Many of you have already heard the good news on my agent's blog, but for those who missed it, Isla and the Happily Ever After finally has a release date. An official, real, it's-gonna-happen release date.

August 14, 2014

The book has been written.

I am happy with it.

My critique partners are happy with it. My agent is happy with it. My publisher is happy with it. It's taken us a long time to get here, but we believe and hope that you will be happy with it.

I'm doing well. My health is stronger than it's been in years. And I'm so, so grateful for the time and patience and support that you—all of my incredibly kindhearted readers—have given me to heal. Your constant stream of well wishes, caring, and understanding has done more to reaffirm my faith in the overall goodness of humanity than . . . perhaps anything else ever has.

It has also taught me the importance of speaking up. Since I went public about my depression last May, I have directly spoken with hundreds of you—readers, authors, librarians, teachers, booksellers, children, teenagers, adults—who have felt what I have felt. Who have been overtaken and confined by darkness. Who fight it every day just to get out of bed, just to feed themselves, just to bathe themselves, just to put one stupid foot in front of the other.

Depression makes you feel alone and helpless and ashamed.

I am not alone. I am not helpless. I am not ashamed.

There are a lot of us. And you've all shown me that I want to keep talking about this, I have to keep talking about this. There's nothing more important for those of us who have been trapped inside that prison of self-isolation to be reminded that others have felt the same way, and others have made it through.

Your stories have given me strength. And that's why I have never regretted telling mine.

For those of you who are currently suffering, Libba Bray recently posted about it here. Myra McEntire posted about it here. You are not alone. Look for the stories. Search for your own voice and tell someone. And then tell someone else. Keep talking, keep talking, keep talking.


Keep talking.

All right. Back to Isla. To answer a few questions, which I'm sure are brewing . . .

Why was Isla delayed from May 2014 to August 2014?

As I explained last year in this post, the May release date that appeared on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. was, unfortunately/confusingly, a placeholder date. It was never an official release date.

Placeholder date? What does that mean? 

To quote myself (ugh, sorry): "This is sort of confusing, but, basically, when a book is placed into a season in the publisher’s catalog (publishers organize the release of books by seasons, which helps them with marketing and conferences and such) it requires a release date. But sometimes—like with Isla—the book’s release date is unknown at the time of the catalog’s release. When this occurs, the book is given a placeholder date."

My publisher and I believed that Isla would be ready in time to make that particular catalog/season. It wasn't. It took me half a year longer than I thought it would to become healthy enough to finish writing the manuscript. My publisher has been nothing but supportive of me, my health, and this book. I am the one at fault. Please do not send them any complaints.

So . . . is this new August date a placeholder date?

No, thank goodness! It's official. Isla is currently with my editor, and it's in the final stages of editing. It will be published this August.

Where/when can I get an advanced copy?

They don't exist yet. And you probably won't get one. There will only be a few copies printed, and booksellers will have priority. It's important to me that ALL of my readers, everyone who has been so patient, receives the opportunity to read this book at the same time—this August.

What's this "fantastically fun pre-order campaign" your agent mentioned on her blog?

I'm happy you asked! But . . . I can't tell you. Not yet. (Hee hee!) My best guess is that it'll happen this summer. But my publisher is, indeed, planning something very cool and exciting.

Myself with superagent Daphne Unfeasible! (a.k.a. Kate Schafer Testerman)

Speaking of my agent . . . if have NOT yet visited her blog, you should.

Because remember these tote bags?

She's giving one away along with a paperback copy of Lola and the Boy Next Door. And because the response has already been so enthusiastic (!), I've asked her to draw two additional names, so I'll be sending out two additional totes.

You can enter to win HERE on her blog. 

She'll be drawing the winners on Monday. So hurry, hurry!

As for that picture at the veeeeeeeeery top of the page, the one beside the cover of Isla, that was taken two autumns ago in a top-secret location in Europe. I look so pleased with myself, because the moment I saw the place I realized that ISLA AND JOSH WERE GOING TO MAKE OUT THERE.

And they totally do. Whee!!!

There is . . . a lot of making out in this novel. Like, way more than the others. I had to do SOMETHING to keep myself happy, you know. ;-)

There's not much else I can tell you right now—you know I enjoy secrecy—but I do feel compelled to leave you, as a thank you, with a few key words: yearning, sketchbooks, garden roses, sisters, being caught in the rain, cartography, a best friend named after a dead musician, museums, shelves of adventure books, and an engraved compass necklace.

Sounds like a Stephanie Perkins novel to me. I hope it sounds like one to you, too.

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