Turned out I was wrong. Sort of.
Tonight I attended a book reading at the McNally Jackson bookstore on Prince St. in NYC. The visiting author? None other than Nova Ren Suma, writer of several young adult books including 17 & Gone, Imaginary Girls, and most recently, The Walls Around Us. And almost like the open mic nights of my college days, I knew the person at the mic sharing her words. I used to proofread for her. Just like me, for years Nova worked in publishing and was a production editor. Just like me, she wrote on the side and had dreams of quitting her day job and doing the writing thing full-time. Unlike me (so far, at least), she actually made the leap, and quite successfully at that. Her books now frequently show up on must-read lists, and the writing workshops she teaches have a devoted following. Basically, she's living the dream. And now that I've read her work (which is pretty great, by the way) I'm glad that she didn't put her writing on the back burner, something she'd get to eventually, one day, maybe. I'm not saying it's possible for everyone to quit their job and throw themselves into their art full-time. I haven't been able to do it yet, after all. But wow, when a person is able to do it, great things can come of it.
|Nova in conversation with fellow author Libba Bray.|
But it was I who should have been thanking her. Even though now, not everyone in the audience knows one another, and most of us hop into cars or onto trains heading our separate ways into distant corners of the five boroughs, I still felt for a while like I did back in college, listening to a friend share her work with a roomful of writers and readers who wanted nothing more than to listen, support, and be inspired. Nice job, Nova.
|Nova Ren Suma at the McNally Jackson bookstore reading from The Walls Around Us.|