It's been close to a year and a half since I last posted in my blog. I could offer a bunch of excuses: I was busy being a mom, writing a second novel, revising the first, working, making cookies---- I could put together a list, but the truth is, I didn't update my blog because I didn't really feel like it. And then it got to the point that summarizing months and months seemed just too difficult. And so I simply----didn't.
I've decided to pick up blogging again for three reasons: 1) Winter has passed, and with it flu season, so I find that my schedule at work is suddenly wonderfully free again. 2) I think it might be a good idea from a publicity standpoint. My first novel (Secret Letters) is coming out in June so I am tinkering with the idea of a webpage-- and importing a blog might be just the thing. Importing a two-year- old blog- a little pathetic. 3) It is way easier to babble about my life than to come up with a decent idea for a sequel to Secret Letters. Which is what I should be doing right now.
But yeah, that isn't going to happen. So, instead, let me tell you about my life. :-)
We have been in Israel for three and a half years now and are thrilled as ever to be here. My two eldest daughters are full-fledged teenagers. My oldest is nearly sixteen (whaaaaaaaaaaaaaatt?????), is still taking singing and piano lessons, has recently begun painting (and is shockingly good for someone who has never had a single art class), and a few months ago got herself a boyfriend (whaaaaatttttt????). My middle daughter is thirteen now and has recently taken up the guitar. She is shyer than her sister about sharing her talent, so her father and I sometimes have to crouch behind her closed door when she is playing, but it is well worth it. She babysits almost every night and is carefully saving her money for----- something. She's not sure yet, but it is going to awesome. My little one is completely Israeli now, the only one of us who feels as comfortable (more comfortable?) with her Hebrew-speaking friends as she does with the Anglos in the neighborhood. But I expected that when we came. She is still young enough to be cuddly, but when she turned nine in December she earned the right to cross streets on her own-- so it won't be long until I have three daughters roaming Modiin without me. But I expected that too, I guess. Just not quite so soon.
In the pediatric world things are exactly the same as they were when I last wrote. One sentence is enough to cover that.
On the writing front I am excited to announce that my book will be on shelves (and Amazon and B&N) on June 26th! I already shared my cover on Facebook a couple of months ago but I just want to say that I never imagined that it would come out as beautifully as it did. I had nothing to do with it, of course. The amazing art designers at Hyperion are responsible. My role was limited to the gasping noise I made when I received the proof from my editor and the shrieking into my sister's ear (sorry, Dinah) which followed shortly afterward. And then the exclamation point riddled email which I sent back to the publisher a few minutes later.
So yeah. I was happy with the cover.
In January I completed my second novel and last month I sent it off to my agent. She is currently shopping it around to a few different houses. The book is titled Golden Boy, and is a young adult novel set in current day Baltimore, my hometown. I decided to take a break from Victorian England and follow the old adage, "Write what you know." I have to say, after finishing this last book, it's going to be hard to go back to historical fiction. There's something to be said for writing in your own voice, or at least, the teenage version of your own voice. I don't have to struggle over every expression and agonize over whether a young girl from the 1800's would have said that word or used that phrase. I can just speak, and the process is so much more natural that way.
The following is an abridged summary of my second novel:
April Wesley is dreading the beginning of tenth grade. She had gotten used to being the unpopular girl in class, but when her best friend announces that she is transferring to another school, April doesn't know how she will face the year without her. So when Jonah Golden, the handsome new boy in school, starts to flirt with her, April can hardly believe her luck. Jonah is every girl's dream; attractive and charming, sweet and intelligent, a talented painter and soon- the perfect boyfriend. Even Cora, the queen of Fallstaff High, is jealous of her, and she does everything in her power to make April's life miserable. But nothing can mar April's happiness when she is with Jonah; the two become inseparable, and April cannot imagine her life without him. Jonah encourages her to develop her talent for music, and they make plans to tranfer to the local art school together.
A few weeks after they begin dating, April begins to notice a change in Jonah. He starts to withdraw from her and from his family; he becomes progressively more paranoid, convinced that someone is spying on him and stealing his art and April's music, and seems now to be constantly distracted, listening to sounds which only he can hear. As his behavior becomes more and more bizarre, Jonah's mother tries to convince him to seek help, but April refuses to believe that her boyfriend is sick. Finally, in a terrifying breakdown, Jonah descends into acute psychosis, and is nearly shot by a frightened police officer. April stands by Jonah when he is admitted to the psychiatric hospital with the diagnosis of schizophrenia, and stays by his side as he goes through weeks of painful treatment. She braves the teasing of her classmates, her mother's disapproval, and the frustrations of repeated failures of medications and therapy. Through it all April is convinced that Jonah will one day come back to her, that he will support her when she auditions for the art school, and that they will carry on their lives together as they'd planned. But as the months wear on, she learns that she has to rely on her own strength, to fight for Jonah and be his voice at school and in the hospital, and to succeed on her own, when Jonah can no longer be there by her side.
A few weeks back my agent submitted Golden Boy to five publishing houses and so now I am back to where I was three years ago: biting my nails, checking my email every fifteen minutes, and generally making myself crazy. I know, logically, that it could take months until I hear anything and that what I hear will likely be rejection, but I can't help constructing pretty castles in my head anyway.
That just about brings this blog up to date. I could keep going about my latest favorite shows (SHERLOCK, SHERLOCK, SHERLOCK..... and also Mad Men and Modern Family), favorite books (Hunger Games-- yeah, I jumped on that bandwagon, I couldn't help myself), and other silly bits, but I'll just wait until the next entry.
Which hopefully will be before the year 2014. :-p