Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Have OCD...Do You?

I've had several good laughs this week, and the funny thing is, they've all come from people who love Sammy Keyes. They laughs have come from the sack of physical fan mail (that I'm finally sorting through and answering), from e-mails at the Exercise the Right to Read mailbox, and from comments made to postings at this blog. They've been good laughs. Really make-my-day laughs. I think my favorite from this week is, "I have OCD!" -- Obsessive Casey (or, I suspect, Cammy) Disorder. How funny is that! When I read it, I actually ran across the house and interrupted my son (who went as "Casey" last Halloween) and his girlfriend (who went as "Sammy" last Halloween) with the news. Yeah, it can be embarrassing having me as a mom... Anyway, I guess the thing about being a productive author is that you spend much of your time alone. Or really, alone with your characters. So what happens is, the characters you create become real to you, and when you discuss them with others you find yourself having to explain to peripheral listeners that no, it wasn't an actual person who cemented a gangster's tush into a wheelbarrow--it was Sammy Keyes. Now, that's what you tell them, but in your head, she really did it. In your head, Casey and Billy and Heather and Grams and Hudson and Marissa and Dot and Holly and Mikey and Officer Borsch and everybody really exists. It all sounds a bit mad, I know, so generally I don't let on about this in public. But when I get mail from readers and they are SO excited about developments in the series, it makes me feel good--like I'm not alone in my madness. The letters are physical proof that I'm not the only one who cares who Sammy's dad is. I'm not the only one who wonders if Billy has a secret crush on Sammy. I'm not the only one who wants Casey to be the prince we think he is...despite Sammy's heart wrenching suspicions that he may not be. And I'm not the only one who'd like to see Heather doused...even though there's still a lot of gasoline left near her fire. I am, though, perhaps the only person who doesn't wonder how it all will end. I know what the last book will be and how it will tie everything together. I can't wait to get to it, because it's going to be unique and surprising and...well, good. But I have to pace myself to it. Sometimes I feel like Sammy Keyes is the dark horse in the Series Races. I see other series gallop ahead, but I just remind myself as they burn brightly and then fade that I'm in this for the long haul. And I have confidence in the long haul because I know that my "fans" are individuals. They're not followers. Sammy Keyes is not the flavor of the month to them. They're in it for the long haul, just like me. I'm thirteen books done--about two-thirds of the way there. And instead of being tired or burned out, I feel like I'm just hitting my stride. That I can do this and that I will finish strong. Part of that is that my love for Sammy continues to grow. Part of that is that I get letters and messages from people who love her too. If you're one of them, know that you're like a tailwind. I feel you at my back, and I'm grateful that you're there.

21 comments:

Mark Parsons said...

So, does this mean you and I should go as Lana & Warren next Halloween??? (Might be fun!) Or maybe my folks could be Hudson & Grams...

Great blog, KK...!
M

Bloggist Girl said...

I think the fact that your son went as Casey on Halloween is really cool. Do you tell your kids/family anything about who her dad is, and what will happen at the end of the series?
And yes, I also have OCD! Its a fanfiction thing. i think we all do. And sometimes I even wonder is Danny might even have a crush on her.. which one is it? Haha, only you know, of course.. I once made a notebook and drew made character profiles in it (i drew them.. er.. i hope i was good.) and I used to fanmixes to quote it and quote them (and all that god stuff). I was going to send it to you like a summer ago, but I thought you'd never bother reading it. Haha, I even bough three extra paperback copies of some ofthe SK books I already have to cut out pictures and stuff. :) I still have it.

And I was thinking (I can never let this go) if Sammy's eyes WERE green that would be even better because thats Casey's favorite color, right? Just sayin'.
Have a good week! (its back to school for us kids, bahh)


-YourBiggestFan <3

SomeoneYouMayKnow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lola Silverstone said...

