Tuesday, September 2, 2008

the first day

Okay. Today is the big day.

Ghost Medicine is in the stores, and it has been an incredible day from the moment my feet hit the floor when I got out of bed, at about 3 this morning.

First off, I finished my revisions on in the path of falling objects for my amazing editor and I sent those off to her before the workday in New York City began.

Then, I heard from my agent (who is on the other side of the world) about my recently-completed fourth novel... and my agent called it "brilliant" and "powerful," a "masterpiece" and said, "books like this are why I became an agent."

I'll digress a little here. My agent is not especially easily-pleased, so I'll take that praise as a good omen. Secondly, I also happen to love this novel... I mean, to the point where I've actually printed it out and carry it around with me just about everywhere I go. In fact, this book made me go insane for a while, because when I finished writing it, I got so incredibly depressed over putting it away and, basically, saying goodbye to all these amazing characters who had almost become part of my real life.

So... all this is going on during my actual pub day for my debut novel. And... to top it off, the icing on the cake was the amazingly flattering and humbling review of Ghost Medicine that came out from School Library Journal today:

SMITH, Andrew. Ghost Medicine. 368p. Feiwel & Friends. Sept. 2008. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-0-312-37557-7. LC number unavailable.

Gr 8 Up–Distant from his emotionally absent father, and missing his mother, who died recently, 16-year-old Troy first finds solace on a solo camping trip and then with his friends–Tom Buller, a wild and fearless farmhand; Gabe Benavidez, the timorous and underestimated son of a wealthy Western ranch owner; and Luz Benavidez, Gabe’s sister and Troy’s lifetime love. That summer is a journey of loss, self-discovery, pain, triumph, and growth as the young people try to define who they are and what they’re meant to do. Oftentimes they seek answers from what Troy calls Ghost Medicine, a Native American philosophy that explains the strength and signs that can be drawn from nature. While Troy senses that change is coming fast and fierce, he never imagines the deadly threat the sheriff’s son imposes when childhood pranks, jealousy, and vengeance get out of control. Troy wishes to be lost, but his greatest hope is to be found, and Ghost Medicine beautifully captures that paradox in this timeless and tender coming-of-age story. Not only will it inspire readers to prod the boundaries of their own courage, but it will also remind them that life and love are precious and fleeting.–Terri Clark, Smokey Hill Library, Centennial, CO