My debut novel is coming out…in the middle of a global pandemic, a guest post by Liz Lawson
I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I have been rotating in and out of depression since all of this started a month ago. I’m sure I am not alone in this. The world right now is… heavy. So, so heavy. And I, like so many people, feel helpless, confused, fearful…a rotating kaleidoscope of emotions that are mostly negative.
I want to be clear: this isn’t a call for pity. Far from it. My depression (for the most part) wasn’t because of personal issues. It was because… you know… the world. The world that is both showing how pained it can become and how much its people are willing and able to come together for each other. There is so much trauma right now happening, but there are also daily stories of people coming together, supporting local businesses to the best of their ability, doing small favors for elderly or high-risk neighbors and family. I have several friends who are likely going to give birth this month. New life is still happening, all around us.
But, last weekend I was sad. Very very sad. About why this all happened and what is happening right now and what might happen in the future. Just like so many of you are. Just like most of us. All the uncertainty is so hard to grapple with and live inside. My ability to handle it changes with every passing hour.
And, last weekend, my author copies arrived. Of my debut, my debut that I had worked on for YEARS and years (that is honestly some thirty-three years in the making).
All of them showed up yesterday.
I opened the box and bawled. It wasn’t a joyous bawl. It wasn’t excited or proud or anything that I’d imagined. I bawled because it was yet another (tiny) reminder of what has been taken from us. I was sad. So, so sad.
So I did what I do when I’m sad. I talked to people. My husband. My family. My friends. And talked. And talked some more.
And, finally, I was reminded – hours (and hours and an entire nighttime) later, what I had forgotten: That we are in this together. That feeling joy in the midst of enormously painful, world changing situations isn’t selfish.
It is COURAGEOUS.
I was reminded that a human being can both be very, very sad about one thing and feel happy, too. That feelings can exist simultaneously. That it is okay (actually, healthy) for them to. It is human. What we are experiencing right now is HUMAN. Our grief and our happiness and the hope that still exists in the world—that is what makes all of us uniquely human.
In THE LUCKY ONES, my characters grapple with similar emotional upheaval. May lost her brother in a school shooting a year prior to the opening of the book, and she is still in pain. She is struggling and pushing back against a world that let her down so completely. But, through meeting Zach and through the help of her friends, she learns that she can still feel hope. That not only can she feel it—that it is OKAY for her to feel. She gives herself permission to feel both the negatives and the positives of our world.
Please know that if you are sad, you are not alone. If you are depressed, yup, same here. If you are feeling joy – that is okay too.
We are in this together.
Pre-order THE LUCKY ONES from Skylight Books in Los Angeles.
Meet Liz Lawson
Liz Lawson has been writing for most of her life in one way or another. She has her Masters in Communications with a Concentration in Rhetoric from Villanova University, and has written for a variety of publications including PASTE MAGAZINE. When she’s not writing, she works as a music supervisor for film & television. Liz resides in Los Angeles, CA, where she lives with an adorable toddler, a fantastic husband, and two VERY bratty cats. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @lzlwsn.
About The Lucky Ones by Liz Lawson
For fans of Thirteen Reasons Why, This Is How It Ends, and All the Bright Places, comes a new novel about life after. How do you put yourself back together when it seems like you’ve lost it all?
May is a survivor. But she doesn’t feel like one. She feels angry. And lost. And alone. Eleven months after the school shooting that killed her twin brother, May still doesn’t know why she was the only one to walk out of the band room that day. No one gets what she went through—no one saw and heard what she did. No one can possibly understand how it feels to be her.
Zach lost his old life when his mother decided to defend the shooter. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends bailed, and now he spends his time hanging out with his little sister…and the one faithful friend who stuck around. His best friend is needy and demanding, but he won’t let Zach disappear into himself. Which is how Zach ends up at band practice that night. The same night May goes with her best friend to audition for a new band.
Which is how May meets Zach. And how Zach meets May. And how both might figure out that surviving could be an option after all.
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Publication date: 04/07/2020
Age Range: 14 – 17 Years
Filed under: Uncategorized
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
SLJ Blog Network