Happy 10th Birthday, Debut Novel

I can hardly believe it’s been 10 (!!!) years since the release of my first novel, Around the World in 80 Dates.

While my book’s actual birthday was back on September 27, it was October 18, 2007 when I first spotted it on the shelf at Borders in Roseville, Minnesota (still miss you Borders, R.I.P.). As I picked up my novel from the shelf and, you know, confirmed it was mine, I was having a total That Thing You Do! moment in my mind where I wanted to scream “That’s MY book!” to everyone in striking distance.

Since I didn’t feel like being escorted from the premises that particular Thursday morning, however, I kept quiet and just smiled as I contemplated whether I should buy it or leave it for someone else. I wound up opting for the latter, but not without giving everyone an opportunity to see it better by giving it a new home on a nearby endcap.

Seeing my book on the shelf of an actual bookstore had been the realization of a lifelong dream. Ever since I figured out that Judy Blume made up stories for a living (and got paid and all to do it), I knew that’s what I wanted to do. And now 10 years later, deep in the editing process of novel #3, the book business has changed a lot. While so much has shifted and changed for better (and worse), I’m reminded that the power of a good story hasn’t. And that’s incredibly exciting and keeps me going as a writer.

I can’t wait for y’all to read what I’ve come up with next, and in the meantime, it’s fun remembering the adventures of Sydney Alexander in Around the World in 80 Dates and a world where MySpace was still a major social media player. Seriously, so many of the cultural references crack me up as I’ve gone back and re-read certain chapters. It’s fun having a book that’s sort of time capsule in a sense. I remember the particulars of 2007 so much better now.

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