Tomorrow I am driving 8 hours (or 9…or whatever) to spend the weekend with a dear friend to celebrate the fact that HER BOOK RELEASES ON AUGUST 9TH!
Yup. I’m driving all by myself. For the weekend.
Let me tell you a story…
About two (or was it three?) years ago…I mean, who cares, friendship isn’t measured in years…I entered Pitch Wars. That wonderful contest just began again…mentors are reading and trying to decide who they will choose to help and mentee hopefuls are chewing their fingernails off.
I’ve been there. Only it was candy wrappers.
I made a comment about eating chocolate and someone tweeted back that she stole and ate the wrappers. So I went with it. It became a thing. We indicated our nervousness by tweeting “*crinkle*” to each other. Others showed concern at the whole eating wrappers thing, but it helped diffuse the tension and did something much more important…it gave me a new friend. We bonded over eating candy wrappers.
Now neither one of us made it into the contest. And we were sad, for a second…then we forgot about that and looked forward, down the road to the next thing. We walked the journey together. It’s good to have a friend.
I watched her go from writing YA sci-fi to an adult, an OH MY GOODNESS WHAT AM I DOING WRITING THIS adult. A manuscript about human trafficking. And I said, “THIS IS IT! THE BOOK THAT WILL MAKE IT!”
And she scoffed at me.
Then she was getting offers from agents and stopped scoffing and started panic-excited-screaming. HOW WOULD SHE EVER CHOOSE! I told her to calm down and listen to her heart…and her gut. She signed with her agent from Dystel and Goderich.
Then on submission.
THEN A BOOK DEAL!
AND NOW IT IS ALMOST HERE! HER DEBUT BOOK THE GIRL BEFORE IS GOING TO BE RELEASED INTO THE WILD I’M SO SORRY I’M SCREAMING BUT I AM VERY EXCITED!
I got to be a apart of the Love Tour. An ARC was mailed here, there, and everywhere. We read. We tweeted under #TheGirlBefore. We cried. We sent virtual hugs.
I was sad to see it go, but happy to have added my words full of love and support to my friend, who got it back not long ago and got to read everything we all wrote.
As much as I miss that book, I am ready to buy my very own copy on the 9th! I might stand in line jabbering to the cashier how I know the author and how FABUTASTIC the book is… I might. I might have book marks that I hand out to people.
Dude. I. Know. Her. RENA OLSEN. I KNOW HER. SHE IS MY FRIEND.
AND I KNEW HER WHEN, PEOPLE, I KNEW HER BEFORE SHE HAD AN AGENT AND A BOOK DEAL!
So I am going on a road trip. Because more than freaking people out with talk of eating candy wrappers. More than getting my heart broken by not getting chosen for Pitch Wars. More than anything…I made a terrific friend. One I have had the privilege of knowing, have gotten to tag along on her journey.
And it’s not over yet.
My dear Rena,
I am so proud of all you’ve accomplished.
I am proud to be one of the people you turn to when you are frustrated or have great news to share.
I am happy to stay by your side forever, to believe in you when you forget how, to excited-squeal with you when great things happen, and to be your roommate at any and all writer’s conferences. Because then I get to be cool by association.
I can’t wait for the weekend. We will have so much fun!
And me telling you how awesome you are at least 49957593720.8 times a day won’t get old, I promise.