Cue the confetti! ASH comes out today!

Today is the official publication date for my debut novel, Ash. I AM SO EXCITED!!!

As I've mentioned before, it took a long time to get Ash into the world. I thought it was a seven-year journey, but yesterday I dug out my journal from way back when and realized that it's been almost exactly eight years since I first conceived of Ash. So, in honor of Ash's official release, I'm actually going to share my [barely edited] journal entry with you.

Before I bare my soul to y'all, let me explain that I wrote this only four days after 9/11. I was living in California then, but I had previously lived in Manhattan for two years. My second apartment was in Battery Park City, and I walked through the World Trade Center every day on the way to and from work. So 9/11 made a significant impact on me.

And now, I give you, Malinda from 2001:

Me in 2001

Sept. 15, 2001

I'm 27 now, and a long time ago I told myself I'd have a book published by the time I turned 30*. I don't know why I'm thinking about this now, but, well, probably because of the terrorist attacks on NYC. What am I waiting for? I have to start doing what I've always wanted to do. There's no more point in waiting.

I know I want to do a retelling of the Cinderella story. Tomorrow I'm going to the library to look stuff up on Cinderella. I'll make a schedule. I'll do research until January 2002. I'll write the book in 2002 and aim to get the manuscript out to publishers in Jan. 2003. Or sooner if I write faster.**

And of course the goal is to write something that I would want to read. I won't be limited by genre or age group. This is the story I've always wanted to tell. Wow, I feel a sudden sense of purpose. I want there to be magic of some sort, but I want her to achieve her dreams through her own hard work. I would love to have her disguised as a boy who gets in a fight with the prince and ends up beating him, but I don't know how I would fit that in.***

Well, anyway, lots to think about.

Today I will celebrate Ash's arrival by continuing to work on my next novel. This is mostly because it is due in FOUR DAYS but, you know, I think it's pretty fitting. I've always wanted to be a professional writer, and today, I'm going to be writing professionally.

Also, I'm going to drink some fancy champagne tonight.

If you're in the mood to celebrate, Ash is now available for purchase at your local independent bookseller, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and even on Amazon's Kindle. Cheers!

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* So, that didn't happen. That's OK. ** Hahahahahaha. Ha. *** Let the records show that I am psychic and foretold the tale of Katsa and Po in Graceling!