April 5th, 2011

imaginative girl

Kat's North American Book Birthday (and Giveaway!)

On April 17, 2006, I was chopping onions in my kitchen when I heard a girl's voice whisper in my ear: "I was twelve years of age when I chopped off my hair, dressed in boys' clothes, and set off to save my family from impending ruin. I made it almost to the end of my own front garden..."

On March 24, 2007, I went back to that novel, which had been waiting in my notebook, whispering to me all through the last 11 months, even though I'd been sensible and given it up only 2 chapters in, just knowing that it was a crazy idea, too quirky and uncommercial and fun and not a practical career option at all.

On May 24, 2008, I signed with my fabulous agent, Barry Goldblatt, and on July 22, 2008, my wonderful US editor, Namrata Tripathi, made an offer for the whole trilogy.

Today it's April 5, 2011, almost exactly five years from when Kat first arrived in my life, and Kat, Incorrigible is now officially published in the United States and Canada. Family and friends have been sending me photos of Kat in the wild, and every new photo feels astonishing and amazing all over again. (I want more! More! Send me more pictures!)

I am so happy I didn't brush Kat's voice aside when she whispered in my ears all those years ago, even though I was in the middle of cooking AND in the middle of a dark adult novel that I thought was so much more sensible and commercial as a project.

And I am so, so grateful to everyone who cheered me on on this blog back when I was first writing the book, with no prospects of publication, as well as everyone who's joined in since then, throughout all my ups and downs. Thank you guys so, so much.

As a very, very small token of my appreciation, I'm holding a giveaway here, today, open to everyone, no matter where in the world you live. Emily Mah has finished the lovely Kat pendant, in brass, with a silver chain (not pictured):



It's one of Mama's spell books, and I love it. Part of my agreement with Emily is that I get two free copies of any Kat-related piece of jewelry she makes, and I can't wait to wear my own pendant...but I want to give the other one away here.

If you want to enter, just leave a comment on this entry saying that you want to enter to win the pendant. I'd be really grateful if you could also mention something about Kat's publication somewhere else around the internet, whether on your own blog, twitter, facebook...anything that works for you. You could link to my lovely new book trailer or to my lovely older book trailer, whichever you prefer. Or you could just link to the first three chapters of the novel on my website. Any kind of announcement for Kat's book birthday would be hugely appreciated.

But! Even if you don't want to enter the competition (as I know not everyone who reads this blog wears necklaces!), please still feel free to comment on this entry. I promise not to enter anyone in the drawing unless they have specifically asked for it. ;)

Right now I'm just feeling awfully happy, and I really want to share the love.

ETA: The giveaway is now closed. Many thanks to everyone who entered!