Hot diggity dog! A friend of mine just reported the third Wal-Mart sighting of HONK IFYOU HATE ME. Amazing. It’s still so incredibly strange to know that a book with my name on the cover sits on venerable bookstore shelves, but in Wal-Mart, too? Gosh. From my decade as an editor at Harcourt, I know that this retail-opolis doesn’t pick up many YA titles, so getting placement there when your book isn’t a Harry Potter or a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is mind-blowing. Not that I’ve actually seen Honk there. My Wal-Mart doesn’t stock it. And believe me, I’ve looked.
Since the first reported Wal-Mart sighting of Honk If You Hate Me one week after the book’s release, I’ve checked my Wal-Mart every few days. You’d think I was stalking Sasquatch. Each visit, wondering if today would be the day we’d spot it, I’ll head right from the front door to the book aisles in the back. There, the boys and I roam about sing-songing, “Where’s Mommy’s book? Where’s Mommy’s book? Uh-ooooh, Mommy’s book not at Wal-Mart ye-eeet.” Unlike bookstores, you can’t just walk up to the book manager and say, hey, I’m a local writer, will you stock the book? Wal-Mart doesn’t work like that (I tried anyway, though). So for now I revel in anecdotal sightings. And that’s fine by me. Any sighting of Honk is like Christmas morning to this newbie author. And the thought that someone might actually be reading a book I wrote . . . well, it makes my knees wobble. What a lucky life I live to get this chance. Please, nobody pinch me. I don’t want to find out I’m dreaming.
Perhaps some day the sight of a book with my name on the cover will cease to ring my bell. But I hope not. Enthusiasm is what’s moved me through each of my literary phases, young book lover, literature student, aspiring editor, actual editor for a children’s book publisher, and now writer and freelance editor. Enthusiasm is what rolls me out of bed each morning after just five hours of sleep, having stayed up to work on the next book in the pipeline. And enthusiasm is what keeps me bee-lining my trio toward the book aisles in Wal-Mart. Because hunting for Mommy’s Book is exciting, for like the hunt for Sasquatch, there’s nothing like the tingly anticipation of what you might spot when you round the next tree. Or in Wal-Mart’s case, when you round the next endcap.