As a writer, I’m pretty much a ball of neuroses at every stage: Does this idea bite? Does this first sentence bite? Does this whole manuscript bite? Will my editor finally discover that I’m a no-talent hack who somehow managed to fake her way through the last book without being found out?
When Airball: My Life in Briefs was published, my biggest fear was: What if my book goes out into the world. . . and nobody notices? And while it’s true that Airball hasn’t changed the literary world as we know it, it’s gotten enough recognition here and there that I know that at least a few people have noticed—and read—my book.
My two latest bits of recognition are very exciting. I’ve recently found out that Airball has been chosen for two more state award lists: Kansas’s 2007–2008 William Allen White Award Master List for grades 6–8 and the 2007–2008 Texas Lone Star Reading List, also for grades 6–8. Airball was previously named to the Maine Student Book Award list for the current school year, 2006–2007. Throughout the school year, students from these states read books on their lists then vote for their favorite in the spring. The book that garners the most votes wins (duh).
I’m thrilled that Airball has been included on these lists. The William Allen White Award is especially close to my heart because that’s the award I voted on when I was growing up. I remember getting bookmarks printed with the master list each fall and thinking that all the books on it must be magical and special to have been named to such a list. I tried to read as many of them as I could so that I could be an informed voter when the time came. I’m delighted that students across the country, at least from Maine to Kansas to Texas, will be reading my book over the next two years.
Whether I win any of these state awards or not, that’s the real award for me: knowing that middle-graders are reading (and, I hope, enjoying) Airball.