into the world, you afforded me opportunities I wouldn't have had otherwise, like meeting uber-passionate librarians at a cocktail party thrown by my publisher, Random House, at last year's ALA meeting in Philadelphia. I also had the pleasure of watching the award announcements, meeting the amazing people from Random House and getting to know these fine writers . . .
1. Liz Gallagher, who wrote The Opposite of Invisible
2. Maria Padian, who wrote Brett McCarthy: Work in Progress
3. E. M. Crane, who wrote Skin Deep
I also had the joy of giving a speech and workshop at the FL SCBWI conference and meeting the very funny and kind, Sid Fleischman.
What a busy year it's been! There were radio interviews, newspaper interviews and even a local TV interview. There were blog interviews and wonderful reviews, like these:
“Gephart mixes humor, intrigue and compassion in her entertaining first novel.” –
“This entertaining novel offers believable middle school situations, a rip-roaring finale and a funny, memorable heroine.” – Buffalo News
“Fabulous middle-grade novel about an awkward spelling-bee champ whose governor mother is running for the Democratic nomination. Timely, funny and written in a great voice.” – Staff Pick at Children’s Book World
“Laugh-out-loud adventures combined with just the right amount of drama make this a great read.” –
There were book festivals, creative writing workshops and signings at indie bookstores in PA, NJ, OR, NY and of course, FL and many, many wonderful school visits.
Perhaps the finest moments throughout the year were e-mails, like this one from a young fan:
"I think it's the most awesome book I've ever read. I think it inspires young girls to be courageous. Your book has inspired me to make a difference in the world, and it gave me hope to be courageous, too."
Happy first birthday, book! Before you know it, you'll be out in paperback, reaching even more young readers. And best of all, early in 2010, you'll have a sibling -- HOW TO SURVIVE MIDDLE SCHOOL (WITHOUT GETTING YOUR HEAD FLUSHED), DEAL WITH AN EX-BEST FRIEND,UM, GIRLS AND A HEART-BREAKING HAMSTER.
Thanks everyone for helping make this such a memorable first year!