Bigfoot and Nessie is an Eisner Nominee!!!

LOOK AT THAT BACKGROUND. I’ve never been nominated for anything in my life, and now my name is on a website with a classy light that follows you around as you scroll.

I found out about this last week and it still feels unreal! When I first got into publishing, I thought my books would stand out and get noticed. (LOL.) I thought all I had to do was get published and people would realize how much they loved my stories and characters and that of course there should be more of them. If you’re a fan, you might be thinking, “But that happened, right? Because I DO want more of your stories!” Well… yes and no. Readers have enjoyed my stories and connected with my characters (and OMG, thank you to everyone who has!), but the industry is tough. (Which industry? Doesn’t matter – they’re all tough.) And it still pains me to admit that I have not had the success I thought I would and, and – and this part is especially painful – might never have. Ugh. OUCH. It buuuuurns.

Ahem. Anyway. After fifteen spotty years of publishing, I thought my fate was decided long ago and that things like this were forever out of reach. Bigfoot and Nessie: The Art of Getting Noticed is about finding the courage to be creative in the face of the fear that you might fail. That no matter what you do, you might never get noticed. Or if you do, maybe outside validation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. These are the things I struggle with! I have felt like a failure, and I have felt frozen with fear that no matter what words I put down on the page, they’re going to be the wrong ones. Because if they weren’t the wrong ones… wouldn’t things be going better by now? Wouldn’t I have had the success I always thought I’d have?

Neither of those things are true, of course – it’s just my brain’s way of trying to make sense of something I don’t actually have control over. All I can really do is keep making things that bring me joy and hope they resonate with others. As a reader, I always feel like the author can feel my love for a book somehow, even if I never say anything, but as a writer, I feel like I’m putting things out into a void. Like messages in bottles sent off into the sea. Did anyone find them? Did they get where they needed to go? Did the right message get to the right person? Should I keep putting MORE messages in bottles, just to be sure?!

And all of that is a long-winded way to say that the creative life is tough and there are so many ways it can tear you down and make you feel not good enough. But sometimes it does the opposite and hands you something cool. Sometimes the bottles come back with new messages that prove you weren’t sending them off into a void after all.

This book was a collaboration between me, Laura Knetzger, Rachel Sonis, and Jay Emmanuel, and the rest of the team at Penguin Workshop. Having collaborators means not only having people to share the creative process with, but also having people to be excited with when something like this happens! I’m honored to have worked with this group and so proud of the book we made!

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