I proudly admit I have OCD. =) I really cant wait for the next book! (I always reread the latest book in a series before the new one comes out) so I'm rereading CHC a lot now. And I even made a fanfic about Billy liking Sammy so I might just update that tonight. *sighs* Today i was in the hallway and was just wondering about te 13th book and someone yells, "CASEY! CASEY!" in the hall, so i whip around shout, "What?! Where?!"
Turns out it was just my friend Casey (too bad for me) =)
-Lola

xxCammyLoverxx said...

Hey! Its me! I dedicated a whole blog to Cammy and there's one post so I hope you check it out sometime. :) PS- this is so confusing my name used to be SomeoneYouMayKnow and then I changed it to Bloggist Girl and so now its xxCammyLoverxx forever. But I am all those people. So Yup. :D Please check out my blog if you have time!

-Former SomeoneYouMAyKnow, and Bloggist Girl
--xxCammyLoverxx Now i'm going to follow your blog :)

stephanie said...

Hey Wendelin! I love that you write blogs for your fans to read =] I thought I was the only Sammy Keyes fan who is basically obsessed over all the things you just wrote about! Glad to know I'm not alone! I agree with your statement about Sammy Keyes being a long-term series and not a "trend." I've been reading these books since I was 8, and I know I'm going to like them for a long time. I also think it's really cool your son and his girlfriend were Sammy and Casey! Can't wait for the next book/blog! =]

Jinnyd said...

Before anything else, I must say....

CAN'T WAIT FOR WEDDING CRASHER TO COME OUT!!!!!!!!!! EEEEEEE!!!!!!!

And I can't wait for all of the rest of the books in the series...and how everything will be tied together...and how Sammy and Marissa and Casey and everyone will grow throughout the series...and who Sammy's dad is...(do you even know?)and whether or not Sammy is going to have a high school adventure...?

It was cool how you sort of compared the Sammy Keyes series with running a long-distance race--you know, with stride and finishing strong and such. But since you're also a runner, I suppose that it's expected.

And one more question: how's the revision process going?

~Jinnyd

quintessajazz said...

Haha -- ever since I posted in my fanfic about your blog you've got a massive following, Wendelin! =D

How old is your son? I think that's so funny that he and his girlfriend went as Sammy and Casey. That's so cool! =D

xxCammyLoverxx said...

Today in history class my teachermade us write about our role model. he made us write a paragraph about why they inspire you. i picked you. ;-) and i'll add a new post to my SK/Cammy blog today so please check it out sometime... :-)

Pooja D. said...

I have OCD and Casey Fever... yes there is this time when you read a book and you can't stop thinking about him and yeah.... I call it Casey Fever.
I love your books though!

Levina said...

I think the reason Sammy seems so real to me is because you MAKE her sound real. You make her quirky and flawed and real. When I'm reading about her, it feels like I'm standing next to her in her apartment or at her school or something!
Really! I imagine Hudson's porch as this huge house on the side of a neighborhood street. It has a dark brown wooden porch with wind chimes and comfy chairs, and when you go inside it's huge and spacious with carpets and bookshelves everywhere.
I don't write fanfiction, but if I did I think I'd do it really well (I would be able to hear Sammy's voice whispering in my head...I'd write down what she said to me).

There's a guy in my French class named Casey! When I first heard someone call his name my head spun around like crazy. I was like WHAT? Casey Acosta????? Where? And then I saw him...He looks nothing like Casey! He's Chinese and skinny and he wears glasses XD Oh well.

Lola Silverstone said...

