2017 has been a doozy of a year so far. I’ve experienced some amazing things— like the release of my first YA book— something I’ve been dreaming about for more than a decade. I got to travel around Europe with my person, Jay Crownover. I’ve met amazing, supportive readers at signings all over. But despite all those good things, it’s been a year of struggle. A year of both physical and mental health issues. A year when my anxiety became something I could no longer manage alone. A year when my depression reached depths that I’ve never had to face. Some days I feel normal. Some days I feel like the old me— passionate and eager and ready to take on the world. Other days it takes everything in me to get out of bed. The thing that has suffered the worst in this struggle is my writing. Writing has always been the thing that came naturally to me, the way I made sense of the world. Now I spend my days battling a voice inside me that says I’m no longer capable of finishing a book. You’d think that would be an easy fear to brush under the rug for someone who has already written ten books. But it’s not. For the first time in my life, I’m second guessing my ability to write, second-guessing every word I put on the page. It’s something I’m dealing with. I’m managing it in the best way I can, trying to challenge myself, but also be compassionate toward myself when I need it. Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for a situation like this. And while I’ve had to slow down, the world has kept moving at its usual rapid pace. Deadlines keep coming, responsibilities must still be addressed, and hard choices have to be made.
I know that you guys have waited an incredibly long time for All Closed Off. And there is literally nothing I want more than to get that book in your hands. You cannot imagine how much I have beaten myself up over the long wait for this book. If I could give it to you right now, I would. But it’s not ready (because I’m not ready). So, unfortunately, it will not be releasing July 18th. I don’t know when it will be releasing because as I said, the world keeps moving. And while All Closed Off will be self-published, which allows me a certain degree of flexibility, other parts of my career are not so flexible. And as I struggle to get back into a healthy routine, I must prioritize the work for which I am contracted.
So here’s what I can promise you: I’m hard at work on the sequel to Roar. Stella and Ryan are constantly in my thoughts, and I work on them every chance I get. As soon as All Closed Off is ready, I’ll put it out into the world. I will do everything I can to make you wait as little as possible. And for every person who has waited this long, who has emailed and tweeted and messaged and yearned for Stella’s story—I appreciate you more than I can possibly put into words. There has been many an anxiety-filled moment when your little check ins and messages have kept me from giving in to frustration and despair. So all I can really do at this point is say thank you. And I’m sorry. And I hope someday I can make this up to you.