As I’ve mentioned before, I am a lousy almanac. I forget birthdays, anniversaries, significant dates – all the things women are often assumed to be good at. But it dawned on me today that this is the end of my debut year: the year my first novel was published in North America.
It’s true that Spy was first published in 2009 in the UK. But it was such a theoretical debut. I never saw it in the shops. I didn’t do any events because I was, well, here. So this is the year that things became real. The year I became, officially, a novelist. And oh, I’m sorry to see it go.
This is the year I met so many passionate readers and writers of YA fiction. The year I found an online community of bookish souls. The year I made friends with other working writers. The year I first read aloud my own prose to a crowd of people (then joked about it to the same crowd, just for fun). The year I received fan mail. The year someone looked at me in a store and asked, “Are you Y S Lee?” (True! It happened just this week.) The year I felt confident answering the “What do you do?” question with, “I write books.”
It’s been a rich, hectic, tumultuous, joyful year in so many other ways. I have tons to celebrate and even more to look forward to. But I’ll never have another year quite like this one. And right now, that feels bittersweet.
What did this year mean for you? And what are you looking forward to in 2011?
P.S. My last blog post of the year will be next week at the Book Smugglers and I’ll be running a little contest to celebrate. Join me then!