“it’s crunch time”

credit: valley news – james patterson

I have to say, I think my favorite part of this interview is that I’m quoted as saying “it’s crunch time,” a statement I feel like I’ve never stopped saying, and probably never will. Also, I’m beyond flattered that professor/friend Brenda Silver described Invictus as “an extraordinary work for a 15-year-old, both in terms of its linguistic sophistication and its sense of how narrative works.”

Also, this interview may be the only print mention of the spectacularly failed novel I wrote when I was 11: a behemoth of about 400+ pages that I stupidly sent unsolicited and without an agent to Tor Books. The thing was riddled with plot holes and cliches and what have you, but I received a kind, two-page rejection letter that explained what needed fixing and encouraged me to keep writing.

At the time, of course, I believed that the chief editor himself had actually written it (look, Mom, it’s signed in blue ink!), but now that I’m older and wiser, I know that it was likely an assistant, and I want to say thank you to that assistant who, circa 1994, was compassionate enough to compose and sign a letter to a kid who needed encouragement.

These little moments, they pay off.