Monday, October 3, 2016

Learning to Say No

A few minutes after the Newbery Honor for The War That Saved My Life was announced, I got a kind congratulatory email from a quite well-known children's author, who had herself won a Newbery Honor.

I emailed back. "Thank you. What do I do now?"

She emailed back. "Buy a fancy dress and learn to say no."

Buying the fancy dress was a saga for the ages. I hope I win some big award again so I can wear it some more. I love that dress.

Learning to say no was harder. A lot more opportunities came my way once TWTSML won all the things, and hung out on the NYT bestseller list (#9 on the paperback list next week, thank you very much!) and is getting translated into different languages, none of which had happened for my books before. I love these opportunities. I've had a blast speaking at conferences and schools, and I love the enthusiasm for my books, and I love meeting readers and writers. I've got some events coming up that I am hugely looking forward to.

However.

I'm a writer first, and I need to preserve my writing time. So I'm taking a step back from my speaking schedule. If you're a school, and you'd like me to visit, I'll be opening my 2017-2018 school year schedule in April, 2017. I'll accept a limited number of engagements at that time.

I'm continuing my policy of  a limited number of free 15-minute Q&A Skype visits to student groups who've read The War That Saved My Life or Jefferson's Sons. I still have a few slots left in March, April, and May. I'll open the calendar for the 2017-2018 school year in April, 2017.

I'm no longer going to be doing longer paid Skype visits.

And now, back to writing! I keep circling what I call my Egypt book--I've been threatening to write it for years. The time is now!