New Shoes for Everybody!


Virtuosity got a starred review from Kirkus! 

    I got the email on Friday and scared the life out of my kids by screaming like 12-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert.  I then called my husband and left a message that sounded like the same 12-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert, but a little more intense.  Like the Biebs had just looked her in the eye and whispered something seductive like you look nice.  Yes.  I went nuts, but at least it was happy screaming.  I want him to save the message forever.  I need it to counterbalance that stupid screaming message from four years ago that he refuses to delete–I was eight months pregnant and very angry about having to change insurance companies.  You would’ve screamed too.

    Anyway, after that call I attempted to describe what a starred review from Kirkus means to my four-year-old.  I don’t think she got it, but she did get “Let’s go shoe shopping!”

    In defense of celebration shoes:

    1.  New shoes always look good, and if they don’t, it’s the shoe’s fault.

    2.  No post-celebration calories or guilt.

    3.  You aren’t going to need a payment plan. (If you are, we shop at different stores. And I envy you.)

    4.  You can usually sacrifice somewhere else to make up for the expense.  For example, I will buy these shoes, and not buy fruits or vegetables for the next two months.  See?  Easy!  My next book is going to be an economics textbook.

    6.  Shoes love you back, just like pets, but they never vomit on the rug.


    Enough shoe talk.  Here’s the review:

    Virtuosity VIRTUOSITY

    Author: Martinez, Jessica

    Review Issue Date: September 15, 2011
    Online Publish Date: August 24, 2011
    Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster
    Pages: 304
    Price ( Hardcover ): $16.99
    Publication Date: October 18, 2011
    ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-1-4424-2052-6
    Category: Fiction

    Grammy-winning, world-touring violinist Carmen Bianchi, 17, has outgrown child-prodigy status. To transition to an adult career as a virtuoso soloist, she must win the Guarneri Competition. If she loses, she’ll be just another former prodigy.

    Reflecting on the peculiar fame belonging to classical-music prodigies, Jeremy King—another ambitious ex-wunderkind with an equally intimidating resume—tells Carmen, “You’re a god to two percent of the population and a nobody to everyone else.” Carmen embodies this strange dichotomy. She’s homeschooled, has never dated, lacks close friends and depends on anti-anxiety drugs. She also has a vocation she loves, a Stradivarius violin and a posse of adults dedicated to advancing her career. Chief among these is Carmen’s mother and manager, Diana, whose operatic career ended early. As the competition approaches, Carmen and Jeremy—each ardently competitive and deeply smitten—form a deep but wary bond that Diana, ruled by anxious passions and an iron determination to win, bitterly opposes. Carmen’s struggles to succeed with integrity remind readers that “virtue” is the root of “virtuosity,” a fragile truth often lost when valuable prizes are at stake.

    Former child violin prodigy Martinez brings this overwrought world to tense, quivering life and guides readers through it confidently. A brilliant debut. (Fiction. 14 & up)


    So you see why I had to scream like a psycho.  

    Another reason this has been a celebration week: I finished editing Book 2, a.k.a. Charly and Amelia, a.k.a. The Book That Shall Remain Nameless. Hmm, finished is the wrong word.  Round one is over.  I still have to work my way through this book a few more times, but the biggest changes have been made, and assuming my editor is happy with it (everyone cross your fingers), it’ll just be little fixes from here on out.  I’ve spent the last four weeks stewing over things and occasionally banging my head against walls and other hard surfaces, but it’s been worth it because I’m actually happy with my finished product.  That doesn’t happen to me very often. 

    Can I give a shout out to my editor, Anica?  Seriously, she’s a genius and the BEST at what she does.  I spent pretty much every day of the editing process reading her comments and marveling at how lucky I am to work with her.  I was also amazed that she didn’t let loose a few four letter words on me for all of my ridiculous mistakes.  You could have made a ninth grade “Easily Confused Homonyms” list with that manuscript.

      It feel good to be done.  Hoenstly, I’m exhausted.  This summer has been grueling for many reasons, and it took more than a few late/all-nighters to do these edits–some in Alberta, some in Montana, and some here in Florida.  I’m just excited to be watching this grow from an idea to a book.  The story and these characters are all so alive in my head, but it’s like this big secret world that only I’m living in.  So weird.  The process, not me.  Or me too.

      And one last reason to shout hip hip hooray: SCHOOL STARTS ON MONDAY!!!  Now everybody sigh with me… Like a lot of stay-at-home-moms, during the summer my fulltime job takes no breaks, naps, or prisoners.  However, I am about to have 3 HOURS to myself EVERY SINGLE DAY.  My brain is about to explode just thinking about how awesome this is going to be.  I have fought, paid, and traded sleep for every single minute of writing time in the last few years.  So yes, this will rule.

      Oh, but please don’t call me on Monday morning.  Not because I’ll be crying about my babies growing up (I may–hard to tell right now), but I will be either writing or napping.  Afterall, I do have 6 years of sleep deprivation to make up for.  Or I may just go shoe shopping again.


      9 thoughts on “New Shoes for Everybody!

      1. I stood on my front steps and shouted for joy each time a child was old enough to go to their first day of school. Try it, it is a wonderful experience.

      2. Congrats on the starred review! It’s so well deserved, and I’m pleased you took the time to celebrate. Go you!

        And congrats too on the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. Like you, I’ve spent the past six years writing and editing during those moments that most sane people relax / sleep / talk to their spouse (all of which I happen to enjoy doing). But as of yesterday, I segued to full-time writing! I now have six hours a day between dropping the kids off and picking them up, and it’s incredible. Especially after a summer of no writing time at all (which you also, clearly, know well). Will you have even more hours next August?

      3. Six hours, Antony? You must be on could nine! I’m only two days in and I can’t believe how great it feels to have those morning hours to work. And yes, summer was fun (I think we both had crazy road trips, and zero time to write, correct?) but three cheers for scheduled life again.

        Thanks for the congrats!

      4. Congrats (on the school thing and the great reviews)! Question about the shoe picture: Are your feet in mid-air? Are you levitating? If I had cute shoes like that I’d probably be walking on air too!

      5. Jessica,I think I need new shoes too! I want to look good so I don’t embarrass you at your book launch. Even though I didn’t know what “blurbs” were til a few minutes ago, I think yours are awesome!

      6. I want to be just like you. I’ve already got the name down 🙂 but I’ve got a lot of work to do. My dream would be to write a book that gets published. I can’t wait to buy and read yours. Did it take you long to decide what to write about? I love how its something you already know and love. And a starred review? Way to go Jessica!

      7. Jessica, you’re too sweet. I had so many failed attempts before I was actually able to squeeze out a manuscript. I knew the basic idea of what I wanted to write about, but writing it took years. If you want to write, you should totally go for it.

        As for rocking the name, I’ve always wished I was athletic like you are. If we could combine and be ONE Jessica, we’d be unstoppable.

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