Leah Thomas: Because You’ll Never Meet Me

Welcome to Morris Award Interview Week, wherein past Morris winners interview this year’s crop of nominees. And a fine crop they have turned out to be! First up, Blythe Woolston interviews Leah Thomas about her debut, Because You’ll Never Meet Me.

I will be linking to these interviews all week and posting my own on Thursday. The winner will be announced this weekend at ALA Midwinter, along with the other Youth Media Awards, such as the Printz and Newbery. Anyway, go read! These are some wonderful debut novels, and you may not have heard of all of them.

Word for the coming year

Every year, since 2012, I’ve been choosing an aspirational word to sum up my hopes for the coming year. I remembered picking perspective, art, and authority, but I couldn’t remember what my word was supposed to have been for 2015. Turns out it was relax, which made me laugh a little. This time last year I was, indeed, anticipating a lot of stress. The release of SHADOW SCALE, two book tours, writing a third book, and then we were trying to fix up our condo, sell it, and move. My choice seemed to be relax or spontaneously combust.

Somehow, I got through it all, plus a trip to Singapore, teaching a class and a workshop, first round revisions…

I’m in a different place this year, however — and I don’t just mean a different house (although that’s true too). This coming year feels stable and open, simultaneously, as if I’ve stepped off the roller coaster onto solid ground. I’m not complaining, believe me, but it has me thinking about how I want to go forward from here.

Every word I’ve chosen previously has been an inward-looking, navel-gazing, self-care word (even authority, although that might not be immediately evident to anyone but me). I’ve taken good care of myself, come back from a depression. I’m feeling really capable on that front. Maybe I don’t need to play defense all the time anymore. Maybe this year I can cast my gaze outward.

And so, my word of the year is going to be generosity. I still need to work out what form that’s going to take, but I’m envisioning it now as a kind of openness. I don’t need to keep myself to myself quite so tightly. I know where my boundaries are; I know what I have available to give, and how not to take things personally. There are a number of directions I could go.

Happy 2016, darlings. I hope it’s looking as open and possible to you.

Good morning, friends

And Happy New Year!

What’s that? You forgot I was your friend? Because I never write my blog anymore? Hm. There’s something to that.

There will be a few merry blog blips coming up soon. I need to choose my Word of the Year (and I can’t make up my mind this minute), and the Morris interviews are happening all next week. On Thursday I’m interviewing Stephanie Oakes, author of The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly. I’ll post links to all the others, too. We decided to do all five in one week this time, instead of spreading the joy over several weeks, like we usually do. ALA Midwinter comes early this year.

I’m settling down to the third draft of TESS IN BOOTS (not the final title, probably), my 3rd book set in Seraphina’s world, my first without Seraphina as the protagonist. I’ll finish this revision by the end of January, and then we shall see. I can’t really imagine a day when a book only takes three drafts, and yet I always hope for it. A few more back-and-forths and we’re looking at May or June (I hope) to get this squared away completely.

That makes it sound really dry. THIS BOOK, YOU GUISE. I am excited and scared and nervous about it. It’s funny and horrifying and painful and exhilarating and I’d hand it over to you right now if they’d let me, even though I know it’s going to be even better after I work on it some more. But I love it so, and I can’t wait to inflict it on the world.

More soon, but now it’s time to walk the dog – part of my glamorous authorial existence.