Every year, on the first of December, Christmas trees arrive in New York City. The same families come year-after-year and set up their stands on the same street corners. There is one on Ninth Avenue in Chelsea that inspired me to write SILVER BELLS. I am always so happy to see the people again, to round the corner of West 22nd Street and smell the trees, to feel I've stepped into a grove of pines in the far-north.
Yesterday my dear friend and literary agent Andrea Cirillo and I walked from Chelsea to Soho. Along the way we passed other tree stands, and loved seeing this one in the West Village--Christmas trees juxtaposed with the year's last roses. We wound up at a favorite haunt--the always charming Balthazar--to meet my wonderful editor Aimee Friedman for a festive lunch.
We have lots to celebrate--starting with the paperback of THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SISTERS coming out January 31, 2017. After lunch we headed a block north on Broadway to the enchanted offices of Scholastic for a meeting with some of the most extraordinary people I've ever worked with: David Levithan, Rachel Feld, Tracy van Straaten, and Jennifer Abbots. I feel so lucky that Scholastic will be publishing my second YA novel in June 2017. THE BEAUTIFUL LOST tells the story of Maia, a girl struggling with depression who takes off on a road trip in search of her mother. (It's very close to my own heart and experience, and I'll be writing much more about that here.)