Tuesday, March 22, 2016

March Madness: On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

Today, for the last March Madness post of this year, I'm excited to be sharing a top ten list from Corinne Duyvis! Since she's no longer a debut author, I thought it'd be fun to ask her about her favorite moments of having a sophomore release. On the Edge of Gone, which published on March 8th, is that second book. And one that I'm excited to read! Here's a bit more information about it before I share the list. :)

*****

Title: On the Edge of Gone
Author: Corinne Duyvis
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: March 8th, 2016!
Get It: Amazon

From Goodreads...
January 29, 2035. That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one.

Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter outside their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time.

A last-minute meeting leads them to something better than a temporary shelter: a generation ship, scheduled to leave Earth behind to colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But everyone on the ship has been chosen because of their usefulness. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister?

When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?

*****

Top Ten Favorite Moments of My Sophomore Release
10. A learning moment
On the Edge of Gone is with the same publisher and editor as my debut. This meant I kind of knew what to expect for my second book. Maybe not the details, but the timelines, the different steps, the people involved—the big picture.

I was so wrong.

In publishing, nothing is one-size-fits-all. Each book and experience is unique. This wasn’t necessarily a favorite moment, but it was a good one nonetheless; I'm glad I learned this early, so I can prepare for future books.

(Prepare for … not knowing what to prepare for? I cannot wait to see how I pull that off.)


9. The author note
Because On the Edge of Gone features an autistic protagonist whose experiences are partially based on my own, it’s a quite personal book; I wanted to include an author note. I wasn't sure what my publisher would think, but they were totally on board.  Getting to write that note and then see it printed in the hardcover made me feel so fancy. Like a real-life author!


8. First starred reviews
This one is a little embarrassing. I got four starred reviews for my first book Otherbound, and as amazing as that was, it also set a high bar for my second book. What if people didn't like it as much? Would I feel disappointed? I was quite nervous, so receiving my first review—a star from Kirkus—was SUCH a joy and relief. When School Library Journal followed a few weeks later, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. 


7. The cover design being exactly what I’d imagined—twice.
For my first book Otherbound, I never had a mental picture of the cover. I ended up with a cover so perfect that I now can't imagine anything else!
For On the Edge of Gone, though, I always had a vague idea. A starry sky was a given. (The stars technically aren't visible for most of the novel, as they're hidden behind a big cloud of dust from the comet impact, but they're still thematically essential.) And it would need to feature my main character, probably seen from behind, looking up at the sky and feeling small. Maybe a destroyed city in the background. Like a nighttime version of Sherri L. Smith's beautiful Orleans cover.

I never communicated this to my publisher, so when a cover landed in my inbox that was almost precisely what I'd imagined, I was thrilled.

Better yet: it happened twice. For the title treatment, I had been thinking of shiny black text on a matte black background. Not only does it look very slick, it also fits with the complete darkness in the book. I didn't tell my publisher this, either. And guess what I saw when I took off the dust jacket? 



6. Metallic cover jacket
When I was at a conference last November, I saw a book called No True Echo in hardback form. I raved about it to the publicist at our booth: So gorgeous! I loved the metallic jacket!! So unusual and stylish!

Imagine my surprise when I opened the package with my first On the Edge of Gone hardcover and saw the jacket had the same metallic treatment. I was OVER THE MOON.


5. Becoming a reader
I won't lie: outside validation is important to me. I like it when people like my stuff, what can I say?

In this business, where you're so often dealing with editors and booksellers and publicists and librarians and reviewers and, of course,readers, you get a lot of opportunity for outside validation. As a result, I occasionally overlook a person whose opinion of my work should count pretty heavily: me.

When I leafed through the hardcover recently to find a quote, I realized two things:

One, I'd stopped looking for the quote and was reading instead.

Two, I liked what I was reading.

And that was a really, really nice thing to realize.


4. New York Times review
Seeing my book in the freaking NEW YORK TIMES.

'Nuff said.


3. Showing the dedication to my mom the first time.
The plan had always been to dedicate my first book to my mom, but when the time came to actually send in the text, I dedicated the book to my grandparents instead. They've always been incredibly supportive, and I knew I was lucky to still have all four of my grandparents at my then-age of 25. It felt risky to wait.

(Swapping dedications turned out to be the right choice, unfortunately. One of my grandmothers passed away six months afterOtherbound came out. I'm so glad she still had the chance to see it; so was she.)

This meant my mom had to wait longer for "her" book, but in February, I finally received the hardcover. Sharing it with her and seeing her pause on the dedication was a very quiet, nice moment.


2. Autistic Heroes in Kidlit
Autism is not the main story in On the Edge of Gone, but it's a big part of it. It's also a big part of my daily life: both actually having the condition, and talking about it as part of my work on Disability in Kidlit.

But I hadn't talked about autistic representation much in real life. When I realized that in November ’15 I would be in the same city as Anne Ursu (The Real Boy) and Lyn Miller-Lachmann (Rogue), who both wrote fabulous books with autistic protagonists, I seized the opportunity and set up an author event: Autistic Heroes in Kidlit. For over an hour, we talked about autistic representation, our opinions, how we tackled it in our books, and answered audience questions. Getting to talk about something I was passionate about? Amazing. Doing it alongside such fabulous women as Anne and Lyn? Amazing. And doing it in front of a smart, engaged, thoughtful audience like ours? A-MA-ZING!


1. Reader reactions to Denise
With so few autistic protagonists in fiction, especially well-written ones, I felt a strong responsibility to get it “right.” Seeing the book and its main character Denise received well by complete strangers in the wider world was wonderful. Autistic people who said they could relate to Denise, when we get so very, very few characters to relate to; non-autistic readers who thanked me for providing some insight and understanding.

Even if this were the only favorite moment I could point to, the experience would’ve been worth it.

*****

Thanks so much for sharing this with us, Corinne! And thank you to EVERYONE! The authors who took the time out of their days to participate. YOU, the commenters, those who supported it and shared the love. THANK YOU! You made this second annual March Madness a blast! <3

Last piece: the giveaway will keep going until the end of March, so still loads of time to comment on posts and earn more entries! :D

Here are the books you can choose from:
The Great Hunt
The Girl Who Fell
The Way I Used to Be
Beyond the Red
Into the Dim
The Steep and Thorny Way
A Tyranny of Petticoats 
Burning Glass
The Hidden Twin
A Study in Charlotte
The Keeper of the Mist
Walk the Edge
Blood Passage
On the Edge of Gone

Also, don't forget you can win one of two swag packs! Just click on the links for Burning Glass (INT) and A Tyranny of Petticoats (US) to enter!