Six days from now, my 4th book, Gone, Gone, Gone, comes out.
It's been getting really good reviews, which is pretty fucking cool. Look at these nice quotes!
"Moskowitz captures the teenage mentality and voice in this tender yet emotionally complex romance."
- Publisher's Weekly
“Moskowitz, as usual, imbues her prose with a dreamy quality that makes every off moment feel monumental….Despite featuring the very real sniper attacks of 2002, this is as amorphous as the author’s Invincible Summer—not necessarily a bad thing for those inclined to float along with the lullaby rhythm. The theme of the randomness of tragedy (literalized here by 9/11, the sniper, cancer, and Craig’s 14 lost pets) is particularly well-handled.”
So there's that, and that's awesome, but let's lay it on the line: this is my fourth book, and after four books it takes a lot to get my feathers ruffled (gross?) in either a good (yeah, it's gross) or a bad way. ANY review means that someone's picked up the book, and that's what's important to me at this point, and maybe that means I'm soulless, Supernatural or Zombie Tag-style.
Except the thing is...it's different with this one. Even though I'm pretty fond of that magic gay fish thing, GGG gets a special section of my brain all to itself. GGG is just very, very me. Both 'me' as a writer--pretty much every hannah-trope you know and hopefully grudgingly accept is in this book, seriously, make a drinking game--and as a actual, real human.
And it's kind of the end of an era. As of right now, this is my last male-POV fully contemporary YA book. This was me doing everything I love so much, wringing into one book, and letting it rest.
This was me closing a door, for now.
That's not really why it's special.
John Allen Muhammad, the mastermind of the D.C. metro sniper shootings, was executed on November 10th, 2009.
I was at Brown then, and a friend of mine had a blog where he wrote about political events and such, and he asked me to take a look at a post he wrote criticizing the death penalty with regards to Muhammad's execution. Because I was from Maryland, and also because I'm a bleeding heart liberal who was attending a bleeding heart liberal school and I assume he was expecting me to have a certain reaction to the news that someone had been executed.
In any other circumstance, he would have been wrong, but the thing was...
I'd been waiting for John Allen Muhammad to be executed for seven years.
Except, if you'd have asked me, I would have said eight. Because I would have sworn up and down that the sniper shootings and 9/11 were the same year.
I was young--ten for 9/11, eleven for the sniper shootings, so it makes sense that my memories get muddled. But I don't think that's the reason I was so sure that the sniper shootings were a month after 9/11, rather than thirteen.
I think it's a Maryland thing. A suburbs-of-D.C. thing.
They're linked for us. They always will be. We sat right next to a city that lost 125 people in 9/11, and we very obviously were NOT in New York. We weren't even in D.C. We were Maryland, uncomfortably close and uncomfortably detached, and thirteen months (feels like one month) later we, we fucking suburbanites, were the playground for two snipers and two weeks and ten casualties.
We have issues.
It's a Maryland thing.
So I was at Brown in 2009, and my friend showed me the blog post, and the way he talked about Muhammad's execution was...
He talked about it like it was any other situation, any other murderer. He used it as a support in a larger argument.
It just made so much sense.
And there I was, seven years out of it. Seven years of reading the Wiki page obsessively, of reading about John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo and timing the shootings and figuring out how far I was from each when it happened (not far, never far, and how the fuck could I use that as a reason something was important? People die all the time. Why the hell does it matter if I'm five miles away?)
Seven years out of running in zig-zags on my way to voice lessons and reading about a boy my age getting shot on his way to school. Seven years out of our chief of police crying on TV and our faculty members wearing orange vests and patrolling our grounds.
There was nothing else on the news.
People ducked while they pumped gas.
People talked, all the time, about 9/11.
Seven years out of it, and still shocked that anyone could think it made sense.
So I wrote a book.
(I did what I have to do to make anything make sense. I made a love story.)
So I wrote GGG over a few days a month after Muhammad was executed, during final exams, because I take my studies very seriously, obviously. And because I can't be objective about it. I can't. I can't let it go.
I can't shut this door.
So I wrote a book.
I hope you read it.