Monday, April 8, 2013


This past Tuesday, my contemporary YA novel MY LIFE AFTER NOW was finally released out into the world! It's the story of a sixteen-year-old aspiring theater star who learns she is HIV-positive.
As my fellow Luckies can tell you, this is both an entirely thrilling and and entirely unreal experience. And -- bear with me here -- in a way, it's a little anticlimactic. I know, I know, you're saying, Anticlimactic?! Are you nuts? This is the most exciting, amazing, splendiferous thing that can ever happen to a writer! And you're right. It is.

But the release of your book is also this weird thing that actually kind of happens without you. You write the book, you get the book deal, you celebrate, you work on revisions and copyedits, you get a peek at your cover art and squeal like a little kid, and then ... you wait. You really have nothing to do with whatever else is going on behind the scenes. You aren't privy to the daily ins and outs of the production of your book. And even the stuff you do have a part of -- the writing, the revising -- is done in private. You're all by your lonesome, on your couch or in a park or in a coffee shop, going along on your unassuming, merry way. Kinda sorta almost forgetting that real live people are going to read it.

In the lead-up to THE day, the big release day, it almost feels like you should get to push a big red button or ring a bell like at the New York Stock Exchange ... something, anything, to trigger the launch of your book out into the world.

But instead, quietly, when nobody's looking ...

You're an author.

You see your book on the shelves of every bookstore you enter. You have people you've never met before coming up to you at your public readings, telling you they read your book, loved it, and recommended it to their friends. You have zillions of (hopefully positive) reviews on Goodreads, also from people you never knew existed.

And it's this strange thing where you have to remind yourself that THIS IS REAL. This little book that you wrote for yourself is not yours anymore. It belongs to the world now. And it's completely out of your hands. It's crazy. It's surreal. And, yes, it's wonderful.

Tomorrow will be the one week anniversary of MY LIFE AFTER NOW's book birthday, and I'll be celebrating by throwing a little launch party at 7 p.m. at The powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, NY. If you're in the NYC area, please feel free to come on down! There will be a reading, discussion, and wine and cheese! The more the merrier!

Jessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. Her favorite pastimes include singing showtunes at the top of her lungs, watching cheesy TV, and scoring awesome nonleather shoes in a size 5. She's still trying to figure out a way to put her uncanny ability to remember both song lyrics and the intricacies of vampire lore to good use. Visit Jess at and follow her on Twitter.

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