Counting My Lucky Stars

{At my very first author event, meeting booksellers!}
Yesterday Justin turned to me and asked, "Can you believe that your book is coming out next week?" 

Nope! Not at all! 

In fact, it's still surreal to me that I'm going to be published at all. Like ... whaaa?! How did this happen? I've spent so many years dreaming about this goal, and nearly as many years collecting rejection letters that made this dream feel so out of reach. And now I'm standing on the edge of the publishing diving board, my toes wiggling over the water. A part of me wants to jump right in while the other part needs to hyperventilate a little. I'm nervous. I'm scared. What if the world hates my book? What if no one except my mom buys it? What if I can't even get my mom to buy it?!

*Deep breaths, Caroline* 

But I am excited too! And I feel incredibly grateful. The longer I'm in this business, the more I realize how much luck plays into everything. For me, I was lucky enough to find an agent who wouldn't give up on my book; I was lucky enough that he found an editor who wanted to buy my novel; and I was lucky enough that my publisher took a chance on ordinary ol' me. I know that I'm just a tiny minnow in these vast publishing waters but I'm thankful to be swimming here at all. 


Lately, I've also been thankful to participate in two author events! (Whoa! Surreal moment again!) The first was the NAIBA booksellers' conference in Arlington, VA where I took part in the #WeNeedDiverseBooks reception. I got to meet three amazing Scholastic staffers along with a host of booksellers who were so enthusiastic about increasing diversity in their stores. Yay! Then this past Friday I was on a diversity panel at the Baltimore Book Festival, which was also super fun and cool. Here are a couple photos below, courtesy of Kimberly Shorter

{From left to right: Karen Sandler, Me, Justina Ireland. Photo credit: Kimberly Shorter.}
{Whoa, what am I doing with my hands?!}
And now here I am, sitting in my bed in my bathrobe, and I'm getting all verklempt because I just feel so darn humbled. There are so many writers out there who are far more talented than I am--and far, far more deserving--and I don't know why I got lucky. Maybe it was a cosmic roll of the dice? I don't know. But thank you, Universe. Thank you, Lady Luck. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Now I'm going to eat some cookies and cry a little, okay?