Antony John, Author

Moments of joy

While I was chatting with the wonderful and inspiring Sara Zarr the other day — that’s us with William Shatner, who was one of the more interesting cardboard cutouts I’ve ever spoken to — I made a confession: I don’t celebrate release days. I know I’m supposed to, but by the time the book comes out, I’m already thinking several projects ahead. I’m thinking only in terms of getting books into readers’ hands. I’m barely thinking of the release at all.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate anything. For instance, I sent the final draft of ELEMENTAL to my editor yesterday. I love this book, and am enormously proud of it. There’ll be a lot of copyediting, as usual, but I’ll celebrate that too, because it means I’m honing in on the finished book. And as for the cover . . . whoa! I can’t share it yet, but let’s just say it’s freaking amazing. In my mind, the book is already coming together. And that is something I can truly celebrate: the pursuit of the dream is every bit as compelling for me as the realization of it.

All of which reminds me of something many talented authors have told me: enjoy the ride. As long as these intermediate goals (first draft, final draft, copyediting, receipt of cover) are cause for celebration, I’ll be a happy camper a lot of the time. The same goes for all writers. Books are as much about the journey as the destination. Make it a pleasant one.

Sara Zarr wrote about this kind of thing herself–and far more articulately–in case you want to see.

On a different note:

* Today I’m guest blogging at Eating YA Books about my history as a reader. No, I didn’t read very much when I was a teen. Now you’ll find out why.

* Two new fantasy novels MUST be added to your wish list ASAP: ASHFALL by Mike Mullin is a captivating story of a boy struggling to reach his parents in the aftermath of a supervolcano eruption. It’s almost unbearably tense, and so real. LEGEND by Marie Lu doesn’t come out until next week, but it’s a dystopian novel about two 15-year-olds on opposite sides of a war. The pacing is breakneck, and the plot twists and turns so much you just can’t put it down. I loved them both.



  1. Sara Z says:

    Those were some good times, us and Shatner.
    Congrats on turning in the book! If only you were on twitter, you would know I tweeted this post. But now, YOU’LL NEVER KNOW.

  2. capillya says:

    Interesting hearing your perspective on release days. I always just assumed that authors are always SUPER excited about their release days. And while I’m sure a majority of them are, I totally get what you mean — the fact that you’re already thinking projects ahead so bringing yourself back to that place of your newly published book must be a really interesting feeling. I say “interesting” because apparently this shows why I’m not a writer. And I read Sara’s post about it too. Very eye-opening.

    And! Sara wants you on Twitter too! That’s more peer pressure! And you’ve seen the cover for Elemental?! And you LOVE IT? Will be looking forward to when you can finally share it with the world!

    Ahh, glad to know you loved Legend. I’ve read it (really enjoyed it!) and I definitely need to check out Ashfall, too!

  3. Antony says:

    The Shatner said he had fun too. I must say, he’s a lot less freaky as a cutout than he is doing priceline commercials.

    Yes, I should be on Twitter. I’m a loser. Perhaps I should invest in a cell phone first, though, right? Just so I ease myself into 21st century technology gently.

  4. Antony says:

    Hi Capillya! Yes, the cover for ELEMENTAL is a good one. I promise to share it with you the very moment Penguin HQ gives me the all-clear.

    I should say that while I don’t personally celebrate release days, that doesn’t mean I don’t hold a big launch on release day. My local Indie bookstores are great about putting on a shindig, getting in a live band, and generally imbuing the whole occasion with a party mood. It’s just that I feel it’s the book’s party, not mine. Perhaps I’m just a curmudgeon!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Samantha says:

    “…the pursuit of the dream is every bit as compelling for me as the realization of it.”
    I couldn’t agree more with this statement.
    I’m just about to start Ashfall. I haven’t heard of Legend but I’ll be sure to check it out!
    And I am most definitely anxiously awaiting Elemental! As well as it’s cover. ^_^

  6. Antony says:

    You’re going to love ASHFALL, Samantha. Trust me on this one. (Although it’s quite gut-wrenching at times, so be warned!)

    I must get the cover of ELEMENTAL out there soon. I think everyone’s going to love it, but Penguin are being quite protective at the moment. As soon as they give me the word, it’ll be posted.

    Thanks for commenting!

  7. Scarlett says:

    Hi! i just read your book “Five Flavors of Dumb”. Anything i might say would be dull compared to how i felt as i was reading.

    I am a avid reader and music fan, of any sorts. Strange mix but i cant go one day without listening to some sort of music.

    The way you portrayed these characters, WOW, i am in awe. Out of all of them, Kallie is the one i “felt” the most. The way you showed a typical pretty girl, that we nerds all love to hate, and then turned around and made her the heart and soul of music blew my mind.

    I love that you made Piper deaf also. Despite the initial reaction of “a music book about a deaf girl?” after i read it i think i get what you are trying to say (or i hope i do). That music is more than what we hear, it’s the blood, sweat, and tears that the musicians put in it that makes it matter. Its how you feel it not how you hear it that makes it special. Or thats what i got out of it and it hit home.

    This book was raw and i felt it. The mistakes were realistic, the angst and love very real too. all in all, i love this book.

  8. Antony says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Thank you SO much for writing to tell me about DUMB. Heck, thank you for reading it in the first place!

    I’m so pleased you liked Kallie. Not surprisingly, Piper is my favorite character, but Kallie is a close second. And you completely got what I was trying to convey through her character, which makes me extraordinarily happy. I feel that there are way too many stereotypes in YA fiction (I’ve been guilty of some myself, from time to time), and I wanted to remind readers that no one should be judged at face value . . . even the ones who seem to have it all.

    Like you, I listen to music ALL THE TIME. I love music so much I got a Ph.D. in it, which is pretty extreme, but I loved doing that too. And you’re spot on – what I wanted people to get from the book was the feeling that music isn’t just about chord patterns or the mechanics of playing an instrument . . . it’s about the intangibles, the sweat and emotion. Without those, music may as well be math. (Not that I have anything against math, I hasten to add.)

    Anyway, I just want you to know that I really appreciate you taking the time to write to me. You made my day!

    All the very best,


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