Happy Bookday!

It’s here!  After more than a year, After Death is finally available in Paperback AND Kindle!

Paperback

Kindle

I’m so excited for the ghostly misadventures of Michael, Luke, and Kate to continue.  I hope you all enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!

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I want to take a little bit of time, however, to celebrate a few OTHER books being released today: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer, and of course, the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

The fact that my book came out on the same day as all of these ladies is, quite frankly, a huge fangirl honor for me.  JK Rowling is Queen, as everyone knows, and I don’t know a single person whose lives she hasn’t touched with her magical world.  Stephenie Meyer, yeah, okay, it’s kind of fun to make fun of Twilight.  But I’ve got to be honest.  I still love it.  I love the story.  It’s just pure fun and fantasy, you know?  Very escapist, and I do love to escape.

Then, finally, there’s Rainbow Rowell.  I fell in love with her writing after reading the story of my life, Fangirl.  I’m serious.  I’ve never read a book that so keenly described what it feels like to love a book and, frankly, to be apprehensive of the world outside.  Oh my Heavens, do I love Fangirl.

As if I didn’t already love Rainbow Rowell enough for  bringing that story to life, I then got to meet her last May.  She is incredible, basically everything I want to be as an author and as a person.  When I found out that her new book, Carry On, inspired by the book series in Fangirl, was being released the same day as mine, I was thrilled.  And yes, I’ve already run out and bought my own copy.

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Yes, I bought Life and Death too.  I wanted to buy the new Harry Potter, but let’s face it, as an Indie Author, I barely have two dimes to rub together.  I really shouldn’t have bought these two books, but I can’t help it.  I have to support the authors and stories that I love.  And, yeah, okay, I really need to feed my addiction to YA literature.  Most importantly, though, these books serve as a reminder of why I do what I do and why I put so much time and effort into my books.  I want this world of words to be my world, too.

Happy Bookday, everyone!  Go read your favorite book!  Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, go pick up something new!

May I recommend a ghost story?

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Rainbow Over Dallas

It’s always a gamble meeting the people you really admire.  They can turn out to be just as amazing as you ever dreamed.  On the flip side, they might end up disappointing you.  Rainbow Rowell, author of Eleanor and Park and one of my favorite books of all time, Fangirl, was not exactly what I was expecting.

She was even more amazing.

I went in to the reading and signing thinking she would be a neat person.  I love her books.  I follow her on Twitter.  She seemed like an all around awesome person and fellow fangirl.  But actually seeing her in person and meeting her?  Oh my goodness, she is marvelous.

She was all smiles from the moment she appeared, to the reading from My True Love Gave To Me, to the Q&A session, all the way to personally meeting and greeting each and every one of her fans.  She’s genuine and hilarious and sweet and enthusiastic.  She’s everything I want to be, not just as an author, but as a human being.  She’s so real, so personable.  She treated each and every one of her fans like they were the only person in the whole room.  I knew I admired her writing going in, but now I admire her even more as a person.

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Yes, me being me, I gave her a copy of Boy Band.  She was so sweet and she congratulated me and offered to take a picture with it.  I’m telling, y’all, she is so awesome.

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One of the artists who contributed to the special edition was there also!  Her name is Simini Blocker and she is just as delightful!

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Such a wonderful experience meeting these talented and wonderful women!  Thank you both so much!

Hitting the Road

Hi, friends!

I won’t be blogging as much this week as I normally do becaaaaaause I’m road-tripping up to Lubbock tomorrow to pick my sister up from college!  Since my dad still can’t drive, my mother has enlisted me to help be a mover and a driver.  I’m secretly stoked, even though I’m totally allergic to Lubbock.  I just can’t wait for a good road trip and to see my sister!  We’re going to have a blast.

I will probably be updating my adventures on Instagram and Twitter, however, so if you’d like to keep you, you can follow me here:

Instagram: https://instagram.com/jacquelineesmith/

or here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JackieSmith114

In other news, I had a fun weekend.  It was two of my friends’ birthday, so I got to bake them a layered cake!  I have never baked a layered cake before, so this was a brand new adventure.  I like to think, however, that it was a success.