Sammy Keyes, to me, is such an inspirational book about someone real we can all relate to. And then of course, there's Casey! :)

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Hey! Answering questions and commenting on comments in random order: 1) Only me, my husband, and my editor know who Sammy's dad is. Scary! Sammy will know before the end of the series, though (and then, so will you!) Probably book 16...so we can all get used to the idea / chaos that will ensue! 2) I am terrible at drawing. The only thing I can draw is an eye. (Little piece of useless trivia for ya!)Anyone who can draw has my admiration! 3)I love the "Casey!" stories. Even my (married) friends call him "to melt for", which is fun! :-) 4) My son who went as Casey for Halloween is now a sophomore in high school (and still together with his "Sammy"). 5)(The real) Sammy will not be having high school adventures. Everything will wrap up at the end of 8th grade. 6) The "first round" of revisions for Wedding Crasher is done and has gotten thumbs up from my agent and editor both. Now my editor will send me some suggestions, I'll look at it again, and then it's off to copy editing (where commas, etc. will be negotiated). Then review copies are made, then the book is printed! 7) Ah, so that's how I've been found out! Until this, I've kept a really low on-line profile. 8)fanfiction: I'm getting advice that I should not read fanfiction because the author might sue if my future stories happen to have similar plot threads as the fanfiction. Isn't that awful? So I'm holding back for now. Blogs I'll visit--probably after winter break kicks in. It's crazy around here! 9) See you on Sunday! (I'm thinking I'll have an "exciting" proposition for you...or it may have to wait a week because I'm running a marathon on Sunday for ETRTR and I should report on that...if I make it... I hope you'll root for me!

xxCammyLoverxx said...

I was reading some of your old posts and I now wish that we could have a Converse Day at OUR school and for you to visit. *pout face* I'm jealous.
Your posts are fun to read! Update soon! *its Sunday!!) :D

xxCammyLoverxx said...

I think I checked like 77 times today if you updated. Please update soon and hope you had fun/luck at the marathon!

Helen said...

I can't believe your son went as Casey and his girlfriend as Sammy that's just too cute!!
I think we all have OCD ;D

xxCammyLoverxx said...

Awh! ! Its too bad you cant see the Fanfiction, some of them are so amazing! You'd be surprised how wild your fans are lol. ;) Theres a story on Sammy & Casey being in a modern-day "Romeo and Juliet" play and Casey has to sing that song Hey Juliet. Thats one of my favorites, and also one called SK & the Worst Case Scenarios (I cant explain that one at all but its so great) maybe when your story is done? I know its in a long time but I'll still be around commenting and supporting you and your running and books. 'Til the end. :) There is one where Casey and Billy get these texts from a Restricted Number and they have to do what the text messages say, its the one called Confessions of an Obsession 'bout Billy liking Sammy?
Well, that was just a couple, its so sad that you can't read them! =C But you can when you're done with the series, right? And I heard about the fan quotes! So excited, you can take any quote from me you like.
Well, this week has been a Sammy-filled week! So my Fanfiction! My favorite of the week is SK & the Worst Casey Scenarios by Handidandi, amazing stuff. It even has a little "intermission" mini-story about what would happen if Sammy was friends with Tenille, Monet and Heather instead of Dot and Marissa? Very interesting!
Remember, I'm here til the end of the story! :)
(PS- Question of the week: Did you ever think of writing a spin-off, besides the Runaway sort of thing, on Sammy Keyes? Like in someone else's point of view?) Hint hint, CASEY. ) =)

xox - xxCammyLoverxx

Jinnyd said...

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!! The new book is soooo clooosssseeeee.......i can almost taste it. AAAAAAHHHHHH NEW SAMMY KEYES BOOK!!!!!!

I can't believe it's so close to being published!
~Jinnyd

The Whitted Family said...

Oh thank you sooooo much for having this blog! It's always so fun to check it and get exciting news, first about the 13th book and now that it's gonna be published soon! Can't wait for the book! I'll be reading about Sammy til the end! Kailey
P.S. I definitly have OCD!!!!

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

New people onboard, yay! I hope you'll check out the latest post -- I want your input :-) !

Avid Reader !!! said...

I was bored, so I just decided to go through your old posts, almost 3 years old. OCD is now an everyday occurance, like when I randomly yelled out "Cute feet!" in gym a while back. I love Casey with a passion and I can't wait until the next book comes out!!!!! I want to find out Sammy's dad. And I also need to get a copy of Justice Jack so I can finally get up to date with all of the other Sammy Keyes fans!