A year and a half after signing my contract with my publisher, the release date for Seeing Cinderella has finally arrived! I spend my days using words to craft stories, hoping that I can somehow make others see the people and the places in my imagination. But there aren’t enough words in the English language to accurately describe how crazy, awesome, cool and terrifying today feels. And I’m so incredibly grateful to all of my friends and family who have walked with me through it all this past year. (Especially to my sister Lisa, who fearlessly spammed almost every single one of her facebook friends to tell them about Seeing Cinderella.)
Several years ago I came up with the idea for a pair of magic glasses that could read people’s thoughts. That was the easy part. The more difficult task was deciding which character to give the story to. What girl needed those glasses? Initially I set out to write a story about an aggressive eighth grader who didn’t always “see” how her actions affected others. But it didn’t stick. Sometimes we choose our characters, and sometimes our characters choose us. So instead I ended up with Callie Anderson, a shy seventh grader who’s terrified to start middle school because she’s certain everyone will laugh at her and think she’s a nerd.
I’ve blogged before about how my friend Cara gave me a mailbox with a letter inside. It was written to me from Cara’s seventh grade self. This is part of what it said:
“Your book inspired me to be a better person. Thanks for using your God-given talent to help me see the “Cinderella” in me!”
Now, Cara hasn’t read my book (because I’m just evil like that, and have made my friends wait), but as I’ve reflected on her words it has reminded me of a few lines in Seeing Cinderella. There are several passages that I like, but this one is by far my favorite:
At that moment, I figured out my favorite part of Cinderella’s tale. And I realized it wasn’t the pumpkin carriage, the killer dress, the Prince, or even the ball–magical as that all was. No. My favorite part was when Cinderella chose to step out of the attic. When she walked down those stairs to the Prince’s men below and showed everyone her true self. When she chose a future different from what she’d always believed was possible. (pg 201)
I guess when I think about who I wrote Seeing Cinderella for, it was for the girls who don’t see the Cinderella in themselves. And by “Cinderella” I don’t mean a girl who needs a boy/prince/man to rescue her, but a girl that deserves to be treated like the amazing, image-bearing person she is. The girl that stands in the shadows and wonders if anyone will ever see her. It’s my greatest hope that girl–and those like her–will read Seeing Cinderella and go forth and choose a future different, and better, than what they’ve always believed was possible.
For those of you that choose to read Seeing Cinderella and meet Callie in the coming weeks and months, thank you. I hope you like Callie.
Because I certainly do.
*And, if you’re not sick of me yet, here are some other places I’ll be hanging out today.
Over at Laura Pauling’s blog I discuss why I write upper middle grade.
Over at the Lucky 13’s blog, I discuss my sleepover superstition.
Over at Saundra Mitchell’s blog, I take the 9 Spot Challenge.
You rock, Jen! Can’t wait to read it — and now I don’t have to. 🙂
Yayyyyyy! It’s here! Your baby out in the world. I am so very happy for you and excited for everyone who gets to read it.
Thanks, and I can think of a book I’M looking forward to reading in May :0)
Congratulations Jenny!!! I just ordered one for my future step-daughter. I’m looking forward to reading it to her at bedtime.
Aw, thanks! Hope she likes it!
Congratulations, Jenny. Just ordered my copy!
Thanks Amy! Looking forward to seeing you at Spring Spirit!
This is a great day!! Congratulations, Jenny!!
Congratulations, Jenny! We ordered three copies…. so far! 🙂
Thanks- Still laughing over the pic you sent!
I am so happy for my daughter, who deserves the best of everything. Your dad and I were so excited to see your book on the shelf at Barnes and Noble. We are bragging to all about our daughter, the soon to be famous author. Congratulations!!
Thanks Mom! Can’t wait to see you guys, wish we lived closer so I could celebrate with you today.
I love that you put that quote from the book above because that is one of my favorite quotes from the book too! I loved reading the book 2 years ago and I loved reading it again this week in “official” book form. It is definitely one that I will read over and over, no question. Excited for you today! Yeah!
CONGRATULATIONS JENNY. YOU HAVE WORKED HARD FOR THIS DAY, NEVER GIVING UP. MOM AND I ARE PROUD OF YOU. I WENT INTO OUR LOCAL BARNES AND NOBLE TODAY WITH MY CAMERA TO TAKE A PICTURE OF YOUR BOOK ON DISPLAY, BUT THEY WOULDN’T LET ME, BECAUSE OF COPYRIGHT LAWS. ENJOY YOUR SUCCESS!!!!!!!
So very excited for you, Jenny! I loved Callie and can’t wait to share about her and Seeing Cinderella next Monday on my blog.
Thanks Barbara- looking forward to it. I love MMGM’s!
Jen, INCREDIBLY proud of you!!! Definitely celebrated your awesomeness as I looked (oops…..and took a picture…..didn’t know about the copyright thing) at your book on the shelf. Bragged to a few people because they made eye contact for more than one second! So very happy that you are seeing some dreams come true. Love you dearly.
My hubby is friends with your hubby and he told me about your book- it looks wonderful! Our daughters and I are planning to come celebrate with you tomorrow at Barnes & Noble. I look forward to meeting you!
That’s so cool, Allison. I look forward to meeting you and the kids. Mr. Eggert is one of the good guys and he’s always spoken so highly of you and the kids.