AfterpartyARC The cover is gorgeous! The interior design is gorgeous! And, although with the way the color came out in this photo, you probably can't tell, I was -- happy coincidence! -- wearing the swishy red dress when my husband surprised me with the Afterparty ARC in my favorite Italian restaurant in L.A., Pizzicotto

There is something so satisfying, and amazing (and also a massive relief) to have the months and months of work come together in an actual, concrete physical object. More so when the object is so lovely.

Not that the book was finished. I was still knee deep in the first pass pages (the text as it appears in the ARC, which is actually, technically, a bound galley, but nobody calls it that, so never mind), immersed in the making the many, many changes that will make it into in the final book. And ditto with the next draft, which I perused on my computer with the letters all blown up to giant size so if a paragraph happened to end with a comma, or there was a (metaphorically) gaping hole where a character failed to react to something dreadful, it jumped off the page and smacked me. And I was duly smacked.

But now, that whole process is over! The writers-little-helper dog that attempted to stay up with me when everyone else was asleep and the house was silent (except for his occasional barking) is in a state of hibernation. And I am in a state of slowly starting to hear new voices in my head, Jack and Nicolette, because Emma -- the girl who narrates Afterparty -- doesn't live there anymore. Evanoncouch

AuthorAnn Stampler