Writing a book is such a quiet thing. It’s just you and the words, the sound of it in your head. But having published one turns out not to be quiet at all. Recently I’ve gotten some wonderful pieces of news. Zebra Forest was put on a list of books for consideration as “notable” by the American Library Association’s ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children); Amazon listed it as one of the best of the year so far, and today, I’m featured in Publishers Weekly’s “flying starts” feature, about debut authors. So the summer is turning out to be more than a little exciting, book-wise, and my main feeling is that I’m so grateful. Maybe when you’re young, and this rush of wonderful comes at you, you take it for granted. Probably not, if you’re any kind of thoughtful. But when you’ve been harboring the secret dream of writing for decades, this kind of thing comes with such a layer of surprise, awe, and sheer thankfulness that I don’t think it can be matched. I’m used to looking at the world in terms of stories – watching things unfold and connecting them from the past to the present. So I appreciate this story as it unfolds maybe even a little more than average. And I’m so grateful that it’s full of all this fabulous noise.