How’s it going?

I haven’t been here for a spell. I wanted to let the few of you who follow me know what’s up. (This might be a bad idea. I might make this post private later.)

I mentioned last year that I got a literary agent. Well, I got a book deal. The book is coming out 9/1 of this year. I’m not naming the title so that Google doesn’t scrape this site and bring it up as a result, but I’ll post the cover so you know what it is…

Going through the publishing process has been really interesting. I had no idea how much work was put into each step of the polishing process. My editor and I went through and fixed a lot of issues, shored up weak points and emphasized the strong ones, making the book stronger. After the book was accepted by my editor, I got paid $$, and then the rest of the process started chugging along. This included copyedits and proofreading (two different things, I learned!), reaching out to authors for blurbs (the short, one-to-two-line endorsement that is printed on the book cover or the first inner page of the book), cover image reveals, jacket copy finessing, and sending the as-yet-not-finally-edited copies out for early reviews.

My favorite part of the whole shebang was getting my galleys — that is, the bound early copies of the book — in the mail. My galleys were initially misdelivered, yet because they were marked as delivered by UPS my team was unaware that I hadn’t gotten them, so they sent me a new set two weeks later.

Now reviews are starting to roll in and though I’m not looking at them (seriously, authors, don’t look at your Goodreads reviews), I did get a trade (professional) review that called my book “sensational” so I’m still riding the high from that.

All of this sounds like it’d be amazing, and I’m trying to be in the moment and enjoy every cool thing that comes along. But a part of me is worried that the more praise this book gets, the harder it will be for me to match it when I write my next book. The book I’m currently procrastinating on by writing this blog post instead.

Or if it’s going to be professionally praised but commercially panned, which also worries me. If consumers hate it or are lackluster about it, and the book fades away without really anyone reading it. That’s a great fear, too.

The more I think about my writing “career,” the more anxious I get. It’s already such an anxiety-inducing path, what with the miniscule percentage of people who get agents and the few people who sell their books on top of that, and the fewer still whose books make any impact in the world. I am lucky, though, that I’ve gotten this far, and also that the people whose opinions matter the most to me — my family, my husband, my oldest friend — all read it and seem to have liked it.

I don’t know what I aimed to do with this blog post. Shine a little light on what happens behind the scenes, I suppose. Or let you know that as soon as a book deal happens, there’s even more work to be done and anxiety doesn’t magically melt away. So yeah.

Book Review: Tweet Cute

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
(Out tomorrow!)

I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley for an honest review. **This review is spoiler-free.**

Summary: Pepper, a high-achieving senior, is the princess of the Big League Burger franchise. Her parents the owners are rolling out a new grilled cheese sandwich and tap Pepper to help with their Twitter presence.

Her classmate and nemesis Jack comes from a small family deli in Brooklyn. He helps with the family business, too — including their social media. When Big League Burger’s new grilled cheese recipe seems to have been stolen from Jack’s family’s deli, he fires the first shot across Twitter. A tweet war begins.

As the two duke it out publicly on Twitter, they are also unknowingly chatting with each other — and falling for each other — on an anonymous app that Jack built. Will they figure out that their spicy memes are the witty repartees of two people flirting?

Okay, this was really cute. A bit cheesy, but cute. Take You’ve Got Mail but make the bookstores into sandwich shops and add teenaged drama, and you’ve got Tweet Cute. I always love this trope of public enemies / private lovers, and this book didn’t disappoint in that regard.

Much like the Grandma’s Special sandwich, this has a lot of layers. Pepper is dealing with her parents’ divorce and her sister’s absence after she’s gone off to college. She’s also stressed with college applications, homework, and balancing the corporate-owned Twitter account (because the person Pepper’s parents have hired has no idea how to do her job). On top of all of that, she’s chatting with an anonymous student that goes by the moniker Wolf, with whom she’s catching feelings.

Jack has his own issues: feeling like the “stupid twin” in the shadow of his golden-brother Ethan, he feels like he’s destined to inherit his parents’ deli because that’s all he’s good for. He created this app for students to chat anonymously among each other, and is sort of feeling things for someone named Bluebird, but he’s also kinda attracted to the snarky, scholastic swimmer Pepper that he likes to torment so much. And he’s pissed that this Big League Burger seems to have bitten his family’s sandwich recipe!

But also! This story has a lot to do with social media, its presence in our everyday lives, and how it affects youths of today. The tweet war leads to other hits that highlight Pepper and Jack, like Youtubers condensing what’s going on with #CheeseGate, a foodie website moderating a tweet contest, and photos of the main characters going viral. It made me really glad I didn’t go to high school when social media was a thing.

It’s a touch long. The drama drags out. Will they or won’t they? Obstacle after obstacle are hurled at our heros. A few side plots were sewn up a little quickly. It’s not a story that takes itself too seriously, and it does very little with diversity (I think one friend, Pooja, is a person of color, and Jack’s twin Ethan is gay, but the rest of the cast is straight and white). But ultimately, this was a cute romcom that I think people will hunger for. Four stars.

September Wrap-Up

September stats:

Books read: 9
Number of re-reads: 1

Ratings of the books I read:
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4
⭐️⭐️⭐️ 0
No rating: 0

Rejoice, all! I had a good reading month, with a surprising number of great reads.

Five-star reads

When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele | Just. Really good.

Continue reading “September Wrap-Up”