Show Me Your LOOP!

Hey there, LOOPers (oh, wait, that's been taken). Hey there, LOOPies (nope). Hey there, LOOP readers! I am so excited that LOOP is out in the world now (and it's getting around).

It's relaxing at the beach.

Hanging out with Olaf. As one does.

Just chilling in Boo's mouth.

Paying homage to one of its favorite time travel movies Somewhere in Time on Mackinac Island, MI.

So. Want to win a signed & numbered, limited-edition bookplate? Well, the time-traveling Shifters in the book can pop up anywhere in any time. And now so can LOOP! So just post a picture somewhere on the internet (Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook) with the hashtag #LOOParoundtheworld with your copy of LOOP, then come and fill out the form below. It can be somewhere fun, somewhere silly, somewhere exciting or famous or everyday. There are only 250 bookplates, so SHOW ME YOUR LOOP to get one!

(Ironically, due to postage costs, I have to keep this open to US residents only. I know. BOO, International postage rates! But I'd still love to see your pics in other countries! I just unfortunately can't mail a bookplate to you.)

Thank You.

LOOP has officially been launched into the world. And what an amazing launch it's been so far. Thank you so, so much to everyone who has bought it, read it, left a review for it, tweeted about it, squealed about it, told friends about it, told a librarian about the free Swag Pack they could request, and celebrated with me.

I don't have words.

But, hey.  A picture is worth a thousand words, so as a tiny token of my appreciation, please help yourself to these free 5x7 printables that I designed. Some are silly. Some are funny. Some are encouraging. Print them out, frame them, stick them on your locker, tack them on a bulletin board. In short...enjoy!

Again, thank you.

(p.s. The colors on these images might be slightly different from what's on your screen due to paper and printing differences. Also, unfortunately, I'm a bit of a techno-dunce, so if you have a problem downloading these files, I'm not going to be able to help you. At all. On my computer, you just click on the picture, then right click on the image and select "Save Image As...")

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. :)