Author: Shannon Lee Alexander
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Genre: Contemporary YA
Becca Hanson was never able to make sense of the real world. When her best friend Charlotte died, she gave up on it altogether. Fortunately, Becca can count on her books to escape—to other times, other places, other people…
Until she meets Max Herrera. He’s experienced loss, too, and his gorgeous, dark eyes see Becca the way no one else in school can.
As it turns out, kissing is a lot better in real life than on a page. But love and life are a lot more complicated in the real world…and happy endings aren’t always guaranteed.
The companion novel to Love and Other Unknown Variables is an exploration of loss and regret, of kissing and love, and most importantly, a celebration of hope and discovering a life worth living again.
What’s a funny thing that happened on your to getting published?
This is the story of a funny thing that happened on the day my debut novel LOVE AND OTHER UNKNOWN VARIABLES came out. I’m wasn’t sure what it would feel like to be a published author, but I can assure you, I didn’t expect to have my launch day turn out quite the way it did.
I woke that gray, Tuesday morning in October feeling giddy about my book baby being unleashed on the unsuspecting world. I went downstairs to make breakfast for the kiddos, opened the pantry door, and discovered that everything in the pantry was covered in mouse poop. Yep. It was my big day, and by 6:30 am, I was facing a mountain of poop. Not the impressive start I was hoping for. I couldn’t help but wonder what other author’s began their important book release days cleaning poop and disinfecting their pantries. I’m betting it’s a pretty small percentage.
Once the pantry was cleaned and the kids were off at school, I met some girlfriends to go hunt down LAOUV out in the wild. But the first bookstore we arrived at told me they hadn’t had time to unpack the boxes yet. And the second one reported the same. My friend Tabbatha took charge and called around until she finally found a bookstore about forty minutes away that had one copy.
By now that gray sky had opened up into a full on downpour. My friend Gwen drove through the apocalyptic rain to the bookstore. We ran to the teen section and scoured the shelves for my book baby, but it was no where to be found. By now, I was completely defeated. I resigned myself to seeing it “someday, maybe before I die,” because my caffeine was starting wear off and I’m prone to fits of hyperbole even on the best of days.
But Tabbatha was not to be shaken. She set off in search of a manager, while Gwen and I wandered the aisles adding books to our Goodreads TBRs. Tabbatha came back, towing with her a sheepish looking manager who was holding…gasp! My book!
Turns out this last copy was actually on hold for another customer. I told him that was perfect, and I wasn’t here to stop anyone from buying my book. I just really wanted to take a photo with the book on the shelf in the teen section. I reached for my book to place it on the shelf, the book that has my name on the cover and a picture of me on the back flap. The book I’d spent the past six years of my life toiling over. My book.
The manager quickly pulled it out of my reach, explaining he couldn’t let me have it because, like he’d explained, it was on hold. Yes, but, I stammered, trying to explain that I didn’t want to buy it because I had a box of books at my house just like it. All I wanted was to take a picture with the book in the bookstore.
He shook his head. I was not to be allowed to touch my own book, because, like he’d explained, this one last copy in all of Indianapolis was on hold for someone else whose name was not on the front cover.
Eventually, diplomatic Tabbatha struck a deal with the manager. He set the book on the shelf in the empty spot it had been residing in before its hold status had made it untouchable. But he still didn’t exactly trust me, and I can’t say I blame him, because at this point in time, I’m pretty sure I had a maniacal gleam in my eyes. He stayed very close to the book, just in case I were to take it and try to pay him for it.
Gwen snapped the picture of me with my book baby. The manager took the book back and disappeared. I went back to my mouse-infested house, where I had to clean up a second round of poop because the mouse got hungry while I was adventuring.
My favorite part of the story though, is that just as I arrived home, I got a text from a friend who said she was so excited because she’d put my book on hold (yes, the same book) at the bookstore near her work (yes, the same bookstore) and had just stopped in to pick it up. She asked if she could come by my house to have me sign it (yes, my book baby).
So in the end, I did get to hold that book. I even signed it. And I may have (definitely) hugged it.
We’ll see what happens on the day LIFE AFTER JULIET comes out. I’m thinking that I’ll just stay at home with my mice and wait for someone to bring me a copy rather than trying to hunt one down.
Shannon Lee Alexander is a wife and mother (of two kids and one yellow terrier named Harriet Potter). She is passionate about coffee, books, and cancer research. She spent most of her time in high school hiding out in the theater with the drammies and techies. Math still makes her break out in a sweat. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her family.