Friday, January 7, 2011


I can't believe it. The busiest year of my life, 2010, is done. When I think about everything that has happened in the past year, I'm really surprised that I squeezed all that into twelve little months. But somehow I managed to have three books published, hold six book signings, and throw two book launch parties. I went to Greece and attended my first writers workshop abroad (and sprained my ankle). I went to Prague in the Czech Republic. I proofread countless books. I taught my first proofreading class at NYU and survived! I was the maid of honor in my best friend's wedding. I traveled to Milwaukee to attend another friend's wedding. I started working on my next book. I went to a rally in Washington, D.C. I spent a weekend in Kansas City, Missouri. I attended a taping of The Daily Show. I threw four baby showers and a bachelorette party. I spent time with my family. And of course I maintained my full-time job throughout all of that.

Phew! Just reading that list makes me tired. But it also makes me really proud. It was an exciting, challenging, and rewarding year and I couldn't be more grateful--especially since it ended on such a high note.

On December 18, I experienced another first: my first book reading at a birthday party! Tonya Johnson, who organized the writing panel at Watchung Booksellers, has been in touch with me ever since that event. And her daughter, Bria, had become a fan. She liked the first two books in the Your Life series so much that they invited me to do a reading of Your Life, But Sweeter at her birthday party. Sweet!

The party's theme was centered around my book in that it involved all things sweet. The girls made chocolate lollipops, there was a deliciously sweet birthday cake, and I brought gingerbread houses for them to decorate together and candy canes full of M&Ms. And what a great bunch of young ladies! Before I got started, Tonya had them all introduce themselves and tell me what they want to be when they grow up. One wants to be a doctor, one wants to be a writer (a girl after my own heart), a few want to be fashion designers, and a few couldn't decide between modeling and sports. Bottom line, they were all ambitious, intelligent, cool, fun, and creative. My kinda crowd.

After I had them take one of the quizzes, I read one of the chapters. And then we just talked a little bit about the process of writing these books and how I got started. We talked about some of the themes of the first two books, and they told me about their brushes with fame and the kind of books they're reading. (They were appalled that I haven't finished reading the Twilight series yet. I guess I'd better get on that!) Afterward, I signed all of their copies of Your Life, But Cooler and Your Life, But Sweeter with my favorite purple pen. And the budding writer of the group let me read the beginning of her very first novel. It was so much fun. Girls, thanks for helping me end the year with such a bang. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRIA!

And Tonya and Tanya, thank you for giving me and my books so much love. I appreciate it more than you know! Here are just some of the pictures from the party. If you want to see the rest, go to the Your Life, But Better Facebook page.

Tonya even made the girls goody bags to take home.
What a great mom!
From left to right: Tonya, me, Tanya, Shania, and Bria
Bria and Melissa reading along

Marianella, Divya, and Becky working on the quiz

Here I'm explaining how the quizzes work with the book.
Marianella volunteered to be the one to reveal her quiz results
so we could decide which chapter we would read next.

Jacqueline and Shania

Here I am with Tonya (Bria's proud mom and party organizer)
and Tonya's friend Tanya, who she's known for years. 
The whole gang from the top left: Me, birthday girl Bria,
Shania, Marianella, Jacqueline, Divya, Melissa,
Gina, and Becky 

From left to right (front row): Gina, Becky, Divya, and Melissa
(top row): Me, Bria, Shania, Marianella, and Jacqueline. 
Reading from Your Life, but Sweeter

Cheesing for the camera

Bria and Melissa (I hope they were laughing at something
funny in the book!) 

Jacqueline and Shania giving me their full attention

Me laughing at something one of the girls said

Marianella, Divya, and Becky deep in concentration

Tonya, me, and Tanya
You will never meet a nicer pair of women.
Getting to know the girls

Showing the girls my scrapbook. (I started keeping one
when things started to take off with the books.)

Jacqueline and Shania

So glad I brought my favorite purple pen

The line to get their books signed

Marianella, Divya, and Becky

Check out that sweet cake. Mm mm good...

The fashionistas in training striking a pose.
From left: Gina, Bria, Jacqueline, Shania, and Marianella 

It looks like they had so much fun. 

Happy Birthday, Bria!

So that was 2010. What's next, you ask? Well, I'll be spending some time promoting Your Life, But Sweeter--starting with a book signing at the Columbia University Bookstore on January 15 at 1 PM. Pleeease come through and buy a book or two. (Or at least bring enough people with you to make it took like Taylor Lautner is there instead of little ol' me.) I've also started planning the book launch party, which I think will be in the first or second week of February. Details to come! 

Finally, I've started working on my next book. In the meantime, I want to hear from you. How were your holidays? And what are your hopes for 2011? I'm all ears. 


  1. Hey Crystal,

    How are you? I haven't gotten to read Your Life But, Sweeter yet but I am curious to read it. Is it the last book in the series? I am just curious. Happy New Year!



  2. Yes, I think this one might be the last in the series, but of course I'll let you all know if that changes, OK?

  3. Oh, and hi, Aishah! Great to hear from you again. I'm doing just fine, and I hope you are too. By the way, you have a good reason to pick up this new book. You're in the acknowledgments! :)

  4. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Thank you!!!! Plus I got a new e-mail. The old one has lots of spam in it. Maybe, I can go brag to my library! Ha-ha!!! Thanks so much though. I just saw the Acknowledgments page.

    Lots o' love,