Thirteen years ago, almost to the day, I was a younger person. And on that day, my high school Physics teacher shared that February 15th was the most depressing day of the year. He explained how many people don’t enjoy Valentine’s Day, and that by mid-February any goodwill from the holidays has largely worn off. At the time I remember thinking I didn’t feel that way because the 15th is two days shy of my birthday, and birthday cake is rad.

As an adult, I generally don’t look forward to my birthday. This isn’t due to anxiety over aging, but my birthday, and to a lesser extent new year’s, has often been an occasion to reflect on the many ways I came up short that year.

But as Paul Blart once said, “NOT TODAY, DEATH!!

I’m thrilled to announce that I just got off the phone with the publisher at Eckhartz Press, and they want to publish The Mechanic!!!!

I’m very, very stoked. Eckhartz Press is a hybrid publisher, which means they split publishing costs with their authors. Hybrid published authors generally sell fewer books, but they make more money per book.  Now, is it possible The Mechanic could be published by Penguin or Random House if I queried a thousand agents and really gave it the good old college try? Sure. It’s also possible Olivia Munn will fall in love with me and together we’ll live happily ever after on a farm with lots of rescue dogs and cats.

Would it be great to make some money from The Mechanic, or compete with Jonathan Franzen on the bestseller list? Of course, but that’s not why I woke up at 5:30 for six months to work on a book I thought might never get published. Writing the book is the reward–anything after that is just gravy.

When I was in college I remember challenging myself to publish a book before I turned thirty. Because I’m me, I arbitrarily decided that Birthday Suits didn’t count since it was self published. With The Mechanic finding a home and hopefully lots of new readers days before my thirtieth birthday, I’m calling this one a win. Another benefit of working with a smaller publisher is that they work fast, and we’re already discussing The Mechanic coming out in the next few months. More details to come!


Donezel Washington

The Mechanic is finished! Sasha is now Ana. The word count dropped from 84,000 to 80,0000. My mom is reading the latest draft and said “it’s tighter,” which is maybe all I’ve ever wanted to hear about my writing. I don’t plan on making any changes unless an agent or editor tells me to. I have started querying, but that’s a long, slow, demoralizing process. Updates to come.

To give you a sense of where my brain has been since I finished the book, I have a blister on my right index finger and I’m not at all sure how I got it. I also bought three mixing bowls at Target last weekend and two of them have completely vanished. I also went to Costco and thought, “ooh quinoa salad, that sounds good!” I was watching TV the other night and had an idea for my next novel. Right now it’s about cults, dementia, time travel, and bank heists. Should be dope.

Many thanks to all of you who read various sections and drafts of The Mechanic. I’d especially like to thank my friend Miriam, who had to listen to me try to explain what this book was about before I’d written much of anything. Her thoughtful questions were crucial in helping me think through so many parts of the story. In no particular order, I also need to thank Sara, Jean, Marissa, Kerry, Julianna, Andy, mom, and dad. The feedback from all of you was so so helpful. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I’m gonna go turn into a werewolf now.

P.S. I stole the Donezel Washington joke from Brooklyn 9-9 which is a great show that was and then wasn’t canceled and you should definitely watch it.