Time to take the next step

Oh, my feathered friends—the time has come for this Emu hatchling to stretch her legs and race off into the sunset. But first, perhaps, there’s time for one last stroll down memory lane?

I joined this blog more than two years ago, within weeks of getting my first book deal. You might say that I was a little overenthusiastic. I will be eternally grateful to founder Jeannie Mobley and the rest of the early Emus for welcoming me so warmly to the mob.

In my first year, I shared what it was like to see kids read (an early, unedited version of) my book for the first time.   I learned the ropes by helping to launch several Emu books. I made plum dumplings in honor of Jeannie’s debut, Katerina’s Wish, and accepted the dare of stuffing my face with chocolate cake while reading Matilda to help launch Jeanne Ryan’s Nerve. 

To this day, I still can’t eat chocolate cake.


There’s nothing quite like seeing the cover for your first book.

2013 arrived, and I tried to write some quasi-helpful writing- and publishing-related posts. I shared my star-chart method of motivation. I obsessed about selling a second book…and then I sold one.  And then, suddenly, All Four Stars had a cover and 2014 was looming and, lo and behold, my debut year had arrived.

In the first week of 2014, I published my most personal post—“A Different Kind of Call,” about my mom’s illness and the joy of being able to share an advance copy of my novel with her. It went a little bit viral, thanks to WordPress picking it up for their Freshly Pressed page. What an unexpected honor, and my first real experience with a large number of strangers connecting with my writing.

And then what happened to the rest of the first half of 2014? I’m really not sure, though I know I tried (and often failed) to remember that there was life outside of my looming book launch.   We launched Adi’s and Joshua’s awesome novels, and then it was my turn. The Emus were their brilliant, creative selves, inventing “Flat Gladys”s and custom recipes and sending Gladys Gatsby out into the world with all of the love and enthusiasm she could ever hope for.

The Stars of Summer by Tara Dairman

*pets the pretty cover for book 2*

So, now I’m a published author. My day-to-day life isn’t too different from how it was before–I still write, and teach, and hustle to get the next book project going. But I do get the occasional awesome e-mail from a fan of All Four Stars, and sometimes I get to go to libraries or schools or bookstores to talk readers and sign books. (Event alert—I’ll be in Larchmont, NY, this Monday evening doing exactly that!) And, of course, I’m gearing up to do this book-launch thing all over again next May, when my second book—The Stars of Summer,  sequel to All Four Stars—is released. (I just revealed the cover over at my own blog, and you can enter to win a signed ARC over there as well if you’re so inclined.)

So the time has come for me to move on and help make room for the next clutch of Emu eggs. I know that they’re going to hatch into incredible authors, and I can’t wait to read each and every one of their books.

Meanwhile, I hope to see you around on the Internet!




*waves her wing*

*gallumps off into the unknown*


Tara DairmanTara Dairman is a novelist, playwright, and recovering world traveler. All Four Starsher debut middle-grade novel about an 11-year-old who secretly becomes a New York restaurant critic, was published on July 10, 2014 by Putnam/Penguin.

Find her online at taradairman.com, and on Twitter at @TaraDairman.


Filed under Farewell, Thankfulness, Writing and Life

12 responses to “Time to take the next step

  1. Tara, you talk about how grateful you are to those who welcomed you – but you turned into that welcoming force, and I’m grateful for you! Thank you for being such a strong, calm, competent presence in this group, for answering so many questions, and for gently advising on hidden points of blogging and launching etiquette. Gladys truly is amazeballs, and I can’t wait to read The Stars of Summer.


  2. tamaraellissmith

    Tara. I’ve loved getting to know you even just a little bit, (and Gladys too!) and I am so excited and grateful that I get to continue that “getting to know”…for both you and Gladys! Lots of love outside of the nest. You’ve got awesome wings!


  3. tamaraellissmith

    Even though emus don’t…uh….fly. But you get what I mean… 🙂


  4. Pingback: Today! | Tara Dairman

  5. mariagianferrari

    What a lovely post! Good luck as you fledge, Tara 🙂


  6. Oh, Tara, you have been such a cheerleader rand gentle moderating force here on Emu’s Debuts. We’re gonna miss you here in the nest.

    I can’t wait to read STARS OF SUMMER! That Gladys is worth following, for sure.

    Great big Emu hugs!


  7. I’m going to miss you so much, Tara, and I know our readers are, too! I’m not one bit excited that you’re leaving us, but I’m excited for you and your journey! And I have to admit I’m REALLY excited about one more thing…that you included your dare video! Before I was a part of EMLA I followed this blog. When I saw your dare video, I had one more reason that I wanted to someday have EMLA as my agency…you guys were having so much fun with launches! You seemed like a supportive family. And, luckily, I found out EMLA is a supportive family, and I got to be a part of the EMUs before cake-eating Tara left. It’s been wonderful being a part of this with you. Happy Next Step!!!


  8. Your chocolate cake eating feat amazes me to this day. And now you’ve launched into what I’m sure will be a high-flying, amazing career!


  9. annbedichek

    No one has ever gallumped as well as you, Tara!!


  10. Oh, Tara! I’m going to miss your presence here, even though I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to see you in person more often than the annual retreat. Your friendship has been one of the highlights for me in this writing journey. I know Gladys is just the start of many wonderful, wonderful things ahead. Thank you for everything you’ve given to the Emu’s!


  11. I can’t believe your time here is up already – two years? Can’t be! And I was enjoying this trip down memory lane and anticipating your future success — and I, like Jenn, am one of the lucky ones who gets to see you in real life so I won’t miss you quite as much… but then you said it: “gallumps off into the unknown.” And I got all sniffly. Dang it. You got me with gallumps. 🙂


  12. I haven’t been able to post here since reading this, purely because it just makes me too darn emotional! I will miss you here in Emuland so much, Tara, but I am also so happy for your continuing success. Be sure not to gallump to far away to stay in touch!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.