Hello, and happy Monday, Dear Readers!
I know, I know - I've been neglecting the blog (and you) pretty shamefully for a few months now. What's been going on? Well, honestly, I've been in kind of a black hole for a while. I couldn't find the energy to work, I didn't want to hang out with friends, and I didn't want to interact much online. Even managing to drag myself out of bed in the mornings was a struggle. I tried to push past it and keep doing all the same things as normal, and at first that worked, but after a while pretending things were just the same as before began to make me feel even worse. Trying to Keep Calm And Carry On will only take you so far before you
get to an edge that you don't want to fall over. I found myself on that
edge due to a combination of factors right about the time of my birthday
in April this year, which was six months to the day after my father
died. I chose to back away - and that meant backing away from all of
you, as well.
This sounds quite scary and serious, but in fact it what it came down to was taking care of myself. My brain and my body were demanding that I cease running at full speed and just stop for a while. In order to cope, I pretty much had to allow myself the space to be alone, be quiet, and mentally and emotionally try to work through everything that's changed in my life over the past twelve months and where that leaves me now.
So I've been gone. And I just had to trust that you guys would be waiting for me when I felt strong enough to come back.
I'm starting to get better now - better enough that daring to say that doesn't feel like jinxing myself - but I'm still working through a few problems. Mostly this is my complex thoughts and feelings over my dad's passing last year, which is only just starting to seem real to me, but a lot of it is also problems with my health which prevented me from being on my computer for more than a few minutes, some days, without triggering ferocious migraines.
I don't want to make promises that will be like stones on my back as I try to climb out of that hole, but I do hope to be around online and more available to my friends and Dear Readers in the coming months. At the very least, I owe you updates on where I am with all my ongoing projects and what's coming up next. I'll make an effort, anyway.
Now before we all get really emo and start crying into our teddy bears (which I freely admit I've been doing plenty of recently) let's have AN EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!
In October I'm going to be doing a panel event and signing at the High Street Waterstones in Lincoln - my first public event since my dad passed on. Fellow YA writers Kerry Drewery (author of A Brighter Fear and A Dream of Lights) and Emma Pass (author of ACID and The Fearless) will be joining me for an evening event - 6:30 onwards - which celebrates the fabulous heroines of teen literature. I'll not only be answering questions and autographing books, but also giving out prizes and possibly spoilers about future work.
I'm a tiny bit nervous about this event, since I've been living like a hermit for a while. But I'm also really keen to get out and about as well. I'd love it if any Dear Readers who can make it would show up so I can shower them with hugs and swag. Lincoln is a gorgeous city that's well worth a visit any day, and between us Kerry, Emma and me have most of YA Lit covered, so we ought to be able to entertain you really well.
I'll be blogging more about the event and my fellow authors as the event gets closer, but for now, I just wanted to let you all know what's *been* going on and what *is* going on. Much love to all of my babies - and I hope you read you later.