Disorganized, red-headed artist girls are the new vampires.

Okay, not really.

I just said that to get your attention, so I could say this:

Thank you.

In the two and a half weeks since the official release of THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z, I’ve opened up my email and smiled like crazy at least a thousand times because people — and by that, I mean you guys — have been so amazing about helping to spread the word about this quiet, funny, quirky book about a girl and a leaf collection project, with not a single vampire in sight.

I’ve been sent links to blog reviews like these:
Jen Robinson
A Patchwork of Books
Mary at KidLit.com
Six Boxes of Books
Prose and Kahn
Kelly Fineman’s Writing and Ruminating
Doughtnuts ‘n Things

And today, there was this post on Publishers Weekly’s ShelfTalker blog, which I read religiously at lunch time.  I just about choked on my salsa when I opened the page today and saw Gianna staring back at me.  It was overwhelming.

It’s all been pretty overwhelming.  The nice notes you’ve posted on GoodReads and the ones you’ve emailed me or sent in other ways.  Those little things make a huge difference in an author’s world. This 140-character gift arrived via Twitter this morning and had me smiling all day:

My 9-year old is reading TBFOGZ; when I asked at breakfast this am how she liked it, her face stayed in the book; a good sign!

(I keep all my reviews in a file on my computer, but this one I printed out and put on the bulletin board for when I’m stuck on a scene.  That’s when I really need to remember the nine-year-old with her nose in a book at breakfast.  She is why I write.)

Anyway, thanks. The very best part of this publication journey has been the people whose paths I’ve crossed along the way.

(Editing to add: I have absolutely nothing against vampires, werewolves, evil fairies, bloodthirsty pixies, or fallen angels. In fact, I’ve been known to love and devour books about all of those things. I mention the vampires only to contrast that sort of book, which often gets heaps of attention, with the quieter, Gianna-ish books, which often don’t and rely on people who love them to share them with others. Thus the vampire bit…and the thanks.)

26 Replies on “Disorganized, red-headed artist girls are the new vampires.

  1. I am looking forward to keeping my nose stuck in this book at breakfast, too! Leaf collecting! I can’t wait for the leaves to start dropping on my street. Maybe I’ll get my own collection going. Wait; my daughter will be bringing enough of them in the house all on her own.

  2. I’d rather read about a disorganized, red-headed artist girl than a vampire (or a teen who thinks she loves a vampire) ANY DAY, and I know lots of middle-grade readers agree with me. Go ahead – be overwhelmed. You and GIANNA Z. deserve it!

  3. Oh yay! Thanks so much for taking part in Flying Pig’s virtual book signing, Kim – it was so much fun to get there and see that stack of books for friends waiting!

  4. Oh! I have no idea how I missed this, Laurie – but thank you!

    Also- I love the black walnut scene, too. It’s based on a real student (a boy, not a girl) who arrived at school one Monday morning and told me how he’d climbed over the superintendent’s fence the night before to check out one of his trees.

  5. Oh good – thanks,Christine! And to be clear, I actually do like a good vampire/werewolf/evil angel book now and then, too. I was just sort of contrasting the way those books usually sell, compared to quieter books like mine.

  6. Thanks, Jenny! And I keep meaning to tell you that our library ordered more copies of WINNIE, so we have a set to use for literature circles in class now – yay!

  7. Kate, pleasure and sincere gratitude rushes through this post. I hope you know how grateful we are to what you give, too. And I’m so happy Gianna is getting around and about with her leaves!

  8. My copy arrived a couple days ago–thanks for signing it. It’s fun seeing Gianna out in the world!

    (And even us lovers of werewolves and evil faeries like to read other things, too. :-))

  9. Great meeting you!

    Kate–it was wonderful to meet you. My kids were very impressed (especially with your daughter, and the cookies). After I left, I felt like I missed the opportunity to really talk with you, but at a book signing, I would hate to monopolize the author. I think that your work is wonderful, and was impressed with your professionalism. Thanks for putting on such a great event for the kids. We all had a blast. (and I did already blog about it.)

  10. YEAH!

    My Shelfari review:

    Rated 5 stars

    “Ginna Z falls into my favorite file without hesitation! The believable story of the daily trials in middle school and @ home instantly create a very touching book. A quick read that makes you laugh out loud, get mad, and shed a few tears. A definite read aloud for my classroom!”

  11. Re: Great meeting you!

    Thanks so much for coming this afternoon! I always wish for more time at events like this because I would have loved to just sit down for a cup of coffee and real conversation! I’m so glad I got to meet you and your family, though, however short it was. Hope our paths cross again one of these days!