Yesterday was a mixed bag. On the one hand, Clementine and I were sick and I had to miss the Neil Gaiman/Amanda Palmer show Jim and I had tickets for. Boo.
On the other hand, and compleeeeeeeeeetely compensating for any amount of headaches (and then some), Amazon's Best Books of 2011 were announced, and ...
Daughter of Smoke and Bone made the
AMAZON TOP TEN BOOKS OF 2011!!!!!!
The above image is slightly deceptive. Daughter is #6 on the list, not #1. There's a previous screen I've already scrolled past. But you guys. NUMBER SIX. The only YA book in the top 10! I am totally swooning with joy! It means a lot to get on the teen list too. A LOT. But to get on the BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR LIST is the kind of crazy I never even wasted any time hoping for.
THANK YOU AMAZON!!!
(You can see the full list, and the category lists, HERE.)
And speaking of the teen list, Daughter did not just make the list.
It made #1.
This is so amazing. I want to just stare at these screens.
Also, I want to say thank you to the readers who have posted reviews to Amazon. That is one of those things I try not to look at too much but I can't help it, and I really really appreciate them. Saying that is a reminder to me to get busy and post some reviews for books I have loved lately like Chime and The Red Glove.
Okay. I feel like I'm gloating, but I have another awesome list to tell you about.
Daughter also made Publisher's Weekly
Best Books of 2011, Children's Fiction:
THANK YOU, PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY!!
It's an amazing list of books, and includes Chime and another of my favorite books of the year, from months back, Where She Went by Gayle Foreman, and also How To Save a Life and Beauty Queens by my Little, Brown sistren Sara Zarr and Libba Bray, which I have not read yet but will soon, as I love love love their books.
I will also be taking a look at that sci fi/fantasy list. I'm sorry to say I'm not familiar with any of them. I feel like an ostrich these days. A reading ostrich. Randomly, look at this cover from that list. Love it:
Isn't that fun?
Well. I'm well enough today to get back to work, so back to work I shall get immediately. I have actually been ... rearranging the furniture ... in the new novel, which is something I do all along the way as I discover bit by bit what the book is *really* about. In the best of worlds, the pieces will reform without me having to ditch whole chapters, but only rewrite lightly, kind of like ... dusting. And that IS what is happening, thankfully.
I was emailing with a writing friend the other day who has a similar process as me, and we both confessed to not really discovering what a book is "about" until it is almost done. I sometimes think of this as finding the "axis," the pivot point around which the whole story turns. At which point it must be revised, restructured. This might sound drastic and terrible but it is not. I have done it with every book and story, and it is actually a fun and comfortable procedure for me, the "embettering" of the manuscript, once the light switches on in my attic. I mean, the pieces are mostly there, but they need jiggering. The suspense threads need tightening, the character arcs need tweaking, the whole thing could stand a general awesome-izing. Which is kind of a fun name for a procedure.
I'm going to the salon to have my hair awesome-ized.
That bit of dialogue could stand some awesome-izing.
Ha, add another excellent technical term to my lexicon, along with my go-to: "cool."