They’re impossibly beautiful, and I’ve cried three times already. No video, but buckle up for a big, long emotional post about how I’m feeling four weeks from release day.
Many of you have been following this book since it was showcased in Pitch Wars. (Denise and Charish, thank you for being my lone manuscript request. I couldn’t have asked for better mentors). If you were watching closely, you might have noticed how quickly things progressed from that point. I received my first offer of representation three days after the showcase from an agent who immediately understood who I was as a writer, where this book fits in the market, and how to ease constant anxiety that I’m doing publishing wrong. (Sharon, we both know I’d be a mess without you) A few months later, we sold Scandal to my dream editor, someone who not only loved the book but saw its potential for more: More romance, more backstory, and more family. She spotlighted themes I’d approached tentatively in the original draft and encouraged me to put more of my voice on the page. (Seema, I am eternally grateful to you. You truly have a gift; the book world is better because you’re in it.)
All of that to say, this book started as a whirlwind, then became a marathon, and now it feels like a sprint to August 1st. But I’ve been writing most of my life and I never really thought this could be a possibility for me, that enough people would love this book that it would end up in stores and on bookshelves. I’ve always been a writer. Now I can call myself an author. Thank you so much to everyone who has had a hand in bringing this book out in the world. And thank you so much to every current and future reader. My fourteen-year-old book-loving heart is lining those pages, which makes you a bit part of a dream that’s been decades in the making.