Yesterday was my book birthday. I wrote a book, PAPER BAG MASK, and you can buy it right now. I mean…that’s real.

Also yesterday, PAPER BAG MASK shot to #1 on the Amazon New Release Teen & Young Adult Fiction chart. How completely nuts is that???

PAPER BAG MASK is a prose novel/comics hybrid (how does that work? Trust me, it works) I like to describe as  The Breakfast Club by way of Ocean’s 11.

At the same moment he catches his teacher giving illegal drugs to a student, Redmond Fairweather loses his friggin’ mind and steals Mr. Street’s prized possession—a stupid wooden sword with round edges that will never, ever cut through anything—“The Whomper.” Redmond has no idea why he stole the Whomper. He guesses his extreme dislike (okay, hate… so much hate) of the school’s most popular teacher probably has something to do with it. To his surprise and delight, the hottest girl in school, Elodia Cruz, hates him too. Soon, Redmond’s small band of misfit friends joins up with Elodia and the most popular kids on campus to hold the Whomper for ransom, pull off an elaborate, broad daylight heist to steal something even bigger from Mr. Street, and expose their teacher for the scumbag he really is.

I can’t even describe to you what it feels like to hold a book in your hands that YOU WROTE. The feeling of accomplishment is, not gonna lie, pretty great. I worked on this thing for years and nearly gave up this whole writing-to-be-published thing several times.

The last time I almost gave up? About three seconds before the #PitMad pitch on Twitter that attracted the right set of eyeballs to set me on the path to today’s publication.

I have endured more rejection than I care to admit, and suffered with a smile through more critiques than I would have liked. BUT, I always took those critiques seriously, and I wore that rejection like a badge of honor.

Most days. There were some days when the rejection got to be too much and that’s when I almost quit. But, I never did. I don’t know how, but I never did quit. I kept going. I set aside two entire books I’d written that weren’t getting any tractions, and I kept going.

And then I wrote this weird, prose/comics hybrid-of-a-book about this lonely kid who steals a prized possession from his teacher and holds it for ransom. And I made it snarky and clever and funny, and honest and devastating.

And entertaining and compulsively readable.

And true.

At least, I hope I did. It’s not up to me anymore what the book is or isn’t. Today, it’s in the world, available just about everywhere, and I don’t get to say it’s any of those things. Now, PAPER BAG MASK has far more than just my eyes on it. The beautiful minds behind those eyes are going to decide what I’ve done or haven’t done.

Is it a good book? Is it not a good book? It’s out of my hands at this point. And I’m okay with that.

So, world, here you go. I wrote a book and you get to read it. I hope you like it. But, even if you don’t, thank you for reading. Thanks for giving me a chance.

PAPER BAG MASK is available on both Kindle and in paperback and you can grab your copy right here.

Head on over to my Facebook page to see me read the first chapter live and get a preview of the art inside the book!