A lot of us fondly remember our Scholastic catalogues from our kid and teen years. Well, I know I do. My mom remembers hers fondly too. The fairs and catalogues were like Christmas, picking out something we longed for and then the thrill of it coming in, then unpacking those boxes of treasures that would transport us to any number of worlds.
I started writing my first novel at around the age of 12, when I was still getting those catalogues at school. I never admitted the thought of "what would it be like if one of my books was in there...?" That was too far-fetched a thought for me to actively desire it. I had no concept of the industry that would lead to one getting one's work in said catalogue, nor could I have quite imagine the scope of the 20 years it would take until it happened.
Those catalogues and fairs passed out of my life and I hadn't thought much about them until I moved to New York City, torn between being an actress and an author, and gave tours around the city on big red buses for my day job. We'd pass the Scholastic headquarters and I'd fondly rhapsodize for the tourists about those catalogues, about my beloved Harry Potter, I'd tell the story of a struggling J. K. Rowling and her quest for publication to make me feel better and then secretly I'd yearn for a day that fond familiar logo might just be on one of my books too.
You know that moment when you don't realize just how much something means to you until it's staring you in the face? That happened last week when Sourcebooks sent me an author copy of the upcoming Scholastic edition of DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, my YA debut in the Magic Most Foul trilogy of Gothic historical paranormal novels set right here in New York City in 1880. I admit, when I opened the package it was like Christmas all over again, like opening those boxes from Scholastic, only this time my name was next to that logo. And then I cried a little. I could hear twelve-year old me go "Really?! Is this for real?". And while a world of experience separates me from that girl, the love of writing developed at that age remains as vibrant as ever.