21st February 2014
Things shifted into high gear this week when Simon&Schuster told me they were taking out a 12-day ad for my book in USAToday.com starting the day of publication! The same ad will appear on another site called Eyeonromance.com. Also, I was contacted by the historical novel society in Scotland who want to do a review of my book in May. So, you never know, do you, when you are wallowing in the depths of despair how the gears are somewhere changing and moving the story forward? I like that American expression, "Everything turns on a dime," because it really does seem to be so.
I received my forty free books in three boxes from the publisher this week, as stated in my contract. The copies are beautiful! I was pleased that the cover had a matte finish instead of being shiny like the pre-edition copies. There is to be a fifty book give-away in Aspen starting now and spread out between the library, the Aspen Writer's Foundation office and the local community centre where my book launch is to be held. The venue is a cosy place with a fire that will make me feel more comfortable than I would in a book shop, and besides it holds more people. (Not that I have the remotest connection to Hunter S. Thompson, but this was an old haunt of his.) Woody Creek is also where Joe Henry, author of the much admired book "Lime Creek," lives. It is a the far flung Bohemian section of Aspen. No money, just art, as the story so often goes.
Two and a half weeks until the book launch! Now all I need to do is choose the parts of the book I am going to read for the event. I have already decided on the first chapter, which at eight pages is short, but sets the book and the voice up well, I think. The trouble is that my speaking voice is only good for about three pages, and then I am reading my beautiful words but sounding like Cookie Monster. That will set me into a panic, and people will begin to wonder if I really am an epileptic. And who said I was a catastrophiser? These types of things wander about my head around 3am in the dark amidst the sounds of dogs snoring on the bed and cats chasing each other down the hall.
I think I will talk a little about how I came to write the book at the book launch, but I don't want to be reading off notes, because I should be able to tell that story. I know it so well. I was just last night reading an old journal which shows how this whole saga has unfolded, from my getting my agent in July of 2009 to securing a publisher in February 2011 and finally being published in March 2014. It has been a five-year trek, although the first two years were taken up with a different book that hasn't yet sold. I think it is a bit like giving birth - if you knew ahead of time how long it was going to take, you just would go down a different alley. But once you're on the path, all you can do is sort of squeeze your eyes shut and keep moving ahead to the next hour, the next day, the next month, the next year.
Some authors don't move with such glacial speed. My progress has been about as slow as it gets, I think. So I can hold myself up as inspiration to unpublished writers everywhere slogging away, feeling as though they are going nowhere. And I am not a patient person! I have been feeling like a racehorse stuck behind the starting gate for a very long time. People and horses like that, let me tell you, are not easy to live with.