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