When you’re a writer —
When you’re human, and want something over the course of your entire life, you spend a lot of time thinking what it will be like should you acquire said thing. Maybe it’s a lollipop. Maybe it’s a free-standing mixer. Maybe it’s an entire cheesecake all to yourself. Maybe it’s a car. A spouse. A child. A house.
If you’re a writer, it may well be your first novel.
And then, the day arrives when said thing HAPPENS. When you hold that thing in your hands and you —
You stare at it in disbelief and you think “Well.”
Your hands shake more than a little.
The UPS man showed up, hauling two good-sized boxes, and panting a bit because the boxes were heavy and the day was warm.
“You,” he said to me at the door, “always get a lot of books.”
“I do,” I had to agree, because it’s true — I get a ton of books (some for work, lots for play) — and he has always delivered them to my door. He must wonder.
“But,” I added, ” I think this is my novel.”
And he looked up with a wide grin. “Okay, that’s awesome.”
I hauled the boxes inside, carried both upstairs to my desk, and my hands shook as I scissored through the tape on the first box. Could it be? This was it, the first book. All those words, all that time, all the editing and hair pulling and wondering what happened next. All the pages and words neatly in order, printed on dead trees, pressed between glossy covers.
I stared at the books and they stared back. I was hesitant to even unpack them. Then of course, I did. (They smelled good.) Twenty-two of them in one box. I kept the other box sealed, because…
Shelves, man. I need more shelves… (Collectors items! my brain shouts. Sealed first editions! Ha.)
It didn’t hit me until three days after the books arrived.
That I could hold my book. That a publisher had taken a chance on me, in this strange new publishing world, and committed my words to paper.
Oh sure, that has happened before in a variety of anthologies — and that remains awesome all on its own — but this was my novel. My first novel. My. First. Novel.
And it smacked me in the face. I got emotional. It didn’t happen when the books arrived. There was excitement, absolutely, but the deeper emotion was slower to arrive. The reality of it. My book.
The official publication date is August 6th, readers! You can pre-order if you are so inclined, and I will be giving away signed copies on Goodreads as soon as they approve it! [Updated: the Goodreads giveaway is live! It will close on July 28, so click to enter! And as Natalie says below, find the Prime Books table at Readercon, July 10-13th, to snag a copy!]