Well, yes, I am. Sort of. But is jealousy always a bad thing?
For those of you who are not aware (aka those who have been living in a cave for the last couple of months!) Kody Keplinger's debut novel, THE DUFF, debuts the same day as LOSING FAITH, September the 7th. THE DUFF has been getting an incredible amount of buzz, and rightly so! I was fortunate enough to score a signed advance copy at the Book Expo of America earlier this summer, and I could not put it down.
I'm absolutely *thrilled* for Kody that her book is finding a slew of avid fans even before it's released. Many are calling it their favorite book this year, and I think that's awesome. It's easy to be happy for Kody, first of all because I agree with those who call hers one of the best new YA writing voices out there, and secondly, because she is such a nice person (I met her a couple of times in New York this year, and also come across her from time to time on Twitter).
So if this is not why I'm jealous. Then WHY could I possibly be jealous, you might ask. Well, let me tell you a little story...
Several years ago, I traveled to Japan with my Polynesian dance troupe to perform nightly at a couple of different hotel chains. Among our troupe, was twelve-year-old Jerrica Santos. There was always something about Jerrica that I liked. I like all the girls I dance with, of course, but something about Jerrica just drew me to keep my eyes on her, and I was never sure exactly what it was. At twelve, she was already an accomplished pianist and singer, as well as working her way up in our professional dance company. At sixteen, she became one of the finalists on Canadian Idol, and recently (I think she's twenty-two now) she's started recording her music and opening for some established, popular musical artists across the U.S.
As time went on, I watched Jerrica's diligence and passion as she pursued her goals, and I was jealous. Not of the things she could do or had done, but just of her drive in so many different areas. I can focus on one thing, yes, but she was excelling at so many things! And on top of all that, she's been going to university for her back-up plan of becoming a doctor!
Jealousy can be a very damaging thing, and I'll admit, I have experienced some negative jealousy toward other dancers, mothers, and even other writers in the past. But with Jerrica...she inspires me. She makes me want to give more of myself to things. She makes me want to try new things. And with Kody, it's similar, but different. She makes me want to be young again. She captures youth in such a tangible way; it really makes me remember all the moments and the dreams and the possibilities.
So yes, I am jealous. Of Kody. Of Jerrica. Of anyone who's young and inspired and doing something cool with their time.
But jealous in a good way.
So why am I talking about this during my Sneak Peek week? Well...for those of you who are able to attend my local launch party, I'm thrilled to announce that Jerrica will be performing! And she has a special treat to share that will interest anyone who is interested in Losing Faith (though I can't say anymore about that just yet - stay tuned!)
I'm going to try to insert a jpg of the launch party details below. It's fairly low resolution, so I'm not sure how well it will come through for you, but I will have clear details to follow soon. And I really, REALLY hope that if you're somewhere in the area that you'll make a point of stopping by!