As many of you know, in my day-to-day life, I’m a full-time writer in a sea of cubicles at an actual organization from 8-5. But on top of that, I find joy in freelancing, blogging and novel writing. Sorry, the blog hasn’t felt as much love lately, but boy am I swamped (in the best, most fulfilling sort of way).
Since connecting with my editor (more on her later), I’ve been head down immersed in my writing in a way I never have before. There was one night last week where the hubs actually came into the living room amid my furious typing and rock violin listening and whispered, “Um…honey? Do you know what time it is?”
“I dunno… 10 p.m.?”
“Try 1 a.m.”
Luckily for me, the husband is super approving of my late night not-so-secret life of writing like crazy.
Currently, my editor and I are working on The Cured, but what actually inspired me to come out of novel-writing trance to write this post was hearing what the 10-year-old beta reader of The Adventures of Shoe Girl actually thought now that she finished the novel.
And boy. Am I over the moon. Kids are tough critics, and I was pretty nervous about letting one have my novel. But within hours of her starting last week, I was so happy to be texted this picture from her mother followed by seeing a post on Facebook about it.
Squeals of laughter and gasps?? That had to be a good sign, right? I nervously anticipated waiting for her to reach the end, still biting my nails like the overgrown dork that I am, until I got the world’s best text the other day. This little reader’s reaction to the end of the book was better than I had imagined.
Apparently she liked it so much, she was using it for an assignment in class, actually answering questions about what she thought about The Adventure of Shoe Girl. Her mom told me that her written responses were among the most heartfelt she’d ever seen her do on an assignment. She texted me two:
“This book makes me feel brave. Like I can do the same things.”
“Stand up for everyone, even your enemies.”
Holy wow, batman! The kid liked it! When I told her I wanted it to be a series, she even lit up with all sorts of ideas she’d like to see, saying she’d definitely read more about these characters.
Even if nothing happens with this book, just seeing her responses above feels like winning to me.
The truth is, I originally wrote the first “Adventures of Shoe Girl” when I was 10-years-old myself after some kids thought it was funny to step on my untied shoelaces until the little buggers snapped right off. My idea was…what if instead of getting tripped by my untied shoelaces, I actually got super powers every time they were untied?
The book was such a hit with my classmates that my teacher actually called me Shoe Girl until the end of the year– especially when she had to call me out of the line to tie my shoes so I wouldn’t trip.
(Note: I’m still terrible at tying shoes. Some things never change!)
Sure, I prefer writing young adult sci-fi/fantasy (and The Cured is becoming even more amazing as I revise it), but I will always have a soft spot for Shoe Girl, and now that I know she actually means something to someone else too, I think I’ll actually fight for her this time.
Wish me luck!