It is a new thing to celebrate book birthdays – throwing a party to welcome your novel into the world. I guess if we do that as a new tradition it follows that books will have successive birthdays, just like us!
As with any birthday party, it is a good idea to have the whole family join in! Sadly, LOCKED UP and ROOM 555 weren’t around for the photo op!
So, today I celebrate two book birthdays. BENCHED just turned TEN! Since BENCHED was my first ‘baby’ I was nervous about how it would be received by the world and of course, how I would nurture it so it could grow. I was a novice, and like any new parent, spent many nights awake, wishing and hoping for it to thrive. I guess I shouldn’t have worried. After ten years, this middle-grade novel still brings me a little pocket change in royalties. I often get messages from teachers and youth in different parts of the world – recently, I was contacted by a teacher in New York asking if I had accompanying lesson plans. Orca Book Publishers creates lesson plans for most of their books and to access the one for BENCHED, click here: http://www.orcabook.com/Assets/PDFs/Guides/benched.pdf I still receive notes from young people saying it is the first novel they were able to complete – the reason I wrote this book. As this novel falls into the hi-lo category, or as I like to call them, accessible books, it is a quick read for avid book lovers and one that all readers can manage. A bit more about hi-lo fiction can be found here: https://blog.orcabook.com/author-feature-cristy-watson/
It is also a book birthday for CUTTER BOY. Originally titled, EDGE OF GREY, this book just turned FIVE! Interestingly, it was also a first for me as an author. It was the first book published with Lorimer and I now have three more books with their SIDESTREETS series, also a hi-lo category for YA: http://www.lorimer.ca/childrens/Contributor/3474/Cristy-Watson.html I have had many young people connect with me over this book – how it clicked with them, how it spoke to them, and how it helped them understand themselves and others. It covers a tough topic, and all of my books with Lorimer look at realistic issues facing teens today. If you read this book, be aware that it can trigger folks who are struggling with mental health issues and do remember to reach out for help and support: https://cmha.ca/documents/talking-to-teens-about-mental-health
BENCHED and CUTTER BOY thank you for celebrating their book birthdays this January. Authors – do your books have an upcoming birthday? Feel free to share with me in the comments section!