In less than a month (26 days to be exact, but who’s counting?) Voracious will actually be in bookstores. When I started this process–nearly three years ago!–I had a vision of what this time would feel like. At night, lying in bed after endless days of waking up before dawn to write, going into my job, and then getting home to write late into the night, I clung to the thought of this very time. I imagined excitement and pride, but most of all I imagined relief, calm. The excitement and pride are there, that is for sure, but the relief and the calm have yet to show themselves.
When I was a kid, before going to baseball games or birthday parties or away on vacations, I would get a terrible knot in my stomach that I was sure was anxiety. I wondered what was wrong with me that things so exciting could cause me such terror and dread. It took me until only a few years ago to realize that this gut-churning nervous anxiety was actually just excitement. Even now I have a hard time distinguishing between the two, which is kind of a sad thing to admit, but it’s true that there is a fine line between excitement and anxiety. I’m feeling both, I think. There is, of course, anxiety about thrusting such a huge part of myself out into the world and inviting people to scrutinize it, about how it will sell and how people from my past will feel about making an appearance in these pages. But the excitement, I think, outweighs it this time. I’m so excited to show you what a beautiful job Little, Brown did designing this book, and for you to see all of Marion’s incredible illustrations. I’m excited to know how you read the book–will you read it cover-to-cover or just read the essays about the books you have read? Mostly, I’m excited to engage with all of you about what books have shaped your lives, to know what pages pulled you through your own grapplings with loss and heartbreak and change.
In the meantime, while I pull my hair out waiting anxiously (excitedly!) for August 18th, here is a preview of what’s to come. Directly below are links to a few different places where you can pre-order the book. This means it will arrive at your door on August 18, and there will be a few fun little treats included as well as a reward for being an early-bird (fill out THIS form and you’ll get some temporary tattoos of Marion’s illustrations!). Below that you’ll find an essay from the first chapter of the book! There will be more updates to come, including book tour dates and locations and other event information, so stay tuned.