Kody was the first writer friend I ~ever~ made, back in the forums at Absolute Write about seven years ago. I had posted the first chapter of my newly completed novel, and saw that other people had done the same. None of the other samples really commanded my attention though, until I came across one for the first chapter of a story called, you guessed it, The DUFF. I was crazy about the sample and left a comment proclaiming my love. Imagine my happy surprise when I realized that the writer had left a similar comment on my own chapter! The rest was history, as they say.
Kody and I got to watch each other go through all the big steps. I remember when she first received an offer of representation from her agent, and how The DUFF sold at auction after only two weeks on submission to publishing houses. Her journey was so inspirational to me, a still aspiring author who had yet to find an agent. After multiple bad query drafts that only gathered slews of rejections for me, Kody suggested I send my new and improved draft to her agent, who loved 'edgy' YA (hahaha! Remember when 'edgy YA' was a thing?) I queried Joanna, who was indeed very interested in my manuscript, and before I knew it, Kody and I were represented by the same agent.
I remember traveling to New York City to attend the book launch party for The DUFF back in 2010. It was one of the greatest trips ever!
|Me at the DUFF launch party with fellow YAHers Emilia and Leila!|
|Kody and I being silly with our awesome agent, Joanna.|
|Kody with her editor at the DUFF book launch party.|
Of course, this book's awesome journey was far from over. Through the years, the film options sold, and eventually Kody found out that her book was indeed going to be made into a real, actual movie!! When I discovered that I would be meeting up with her in LA for the red carpet screening, I was so excited, not only to see Kody own the red carpet like a total boss, but also to watch the movie for a book that was so very close to my heart.
The screening was a blast. I got to see all the stars in person, as well as a few others who weren't in the movie (I legitimately almost peed my pants when I saw Aubrey Plaza walk in and start chillin' not five feet away from me.) The after-party at Dave and Busters was also super fun, and the next day I left the city exhausted but still buzzing with happiness for Kody.
|Kody on the red carpet with the cast!|
|Our table at the Dave and Buster's after party.|
|In the theater, right before movie time.|
|Me with Ken Jeong, who played Mr. Arthur in the movie.|
|Kody with the director and screenwriter of the film.|
So, fast forward to today: The DUFF is finally, officially out in theaters! Go see it with all your friends, and remember to give an extra cheer when Kody's cameo pops up toward the end of the movie.
Happiest of release days to the DUFF movie!