Reflections on the New Year

January 19, 2014

I’ve never been much into New Year’s festivities. The way I see it, every day is a gift. January 1 is just a date we put on the calendar. On the other hand, the New Year is a wonderful occasion for reflection–a moment to look back on things past and ahead to things in the future.

In my world, 2013 was a doozy of a year. My second novel, The Garden of Burning Sand, launched in Canada in March, in Australia in June, and in the UK and South Africa in September. I had a blast meeting readers in London and South Africa in early October, and I’ve been delighted to hear great things about the book from readers and reviewers around the world.

At the same time, I’ve been working with my new U.S. publisher, Quercus Books, to prepare for the U.S. launch of The Garden of Burning Sand on May 6 (at long last!!). A lot of people haven’t understood why it’s taken so long for Garden to be released in the U.S., but I’m confident we put the extra time to good use. My friends at Quercus and Random House (their distribution partner) are quite excited about the new book, as am I.

If you’re in the United States, keep your eyes out for Garden on shelves, online, and on your devices in early May. Also, keep your eyes out for the trade paperback of A Walk Across the Sun, which will be released in the U.S. on April 1. If you’re in Canada, you should see a new paperback edition of both books in stores in the spring.

Also in 2013, I dived into a new book project that required more extensive research than I’ve ever done before. I spent nine months doing immersive reading, short trips, and about thirty interviews in the U.S., and then I traveled to East Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian Ocean and did in-country research in some fascinating, beautiful, and dangerous places. I’m writing the new book now and having a blast. The plan is for it to be released worldwide in the spring of 2015.

Most recently, I just launched an updated website incorporating the U.S. edition of The Garden of Burning Sand and A Walk Across the Sun, adding more content about both books and the issues they address, and making the site more user friendly for my guests from around the world. Check it out when you have a moment!

For those of you who have read my books but have never dropped me a line on my website, posted something on Facebook or Twitter, or posted a review on Amazon or Goodreads, I’d love to hear from you. It always makes my day to hear from readers who have enjoyed the stories and who have been stirred by their message about justice and human rights.

I wish you all a healthy and joyous 2014!!