What I Want You To Know

I've had several people flip through the advance copy of LOOP, stop at the dedication page, and ask me who Tim Berry is. I've responded by saying, "He's a friend of mine who died in a car accident in high school."

It was twenty years ago today, in fact.

I had a huge crush on him at the time (and for a good chunk of time before then). I never found out if he liked me back. To be honest, I'm not sure if it would have made the grieving easier or harder.

When I was revising LOOP for my agent, there was a part she pointed out where she wanted to feel more of the main character's anguish. I ended up describing it as "drowning in an ocean of what-if's." Tim's death was the experience I drew on to capture those words. Because that's what the loss felt like at the time. Drowning. 

But that's not what I want you to know.

I want you to know that Tim was funny. Like, a wicked good sense of humor. He had this laugh that I can only describe as a chuckle that dug down deep.

He was compassionate and tender-hearted and genuinely kind.

He was artistic and creative.

He had a strong faith in Jesus, and it was the kind of rare faith that drew people in rather than driving them away.

And then there are those random things I remember. His favorite book was The Stand by Stephen King. His favorite band was The Pixies. (I used to go after school and sit by his grave and eat pixie sticks and then leave one for him until I worried his family might think I was littering.)

We used to pass notes back and forth in Biology in his notebook. To this day, I'm sad I don't have them.

And more Biology shenanigans...we made a deal with our other lab partners that if they'd perform the dissections, we'd clean up. So the two of us sat underneath the lab table and talked while our lab partners sliced. And then we stood shoulder-to-shoulder at the sink and talked some more while we scrubbed out pans. I look back, and even with the memory of cleaning up frog innards, I still think I got the much longer end of the stick.

I want you to know that he has a family that loves and misses him very, very much. I don't think I could grasp the crushing weight of loss his mother feels until I had children of my own.

The fact of the matter is that what I really want is for you to not know any of this. What I really want is for the accident to never have happened. I want him to be vying with his brother for the position of favorite uncle of his precious niece and nephew. I want to laugh at pictures from a prom that never was on Throwback Thursday. I want to be Facebook friends with him and hit "Like" under pictures of him and his wife and kids. 

But that's back to that ocean of what-if's.

So here is what I want.

I want those five words, "In Memory of Tim Berry," to provide some tiny bit of encouragement and comfort to his family and friends. I want them to know that he is not and will not be forgotten.

Getting my SWAG on!

I'm printing up these stickers for my inaugural signing, and I just had to share. :)

Sign-Up for Release Day Celebration

Hey! Just a quick note that Amber at Me, My Shelf, and I is organizing LOOP's Release Day Celebration. If you'd like to be a part of it, just click on the banner below. :)

Why I Write

First of all, let me just say...WOOOOOTY HOOOO!!!

It's now less than a month (almost three weeks!) from LOOP's birthday (10/21/14!!), and I am so excited.

Also busy.

Was maybe not fully prepared for the degree of busy. There have been giveaways to organize and share (This one on Goodreads for a signed ARC is open until the day before LOOP's release date. And this one from my publisher is open until September 29th.)

The first two chapters of LOOP are up exclusively at Tor.com. You can go read them now!

My quest to shower awesome librarians with love, appreciation, and bookmarks has been so much fun.

I have interviews set up that I'm working on (and very excited about), a Blog Tour that's in the works, and other fun behind-the-scenes stuff that's percolating.

All good stuff. All amazing stuff. But it's still a big change for me. 

That's when I stop, take a deep breath, and remember why I chose to pursue this dream of writing. I'm brought back to this....

I love books.

I love to read them. I love to smell them. I love the way the pages feel in my hands and the way the stories transport me to other worlds. I love the way my e-reader fits in my purse and turns itself off at night when I fall asleep reading. I love that there are book characters out there that feel like true friends. I love readers of books. I love writers of books. I love that they are my tribe.

I. Love. Books.

And that is why I write them.

Want to Win An Advance Copy of LOOP?

My publisher, St. Martin's Press is giving away twenty (TWENTY!!!) advance reader copies of LOOP! 

I know.

All you need to do is go fill out an entry form. So easy!

And good luck!!

I Want To Send You* Free Stuff!

* if you're a librarian.

Even as I type this, bookmarks and tattoos and other fun swag items are headed my direction. If you're a librarian, I want to send you some! No strings attached.

Just fill out the form below. Public and school librarians are both welcome.

You can read more about LOOP here. It's a twisty and fun YA time travel story.

Also, check out reviews from School Library Journal, Kirkus, and Publisher's Weekly.

Thanks, and I hope you and your readers enjoy LOOP!