Ten years ago today, I became a published author. Belly Up was released by Simon & Schuster. If you go back to my very first blog post (which was also published about ten years ago) you will see that it was a very momentous week fo me. On May 14, I had watched my friend, astronaut Garrett Reisman, blast off into space, and then my family spent the next few days having fun in Florida. Somewhere around may 18, Garrett took this incredible photo of my first copy of Belly Up (which was an Advanced Reader Copy) on the space shuttle.
At the time that Belly Up was published, I thought that maybe, this might be the only book I would ever write. But thanks to the support of some of the finest people I have ever worked with, such as my agent Jennifer Joel, my publisher, Justin Chanda, editors like Courtney Bongiolatti (who really left publishing to become an FBI agent), Kristin Ostby Hoyle, Liz Kossnar and Krista Vitola, and my cover artist Lucy Cummins (who may have created the finest cover ever for this book), I have now published twenty books and am scheduled for another six over the next two and a half years. (Plus, there might be some exciting new projects to mention in a few months.)
My career in publishing has been an incredible journey. When I started, I had no idea that I would get to engage with my young readers so often via school visits and blog post comments, or that my own children would eventually get involved in the editing process, or that I would be participating at book festivals and meeting fellows authors. As it happens, many of those authors have become some of my closest friends. Authors like James Ponti, Sarah Mlynowski, Christina Soontornvat, Karina Yan Glaser, Max Brallier, Gordon Korman, Ally Carter and many, many, many more.
So thank you to everyone who has supported my career, bought one of my books, come to a reading of mine, sat in on a panel, written me fan mail, given me a positive review, or simply enjoyed the book. Thanks to all the hard-working bookstore employees and librarians out there who have recommended my books to young readers.
And of course, thanks to all of you, my readers. This wouldn’t have happened without you.