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Then this morning, I visited the Transamerica Book Club as a guest author!  I had so much fun and so enjoyed meeting everyone and talking about ghosts and books!

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Now tonight is going to be a HUGE treat.  You me obsessing last fall over a little book called FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell (and if you don’t, here’s the link: https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/ode-to-fangirl/).  Well, Rainbow herself is at BARNES AND NOBLE tonight and guess who is going to meet her?!  THIS GIRL!

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I’m so excited.  I’m so excited.  Fangirl was a huge contributing factor into my decision to write Boy Band.  For one thing, it was also a NaNoWriMo book.  For another, it just reminded me of how much I love cute, fluffy, fun books.  I cannot wait to meet Rainbow tonight.  I know, just from reading her books and following her on Twitter, that she is super awesome.

I’ll definitely be posting pictures!  Talk to y’all later!

Ode to Fangirl

This won’t be a proper ode because, let’s face it, I don’t have a poetic bone in my body, but Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell deserves nothing less than a Shakespearean sonnet.

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I’ve been wanting to read this book from the moment I first heard about it, coincidentally, here on WordPress.  I knew I would love it.  I just didn’t know how much.

This book, to me, was a love letter, not only to writers (I loved Professor Piper and the way she put writing fiction into perspective) but to anyone who has ever loved a book series so much that those places and characters, in fact, become real to them, in some instances, more real than real life.

(https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/i-believe-in-dragons/)

Simon Snow is the Harry Potter of the Fangirl universe and the book included several passages from the books and fanfiction written by the protagonist, Cath.  I’ve got to be honest, if they were real, I would read those books in a heartbeat.  They sound awesome.  I found myself reading, not only to keep up with what was happening with Cath, her twin sister, and her potential love interest, but also to find out how the Simon Snow saga would end!

In the book, Cath and her twin sister, Wren, become immersed in the Simon Snow fandom after their mother walks out on their family.  For them, Simon Snow was an escape, a refuge.  It is revealed that Cath loves the fandom so much because for a moment, her reality stops.  She doesn’t have to live there.  I’ve never had something so horrible as a parent walking out happen to me, but my family did struggle financially for years.  I won’t go into it (I’ve already written it all down in the blog entry I posted above) except to say it made our home life miserable.

That’s where Harry Potter comes in.  Hogwarts became my own personal form of escape.  Instead of living in the horrible real world where our problems dictated our lives, I sought sanctuary in the world of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  While I was there, none of my stupid problems could touch me, because they didn’t exist.  Like Cath, I began reading and writing fanfiction (though I was not nearly as dedicated as she is), which eventually led to writing stories of my own.  I don’t list JK Rowling as one of my writing influences because I can’t even begin to compare myself to her, but the truth is, she’s the one who started it all.  I have other writing idols, but JK is the Queen.  We all know this.

Near the end of the book (I don’t think this is really a spoiler, but if you don’t want to read it, skip over this paragraph), Cath and Wren and a few of their friends attend the midnight release of the last Simon Snow book.  I’m not going to lie to you, but I got tears in my eyes.  The entire time I was reading, I was reliving my own time spent waiting for each of the Harry Potter books to be released.  It was real magic.  That moment the boxes come out, the moment they’re opened, the moment the first one is sold and everyone cheers.  If you’ve felt it, you know what it’s like.  These books, these characters, are so special and have such an impact on our lives.  That’s why I love writing and reading so much.  In some ways, it’s the only world I really know.

I’ve wondered my whole life when I would find my true place in the world.  It sounds so melodramatic and cliche, I know, but it’s something we all wonder.  I see people all around me who seem to know.  Some are meant for the world of business, others for law, some for medicine.  Artists, the writers and painters and sculptors and actors and musicians, I’ve come to believe, have no specific place in the world.  That’s why we feel compelled to create our own.  By doing so, I like to think we make the world a little bigger, give it a little something new each and every day.  And maybe, if we’re lucky, someone else will find a part of themselves in our creations.