Yesterday the lovely Marian Allen, author of the Sage series (which, by the way, is my current brainworm. You know, when passages from a book get stuck in your head and force you to repeat, examine, and ponder them? Yeah, one of those. So yummy.) and all around fabulous woman, was kind enough to participate in my cover reveal party. In her post, she questioned the identity of the “real K.A. DaVur.” I can’t blame her. After all, these are the two pictures I sent her.
This is me. Okay. Obviously it’s not me now, though that poor little awkward thing will always be in here. But still, that’s me on the day of my very first big writing award. I’d written a charming little poem about a river and that poem had been chosen for the “Literature Ambassador” award. It was a huge deal. I mean, it all took place in the big city about an hour and a half away from my hometown. In this giant, enormous, incredibly fancy hotel with chandeliers and doormen and things that to a ten year old farm kid are astounding. I’m not going to lie, I still get caught in the sparkles as a erherm-year old farm woman. My Aunt Sandi, who I thought then and still think is one of the most gorgeous people I’ve ever met (I kept her framed Senior picture on my wall and would spend hours trying to mimic here pose, her cute little smile) was kind enough to drag me around the mall, trying to find an outfit that would fit my little cannonball frame. She talked me out of the herringbone leggings with the lace around the ankle, for which I still haven’t thanked her enough, and steered me towards this. She even got me the matching silk hair poufy. My Daddy took the day off of work and went with me, in a suit coat, which he hates, and it was a really really lovely time. Then, I walked out of the room where we had heard some really great speakers and eaten this amazing meal served in courses (holy cow, right) and there she was. Lois Lowry. THE Lois Lowry. (P.S. That is not she in the picture. The woman in the picture is a writer by the name of Byrd Baylor, who was also quite lovely.) And I nearly died. She was very kind, signed a book for me that I still have, and encouraged me when I told her that I wanted to be a writer like her. It was an utterly amazing day.
So, fast forward a coupleish decades and I’m in another hotel in another painstakingly assembled outfit, feeling every bit as nervous as I was that first time. I’m clutching a leather folio in my sweaty little paws and shaking all over because I’m going to meet Real. Live. Publishers. You know, those gods who sit behind a desk and respond to that tiny bit of soul with a - very kind - rejection? Them. I’m going to meet them. And I’m going to talk to them. Oh, and I’m going to meet some real live authors who have done what I desperately want to do and maybe they’ll sign a book for me and ohmygoodnessgraciousgoshalmighty. So, I did. I talked to them. I did really well. It was one of those magical moments where you hear the baseball hit the sweet spot. They don’t happen often, but when they do they’re really nice aren’t they? So now I’m doing all of those incredible things like edits and cover design and I’m working hard to be this enigmatic yet charming figure. And I’m arranging signings where I’m going to sign my very own book for little awkward hopeful kids like me. So, the gothic, vampire-loving, slightly punk, enigma? That’s me. The uber-professional “I will bring great value to your literary festival” educator? That’s me, too. But mostly, I’m that wide-eyed, hopeful yet terrified little girl who desperately, fiercely, more than anything wants to be a real live author someday.
Today, Tony Acree has joined in the cover reveal funness. Tony is the author of “The Hand of God,” and while he has never been anything but kind, he is also responsible for several instances of me just wanting to take my ball and go home. Because, dude, he’s good. Like, really good. Like, I shouldn’t be sitting at the same table with this guy someone must have made a mistake good. You should check him out.