2015 was incredible! A year ago I was still working on DIY Magic with my editors at Penguin. We emailed the manuscript of the book back and forth, working on each chapter page by page. I am really grateful that I got to work with such a great team that helped me bring the book to publication. My agent, my editor and all of the wonderful artists who contributed to the book all brought so much to the table!
When DIY Magic came out in April I was swept up in a flurry of activity that seemed to last all year! Spring saw me busy doing book readings and interviews all over the place. Some highlights included being a guest on Coast to Coast a.m., reading to a packed house at Powell’s city of books (which was extra exciting because that is where I feed my book addiction) and visiting New York to do a reading and visit Penguin.
In the fall I got to go do a writing residency in Burgundy France at the Chateau du Monthelon where I finished up work on a novel.
It’s been a packed and wonderful year and I’m really grateful to everybody who has helped me to make DIY Magic happen. Of course nothing feels better than hearing back from readers who have enjoyed the book, that is really what it is all about—writing something that connects with people.
Being a writer is like being a crazy chef who is trying to cook too many things at once. With 2016 here I am excited about all the different bubbling pots, steaming pans, simmering stews that I have going on the stove top. They should be ready to bring to the table soon!
I am working on a radio show/podcast called The Magic Hour that will air on XRAY FM early in 2016. I am teaching a class called “The Writer’s Life” at Portland Community College. I’m working on the ideas, notes, ruminations that will shape into my next book now, too. 2015 was a milestone year for me as a writer and I am super excited to build on that and explore further in 2016.
The other day an aspiring writer asked me for advice on how to get published. The first thing I told him was to start where you are at and write every day. Write about what interests you and then get that published ( get it out to the public) in any way shape or form you can. Whether that is in a zine, a lit. mag, on a blog, a journal, an open mic. night, whatever. Write it and share it! That’s always the first step. When I look back at 2015 it will be the year I got published by a big publisher, sure. But I had been writing and publishing things every chance I got for years, with small press projects that I am still proud of. Begin from where you are now, that’s all anybody can ever do. And now it is time for me to take my own advice and get to work on my next book!
I wish you all a happy new year, may you be inspired and have fun!