The Beast Is An Animal

Since The Beast Is an Animal published on February 28, there are a whole host of new people to thank. First is Cristin Stickles at McNally Jackson Books for hosting my wonderful launch event on March 1. I’ve spoken in front of large audiences before, but I have never been so terrified in my life. This wasn’t just any large audience—this was an audience of family, friends old and new, and publishing colleagues who are also friends old and new. My life truly flashed before my eyes. In the end it was a wonderful experience and I’m hugely grateful to Emily Gould for introducing me and asking me such interesting questions—while taking time from her own writing and family to do so. Last I want to thank everyone who came—you know who you are. I don’t take for granted that you spent a few hours on a weekday evening just to support me and my book.

Special thanks to my dear friend Pamela Milam who went out in the cold and snow with me to all the Barnes & Noble bookstores in Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as to the independents Shakespeare & Co and Kunokuniya Bookstore in Manhattan, to help me sign all their unsold stock. She’s a friend, champion, and social media advance team all in one.

Last, I had a wonderful time at the NoVa Teen Book Festival in Arlington, VA, March 10-11. They arranged for me to talk to 80+ students at South Lakes High School in Reston, and that was so much fun. The school’s librarians, Linda and Kathy, were such fantastic hosts, and the students and their teachers were inspiringly engaged and asked excellent questions. It was my first high school visit, and as I said to one of the student organizers of their book club, they set the bar really high. The festival itself was also a wonderful experience, and I enjoyed meeting so many YA authors whom I’d admired from afar. I was awed by how much work the organizers put into it, purely for the love of books. The organizers and all the booksellers at One More Page Books were so inspiring. I’m particularly grateful to author and organizer Danielle Ellison, who seemed to have thought of everything and whose passion for YA literature is palpable.  I’m so grateful to have been invited.

Peternelle van