• AJ Vanderhorst

Here's One Book Who Will Debut As Planned

Updated: Apr 14

The Book Speaks Up About Its Decision to Leave Quarantine



I think the book had its mind made up from the beginning.


Not the beginning…when it first entered my life as a cute little concept. Not that special moment when it flipped its first few, shaky pages. Certainly not those angsty tween months when we irritated each other constantly and revised all the time. I mean the beginning of our discussion about release dates, when the book had finally grown to the age of its main character—almost-twelve.


At first, the book didn’t care when it debuted. And it especially didn’t care who else was coming out at the same time. It wanted to make that very clear.


“I’ll debut against anyone, anywhere, anytime,” the book said in that squeaky, trying-to-sound-tough voice it has.


“Ok, I get it,” I said. “You’re betting on yourself and I like that. But seriously…you’d take on even a Jonathan Stroud title? What about a Megan Whalen Turner? Or an Anthony Horowitz? There’s a fine line between courage and folly.”


“Anyone, anywhere, anytime,” the book said.


“Fine,” I said. “You’re feisty all right. And a little crazy.”


There was talk about a February debut date.


“Too cold,” the book suggested. “Everyone’s sniffly and tired of celebrating.”


March was a possibility for several weeks.


“Might interfere with March Maaadness…” the book teased.


Yes, it’s a talking book. I’m happy you caught on. As any author will tell you, debut novels are mouthy and often have a lot to say.


April was the next obvious choice.


“…but not early April,” the book clarified, “because NCAA basketball games are still being played, so our weekends are spoken for.”


“Wow, I’m glad someone’s thinking straight,” I said.


Eventually, with help from our publisher, we hammered out a tentative date in late April.


April 25.


Then a pandemic happens.


What’s it like for a book to debut during a pandemic? I’m still figuring that out.

The book hasn’t said a lot about it. I know it has been trying to process everything. It’s hard to celebrate during a pandemic. Hard to have a party, hard to come out swinging. And the book really wanted to do that.


I mentioned to the book that with the whole economy at a standstill, quite a few authors are delaying their launches, waiting this thing out. “I’m not saying we should do the same,” I said with a shrug, “but maybe we ought to–”


“Not a chance,” the book snapped.


It hadn’t snapped at me since mid-2019. Honestly, I’d thought we were past that.


“Don’t you get it?” the book said. “I just want to get out there, into the world. Fighting my way out of your mind was bad enough. You can’t leave me sitting here on your computer. I don’t expect to be a success overnight. I just want a few kids and adventurous adults to read me…and tell their friends about me, and then a few more, and a few more… I like who I am. I’m happy with how I turned out. Just give me a chance.”


There was a moment of awkward silence.


“But we won’t get to have a launch party,” I said, choosing to ignore the insult about my mind, which is a bright, wonderful place. “We won’t get to go on school visits together and read to all the kids. Our marketing efforts will be drowned out by the endless horrible news cycle.”


“Now you’re just wallowing,” the book said. “And you don’t get it. What’s my name?”


“Um, The Mostly Invisible Boy.” I blinked. “Book one in the Casey Grimes series,” I added, in case it was a trick question.


“You still don’t get it,” the book said.


If the book did anything but talk, if it had any physicality at all, its eyes would’ve been rolling back in its head.


“Ohh…” I said. “You’re tired of being mostly invisible.”


The book didn’t reply. It didn’t need to.

So there you go, folks.


Ready or not, THE MOSTLY INVISIBLE BOY is coming.


Our publisher, INtense, is working shorthanded due to the Coronavirus, so it’s possible the date will get pushed back slightly. But within a few weeks, the book will be available in multiple e-versions, paperback and hardback, easy to find on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. and INtense. How do I know? I know because preorder links are already up. (Links above; at the moment, hard copies are available only via INtense.)


The Mostly Invisible Book (Boy) will get its wish.


We know circumstances are bad. We know this doesn’t make a lot of sense. But as long as we’re talking about crazy things...maybe this is the ideal moment for a story about a mostly invisible kid…with millions of people trapped in their homes, struggling with social distance, longing for adventure and purpose, feeling almost…invisible.


Or maybe it’s not. Maybe the timing is just one huge weird coincidence.


If you decide to read The Mostly Invisible Boy (and we hope you do), maybe you could let us know.

0 views

"The way to love anything is to realize

that it might be lost."

G.K. Chesterton

©2020 by AJ Vanderhorst.