Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year! Debuts 2016 - Day 1 - Marieke Nijkamp

Happy New Year to you all!!!! 
Yesterday we read about the last of our featured debuts of 2015 and now that the New Year has arrived, I am looking forward to celebrating the new debuts of 2016. 
First up is Marieke Nijkamp, who has written what can only be described as an explosive read! 
This Is Where It Ends is a gritty, fast paced contemporary YA novel published by Sourcebooks this January. 
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Have you seen the book cover and how did it make you feel?
I think most of us, while writing a story, daydream about a cover once or twice or a dozen times. I have certainly done so! But for This Is Where It Ends, I honestly didn’t know what to expect, or even what a good cover could be. I had a good idea of the vibe I wanted, but try translating that into an image.
Well, apparently my publisher reached directly into my brain, took that vibe, and ran with it, because TIWIE’s cover is absolutely perfect. It’s intense without being graphic. It hits the right tone without being too serious. And it fits. Perfectly. I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything better.

What has been the most memorable moment of the run up to your debut?
The first email from a reader, who told me reading the book changed the way they looked at the world and other people. I read it, walked away from my inbox for a bit, and just breathed. Because to have someone connect so thoroughly with a story, that is the dream. And it’s such a blessing. 

How does it feel to have your name on a book?
I was a writer from the time I was ten or eleven. I dreamed about having my name on a book from that same time. I collected the handful of articles, poems, short stories I published over the years, the pieces with my name above it, and they hold a special place on my shelves. When I first got the cover, I read my name over and over again. When I got my first ARC, I walked around with it in my hands for several hours. At Book Expo America, I walked past the poster of my book so many times, the people in the booths around it started recognizing me. 
And honestly, part of me still can’t believe it. That it’s my book. That it’s my name on there. It is bizarre. It’s surreal. If my 11year old self would see that, she would FREAK OUT. It’s the most wonderful dream come true.

What advice would you give to unagented and unpublished authors?
Persevere. I know that may sound easy from where I’m standing, but trust me when I say it’s worth it. It took me eighteen years of writing to get to this point. It took me thousands of pages, countless of words. But it’s worth it. When that right story hits, when the right reader finds it. I promise you, it’s all worth it. And your voice matters so much. So persevere. 

 What did you do when you found you were going to be published? 
I told my mom. I danced around the living room. I celebrated with friends, because I happened to be staying with them for a book festival. I danced in the street. I ate cupcakes with sparklers. I treated myself to books. And mostly, I just enjoyed the overwhelming happiness.
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Thank you Marieke for sharing your thoughts on your imminent debut. We all wish you huge success over the next few months. 

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