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Posted on the Squeetus Blog January 15, 2006 08:40 PM PST.

princess academy was chosen by some booksellers as an honorable mention for Favorite Novel of the Year! It made some other really nice lists as well that made me jump around happily for a week. Why is this so cool? Why is it such a relief? I truly don't sit around worrying about awards, but when they come, it's a mixture of bouncing on my toes and leaning back with a sigh.

I guess in part it means that this book didn't fail. You write it the best you can, but until you hear back from readers and librarians and booksellers, you don't know if succeeded outside yourself. I can't worry about the market while I'm writing, I can only worry about the story, the characters, the words. But after it comes out, it ceases to feel like mine and yet becomes a factor in my future as a writer. enna burning wasn't a smash hit , and if princess academy didn't find an audience, I really wondered how long I'd get to keep being a writer. And besides being a mom and wife and friend, it's all I want to do.

I'm still a bit brain dead from a plethora of school visits I've been doing (they're surprisingly draining!). Some classes were so naughty and just couldn't've cared less. Others made it worth it. I like to ask students who likes to read, who doesn't, and why. One (beautiful!) 8th grader, who had raised her hand for liking reading, said during the discussion, "I didn't used to like to read. I hadn't read a book for a year and a half, and then my teacher gave me the goose girl, and I loved it, and since then I've been reading a book a week." Holy cow, could a writer ever hear anything cooler? What an amazing girl. Of course, I instantly embraced her and asked her to go out for karaoke. My new favorite karaoke song? Total Eclipse of the Heart. "Once upon a time I was falling in love, now I'm only falling apart. There's nothin' I can do, total eclipse of the heart!" NOTE: When I sing, I make seals sound lyrical.

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