Jenna P. forwarded this email she originally sent in 2003, adding, “I still tell friends about your series ten years later.”
“I‘d just like to thank you for writing these books. They are just completely awesome (in the true sense of the word.). It is not only what you wrote, but how you wrote it. I loved these books. I had found Sloppy Firsts as a fluke one day in the bookstore. I picked it up and thought it seemed like a good book. I then read it not only once or twice, but three times. Three days ago, I was in the book store, yet again, and as i was walking out, i happened to see Sloppy Firsts on a shelf, with Second Helpings right next to it. As soon as I saw Second Helpings, I almost lost it. I had been waiting and waiting for your next installment of Jessica Darling to come out, and I immediately forgot about the cd that i had originally intended to buy, and bought your book. I just finished it this afternoon. Let me just say, it is a great novel. Really. While I am not still in high school, I still feel I can relate to Jessica in many ways. It has made me think about myself a lot more, and also the decisions I make, so, thank you for that. I laughed and cried. Your work is amazing. You reach out to the readers by making your characters extremely real. Any how, I’m sure you get this all a lot. I just wanted to be cheesy and let you know how I feel.”
I always appreciate readers who take time to express how much my books have meant to them. Then and now.
P.S. You’ve got one more week to enter SLOPPY FIRSTS: The Epic 10th Anniversary Giving Away of Rare and One-of-a-Kind-Stuff. Express your love for SLOPPY FIRSTS and the Jessica Darling series with a clever tweet (tagged #sloppyfirsts10th), blog post, video, song, original artwork….whatever creative form best suits you. Tweet or email a link to your entry by August 22nd. I’ll announce the winners on August 28th.
What an AMAZING start to the SLOPPY FIRSTS 10th Anniversary celebration! Thank you all for your tweets, blog posts, and email, like this one from Annie in Westchester, N.Y. (excerpted with permission):
“Before SLOPPY FIRSTS, I had never met a character that seemed so real to me. Jessica came alive in her diary entries. She was just so much like me…or how I wanted to be. The series quickly became my favorite books of all time. When I was in between books I actually missed Jessica. She was like my fictional best friend, and I wished she were real.
Jessica Darling taught me how to laugh, how to be myself, but most of all, that I’m not alone. That we’re all insecure and frustrated. Your books were my friends when I was lonely and my mentors when I was down. I cannot thank you enough for SLOPPY FIRSTS. The series has truly impacted me as a person and influenced how I view life.”
Keep those tributes coming! (Though I have no idea how I’m going to pick the winners….)
I’m so excited that you’re so excited about SLOPPY FIRSTS: The Epic 10th Anniversary Giving Away of Rare and One-of-A-Kind Stuff. Many of you have already responded with deeply moving stories about discovering my books, like Amanda from Barnegat, N.J.:
“Jessica’s high school experience was the one I wish I had. She screwed up, she lied, hid things, wanted what she shouldn’t want. She had balls in the way I never did. Jessica Darling gave us writers and loners and outcasts of high school a voice. She made all my thoughts more eloquent and more real because I knew someone else felt them. Because I figured that if Jess felt them, so did you at some point, Megan.
SLOPPY FIRSTS saved my life, amused me, made me cry, laugh, mortified me. It summed up a few years of my high school years except more well written and sounding much more glamorous. I’ll always go back to read it and I’ll always be passionate and spread the word.”
What has SLOPPY FIRSTS meant to you? Make a tribute in the form of a blog entry, video, Twitter campaign, song, original artwork or however you best express yourself creatively. Share the link via Twitter, Facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org by August 22nd. You could win one of two autographed UNCORRECTED PROOFS of SLOPPY FIRSTS, the Advanced Reader Copies that went out for review before the finished book went on sale. Or you could be the GRAND PRIZE winner of the one-of-a kind annotated edition of SLOPPY FIRSTS that I have personally filled with all sorts of insider info about how the story came to be, including the true inspiration behind the infamous Pineville High Talent Show.
Thanks for celebrating this milestone with me. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
SLOPPY FIRSTS was published on August 28th, 2001. It’s kind of hard to believe when there are new readers just discovering Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie every single day. I’ll be announcing fun ways to celebrate the occasion (i.e., GIVEAWAYS!) throughout the month of August.
And I need your help.
BLOGGERS! If you’re interested in conducting a special 10th Anniversary interview with me on your site, please email questions to email@example.com by Sunday, July 31st. I’ll pick 10 bloggers based on the creativity of the questions and enthusiasm for the series.
I look forward to reading your questions and commemorating this milestone with you, yes, you.