Monday, January 24, 2011

Michael: 3... 2... 1...

In the movies, launches are serious business. They often involve two people who must, after exchanging a somber nod or shouted threats, turn their keys simultaneously to release a dread projectile. Launches are serious business in publishing, too. They involve at least as many people acting in unison, and at least as much dread. I mention this, of course, because my second YA novel officially launches February 1.

My key contributions have included sending a box of ARCs (advance review copies, but the acronym is pleasingly ICBM-ish) all over the map and an all out offensive of Q&As, guest posts, Top 10 lists, character interviews, and other strategic initiatives for dozens of websites and blogs.

My publisher’s key contributions have included sending out even more ARCs, some carefully targeted at the top trade and review outlets, and a lot of clandestine, behind-the-scenes work, like conversing with buyers, briefing sales reps, and pouring over proprietary data. Their part is cooler, but whatever, we both have to turn our keys.

Six days from now, we will have. The silo door will open, the smoke will shoot out the side vents, and we’ll see what happens. It’s possible that Scholastic will turn to me and say, “What have we done?” Either way, Trapped will be out there.

And then we’ll both go back to turning our keys—I’ll be doing readings, more guest posts, whatever—and Scholastic will do more of that spy stuff. The missile launch metaphor really falls apart at this point, and that’s OK. It’s not the sort of metaphor you want to follow all the way through on. You just don’t want the thing to land 18 feet away or fall over sideways once it clears the silo.

I don’t think that will happen. The keys seem to be working, our nods were sufficiently somber, and the design of the thing, if nothing else, is impeccable. But, really, only time will tell.

Which reminds me: When I was around 6, I had a water rocket. Finally, I pumped it up one (or eight) too many times and it flew so high that it got stuck in the big tree in our front lawn. As far as I know, it’s still up there. That's the kind of launch I'm looking for, and why I still get all keyed up for these things.


  1. Hope the book takes off and soars - congrats on the upcoming release of TRAPPED.

  2. Thanks, Janice! (Although I am now reconsidering my hope that it gets stuck in a tree...)

  3. So funny. Can't wait to read TRAPPED. I know all the stages of hypothermia, so I'll be on the lookout for those. Congratulations on your launch. I hope you and your book wind up in a place much higher than a tree.

  4. As a fan of GENTLEMEN, I've been waiting for TRAPPED! But with 3 feet of snow now in my backyard, I may wait for a blistering hot day of summer to read it. ;->

  5. Congratulations! A book is born. It's so exciting. Take some time to soak it all in. By the way, I'm very excited to meet you at the LDStorymaker's conf. in May. It's one of the best, most fun conferences I've ever been to. You'll love being here!

  6. Michael - I just saw that TRAPPED is a Top Pick in this month's BOOK PAGE. Congrats!