So…one week has passed. I’m not sure how it happened… One moment it was the 24th, then ten bazillion tweets, interviews, guest posts, Pinterest pins, emails, and loving comments later, it was suddenly the 31st.

I have never, ever, EVER felt so much love. Truly, you all made the book’s release day (and the days following) the MOST SPECIAL DAYS OF MY LIFE. And it’s still happening! As more people read the book, more emails and more tweets show up on my feed and remind me why I ever set out to be a writer…

You see, I think it’s easy to forget WHY we all started out with this whole writing thing… We get caught up in the “getting of an agent” and “keeping up with the trends”. Then we get wrapped up in selling our books to a publisher and worrying if OUR deal will be as big as THEIR deal–as if deal size and the time it takes to sell a book are somehow measures of the story’s quality. Guys, it isn’t.

Nor does how much push our publisher gives us mean ANYTHING about the story we wrote. How high our Amazon ranks shoot or whether we hit the famous “Lists”–these don’t matter either.

Why doesn’t any of that matter? Because at the end of the day, did ANY OF US set out to write something for those reasons? Maybe we wanted to get published eventually, but I find it doubtful that any of YOU (my dear, dear readers) sat down at your desks one day and thought, “Huh. I think I’ll write a book so I can become a NY Times Bestseller.”

No, we all sat down at our desks because we had a story to tell. A story in our hearts that we just needed to get onto the page. That we just needed to share with the world.

And I am finally getting to share one of MY stories. One of many, many more stories nestled deep within my chest (I like to imagine my stories cuddling somewhere behind my heart). The highlight of this past week and the highlight of waking up each morning is getting tweets/emails/Facebook messages/etc. from readers who loved Something Strange and Deadly.

Sure, there are a lot of people out there who probably hated the book, and that’s fine. That’s LIFE. I have read so many books in my life that I didn’t enjoy…that I set aside to never finish. It didn’t mean the book was bad; it meant the book wasn’t for me. And Something Strange and Deadly won’t be for everyone.

But for the people who DID love Something Strange and Deadly–for the people who took the time to let me know they loved Eleanor and Daniel/sank into the world/can’t wait for the sequel–you all reminded me why I ever started writing. I shared my story–my feelings–with you, and you gave me even more in return:

You reminded me that I write to share. You reminded me that YOU, my new and old readers alike, are the reason a writer WRITES.

So thank you. Thank you for bringing my launch week to a wonderful, beautiful close. Thank you for going out and buying the book. Thank you for spreading the word online. Thank you for being with me this long and continuing to stick with me even longer.

Thank you to Shane at Itching for Books for hosting such an amazing blog tour and going to downright amazing measures to promote Something Strange and Deadly on Twitter and in the blogosphere. You–and ALL THE BLOGGERS ON THE TOUR–really made my release week something special.

And also, thank you to Sarah Maas, Erin Bowman, Kat Zhang, Leigh Bardugo, Amie Kaufman, and Marie Lu for setting up this AMAZING #SSaDOutbreak. I have so, SO much love for you girls. You know I do, yet I don’t know if you realize just HOW MUCH love it is.

To the winners–and ALL the participants of not only the #SSaDOutbreak giveaways but all the others going on across the web (such as Shane’s and the Dark Faerie Tales blog and Kat Brauer and Meredith McCardle and many, many others ), THANK YOU for taking the time to try for all these great prizes. ♥ And–just in case the #SSaDOutbreak winners missed their prizes–here’s a recap…

Now, to announce the winner of yesterday’s giveaway from Marie Lu–a signed copy of LEGEND…

~Cionie from deviantArt!

Congratulations!! But wait–there’s more! Now I get the pleasure of announcing the final winner of the HUGE grand prize giveaway in the #SSaDOutbreak. This person will win:

  • A $30 amazon gift card
  • An ARC of MIND GAMES by Kiersten White
  • An ARC of CARNIVAL OF SOULS by Melissa Marr
  • An ARC of THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater
  • A signed paperback copy of DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth
  • A limited-edition “Aim for the Knees” SOMETHING STRANGE & DEADLY t-shirt
  • If you are a writer, then Erin Bowman and Sarah Maas will BOTH critique the first 2500 words of your YA manuscript (any genre)!
  • If you are a writer, then the absolutely amazing agent, Joanna Volpe, will critique your YA query letter (any genre)!
  • An ARC of THE DARK UNWINDING
  • An ARC of BUTTER
  • An ARC of BURN FOR BURN

I feel like we need a drum roll here. This reader not only bought a copy of Something Strange and Deadly, but she took some amazingly clever pictures with it for the #SSaDOutbreak board on Pinterest!!

Katie O’Shea!!

To both ~Cionie and Katie, send an email to SSADOutbreak@gmail.com to receive your prize(s)! Congrats and THANK YOU!!!

Oh, and to everyone: If you live in the West Michigan area, don’t miss my signing tonight with Anne Greenwood Brown (author of LIES BENEATH). We’ll be speaking, signing, and giving away swag at Schuler Books on Alpine Avenue in Grand Rapids!

Now YOU ALL tell me: If you’re a writer, WHY do you write? If you’re a reader, do you ever let an author know you loved their book?

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