Sunday, November 27, 2011


This year, I sat around a Thanksgiving table and couldn't help but think about what a strange and rollercoaster of a year this has been.

A year ago, I worked days as an administrative assistant, and wrote nights and weekends. I barely made ends meet, I didn't have health insurance, I was falling in love with someone who lived over half the country away from me, and I thought I had given up the idea of ever being published.

This year I got an agent, was diagnosed with cancer, sold UNRAVELING, had surgery, quit my job, helped my amazing roommate move back to California, went into remission, and spent Thanksgiving with with my boyfriend and his family. There's been more--but those are the highlights.

When I first read I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings back in tenth grade, I was struck by a line at the end of chapter 28, after Maya is thinking about a teacher who made a huge impact on her. And I've never forgotten it. She says,

The allegiances I owed at this time in my life would have made very strange bedfellows: Momma with her solemn determination, Mrs. Flowers and her books, Bailey with his love, my mother and her gaiety, Miss Kirwin and her information, my evening classes of drama and dance.

This year, I owe my allegiance to a number of amazing and wonderful people. People who made me strong enough to get through some of the tough times, people who recognized things in me I didn't see myself, people who were there every step of the way no matter what time it was and no matter what they were doing themselves.

My wonderful friends, my amazing boyfriend, my patient loving mother, my brilliant sister, my fierce and sharkly agent--UNRAVELING owes them its allegiance. It wouldn't be a book without them. But I owe them my allegiance as well. It could have been a very different year without them in my life.


Liz Norris briefly taught high school English and history before trading the southern California beaches and sunshine for Manhattan's recent snowpocalyptic winter. She harbors dangerous addictions to guacamole, red velvet cupcakes, sushi, and Argo Tea, fortunately not all together. Her first novel, UNRAVELING (Balzer+Bray April 2012), is the story of one girl’s fight to save her family, her world, and the one boy she never saw coming.


  1. beautiful post, Liz.

  2. This is really great. Thank you for sharing. Also, I don't know if I've ever told you this, but I am completely envious of your beautiful hair.