Now that 2016 is well under way, I take time to look back at 2015, a year of good and bad, but mostly good.
In my writing career, it was an incredibly good year. I was offered a contract on a second book, even before my first book launched. LIKE A RIVER launched in April to a starred Kirkus review and was a Junior Library Guild Selection. In October it was awarded the inaugural Grateful American Book Prize at Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, DC. I spoke about it to groups of librarians, historians, and students. Meeting the book’s readers has been extremely gratifying. And students ask the most amazing and intelligent questions.
I worked on revisions of the second novel, and EMPTY PLACES will launch in April, 2016. I also began writing a new novel, which is still in its early stages, but I thoroughly enjoy the journey of writing a book.
In part because of LIKE A RIVER, I was able to reconnect with old friends. A couple met up with me when I attended ALA in Chicago, some came to my launch party, and others found me on Facebook. I wish I had had more time to spend with each of them. I even heard from one of my early writing teachers, author Stephanie Tolan.
I also met many new friends in 2015, both readers and writers, and those who value history.
In my private life, the good mixed readily with the tragic. There were births of grand nieces and nephews, a nephew’s wedding, and a wonderful family reunion. But a cousin passed away, and so did my friend, author Andrea Cheng. Friends and family members have dealt with enormous health issues, and many of those continue into 2016. I pray for them daily.
The mixture of good and bad is what Life is made of. It is also what Story is made of. As 2016 progresses, I hope my Stories will continue to resonate with readers and that Life will be more good than bad.