So something pretty awesome happened yesterday.
I turned in my edits for the last book in my Smith High series!
I looked something like this when I sent it back to my editor, Alicia Condon.
I’m not entirely sure what I’m allowed to share about the final book. I’ve seen the cover and let’s just say I got all mushy in the Dulles airport. And then I impressed a whole bunch of travelers with my happy dance.
Hmm…maybe “impressed” isn’t the right word.
So here is what I can tell you!
1. It’s called Awkwardly Ever After.
2. It’s prom time at Smith High School. So, of course, Mackenzie and (name redacted) are shocked when (name redacted) insists on (REDACTED!)…
3. It answers a whole bunch of questions that you’ve had since Awkward.
And I can tell you that it was an absolute pleasure to write.
It’s also rather strange for me to…move on.
I mean, these characters have been with me for over four years. We’ve chatted on four different continents, travelled to seven countries, and visited countless cities together. They’ve seen me through the good, the bad, and the “meh” times.
We’ve pulled all-nighters together. Confided our secrets to each other. Exchanged tons of advice.
And yes, I know that Mackenzie, Logan, Jane, Scott, Chelsea, Houston, Nick, Holly, Corey, Tim, Melanie, Isobel, Sam, Dylan, Miles, Spencer, Ben, Liz, Amy, Lisa Anne, Chris, Alex, and let’s not forget Fake and Bake, aren’t strictly speaking real.
But they are very real to me.
So writing Awkwardly Ever After felt like I was hugging my friends goodbye.
In a good way.
It’s kind of hard to explain. I guess, it’s like heading to college. You know you’ll miss all your high school friends, but there are going to be tons of new adventures ahead! Really freaking awesome ones!
And I’m completely psyched for the next stage of my journey to begin!
Speaking of which…
I’m moving to Portland, Oregon!
I’ve booked my flight and everything! I will officially be sharing an adorable house with two amazing housemates on November 23rd!
So right now I’m packing up my apartment in Los Angeles and pretending to be an adult. Pro tip: It’s cheapest to ship boxes of books media rate through the post office. Turns out, there is a whole lot I have yet to learn about adulthood.
Luckily, I have friends in Portland who are willing to brave Ikea with me!
And teach me how to drive a car.
And take last minute road trips with me…
It’s going to be fun.
In the wake of all that change, you might think I’d want to avoid making, y’know, permanent life decisions.
But right after I clicked “Send” on Awkwardly Ever After, I went to a tattoo parlor with my friends…
Fun fact: I was terrified.
I’ve wanted a small tattoo on my foot for years. During my semester abroad in Australia, I penned it with a sharpie every time a lecture failed to capture my interest.
But I’m a total wimp when it comes to pain, so I never thought I’d ever actually do it!
I thought any tattoo expedition would quickly turn into this:
Everyone was incredibly patient with me. The tattoo artist said that it wouldn’t take long and that it wouldn’t hurt much.
I didn’t believe him.
The worst pain I’ve ever experienced was a bout of seasickness in Australia that lasted for hours. And I’d been deadly serious when I’d asked for somebody–ANYBODY–to shoot me with a tranquilizer gun.
So I was bracing myself for the possibility that I’d spend the rest of my life with a small black “A” on my foot, when the tattoo artist finally began.
I burst out laughing.
It barely hurt.
Seriously. I think I might have gritted my teeth once. That’s it. At times, it almost felt good. Although that might have something to do with all the adrenaline pumping through my system.
Oh my god. I can’t believe I did it! I DID IT!!!
Here’s a close up:
I looked at hundreds of different fonts before I decided to use my own handwriting. I think it adds a personal touch. And I absolutely love it!
On that note…it’s time to put my Awkward foot forward and become acquainted with my newest batch of fictional besties.
I think you guys are going to love them!
You’re moving back to Portland? Yay! We need to hang out when you get here! It’s been forever.
I know! I can’t wait to see you! I will officially be back in Portland on November 23rd. We will have to get together as soon as I’ve settled in. But my first order of business is to buy, y’know…a bed. 😀
I’m going to be sad to see all of these characters go! It’s currently 2:30am, I finished Notable minutes ago and I have literally just preordered Awkwardly Ever After. Just wondering two things: 1) Do you share being a nerdfighter with Houston at all? 2) Do you have a tumblr I can follow at all? And 3) Did you actually visit Cambodia? It seemed very well researched. Wait, that’s 3 things…I guess maths isn’t my strongest subject at this time of the morning. I can’t wait for your next series too!
I’m going to miss them, too! Although a short story is always a possibility… Still, I think you’re really going to love Awkwardly Ever After. I’m not sure I could end on a better note! (Thanks for preordering it, by the way! I really appreciate it!)
As for your questions…
1) I’m sort of a nerdfighter. I haven’t gotten around to reading John Green’s books, but I do my best to decrease world suck. And I think nerdfighteria is all kinds of awesome.
2) I sort of have a tumblr. I’m slowly figuring out how to tumble. It’s kind of embarrassing how bad I am at it! I will try to work on that though. You can check it out here: http://marnibates.tumblr.com/.
3) I did visit Cambodia! I went to Angkor Wat with my whole family. And yes, there really were humping monkeys right next to the temples. I saw them and instantly knew that Chelsea would never let that go without comment. 😀 And while I didn’t encounter a single drug lord abroad, I found a very interesting one on Wikipedia. The guy is absolutely terrifying, so I’m not going to mention his name. Just…type in the words “Cambodian Drug Lord” and see what pops up. I had that guy in mind when I created Rithisak Sovann.
17) Math isn’t my strong suit early in the morning either.
872) Thanks again for your words of encouragement! It means the world to me!
But I love the characters, and the story lines, it’s definitely going to be an emotional book when it comes out, I can feel it. I hope you got my letter before moving.
It’s definitely an emotional book. And I’m so afraid of leaking spoilers that I’m going to go cover my mouth with duct tape right now!
(And yes, I received your completely awesome letter of AWESOME! I promise I will write back just as soon as I’ve moved to Portland. 😀 )
Okay! 🙂 I can’t wait to read it though.
I’m officially nearly twice the age of your characters but I loved your books. All of them. I started with Notables but I finished all four of them just under two days. So far Notable and Invisible remained my favorite. I’ll wait for Awkwardly Ever After. Though it feels a little sad that it is the last book of the series. 🙂
Marni! I’m from Mexico and I read Awkward 9 days ago, I LOVE IT. But I didn’t know it was part of a series, May I have the names fromthe other books? Pleeeaseeee!!! :c
I’m so glad you enjoyed reading Awkward! The series continues with Invisible (Jane’s story), Notable (Chelsea’s story), and a spin-off holiday novel called Decked with Holly that features the drummer from Tim’s band! The last book in the series is Awkwardly Ever After and it will be released on June 26th. I can’t wait to hear what you think of them!
Wishing you all the best!
Hi Marni!!! Well, I’ll tell you as soon as the book come to Mexico or an unicorn start living with me. 😀 I REALLY want to read your books, but I have until they arrive to my country or I get them in e-book :c
I love your stories, (well the one I read, but I know all of them are AMAZING)
Wait for my news. :3