happy bastille day / about a girl

Here are cover models Lola and Kimmie! who made out for the betterment of humanity/the first EVER commercial YA cover featuring two girls kissing, thank you very much

About A Girl is out in the world today! and I find, as I write this, that I am uncharacteristically very nearly at a loss for words. It is the third book in a trilogy, which means saying goodbye to something bigger even as I am celebrating its arrival--goodbye, for me anyway, to the world of these books and the people who live in it. I have spent so much of the last four years with these characters, and I love them with all my heart: their wisdom and their foolishness, their love and their bad decisions, their long and complicated journeys--it is a beautiful but also a bittersweet thing to let them go. This was a tremendously difficult book to write, and I am prouder of it than anything I have ever done, but maybe next I am going to try something silly with a lot of jokes in it. (Although About A Girl does have a happy ending, actually. Mostly.) If you want to read the first chunk of it you can here and if you want to order a signed copy you can do so here.

Tally would be very pleased to know that the launch of About A Girl falls on the same day that the New Horizons spacecraft will pass 7,800 miles from the surface of Pluto--the closest approach it will make, after a nine-year journey of three billion miles. There is a scene close to the end of the book where Tally has a conversation with someone about what it is that makes us human, that makes us wonder and make art and do science and ask questions, and I will leave it up to you to find out what her answer is, and I don't know that I have one myself. But it is things like this that I think of in dark times, or in despair, when all the news is very bad and all the worst of what we are capable of is on full display, and it feels as though the heartbreak of living and loving in this world is too much, and there is no way to ever undo the damage that has already been done: we are the most awful animal and yet somehow we are still the animal who builds a machine that can fly a billion miles and take pictures of a planet none of us will ever see up close, just because we want to know, just because there is so much beauty still to find. That pale luminous disk like a beacon, reminding me that you cannot ask questions about the future unless you are brave enough to hope you might be willing to see it. I'm still here. So are you.

Next month marks the seventh anniversary of my move to New York--it is hard to believe, sometimes, that I am the same person who came here, with a suitcase and a cat and a lot of big ideas about my place in the world--or even the same person who started The Rejectionist, toiling patiently as an assistant and dramatizing the saga of the office mouse (I am still quite proud of that one). This blog has changed my life, very literally, in ways I never could have imagined, and I am so grateful for it, and for all of you--the people who are finding it now, and those beloved Author-friends who have been reading since the very beginning. I'm not done or anything, I just wanted to say thank you. So, from the bottom of my heart: thank you. Now get back to work. I am going to see if I can't go to sleep for, like, thirteen thousand years, and then I'll get back to work too.