A Year Of May (Day) by Guest Deb Trish Ryan

I’ve seen nothing but wonderful things about Trish Ryan and her book He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. Please join me in welcoming Trish to the Ball!

he-loves-me-jpeg.jpgA Year of May

Ah, publishing emergencies! A subject near and dear to my heart. Maybe I’m the only author neurotic enough to feel this way, but for me, any email from my agent/editor/publicist that doesn’t being with the words great, fabulous, or beyond our wildest expectations—and end with a series of exclamation points—is a publishing emergency.

This author stuff, I’ve discovered, is not for the faint of heart. Who knew? Before I jumped into the author pool, I’d read plenty of wise words about the “before” side of the writing life: tips for accumulating pages, storming through writer’s block, finding my voice/my story/my will to keep typing (even when a new episode of Dancing With the Stars was on in the next room). What nobody told me (or perhaps I just didn’t listen?) was what happens next: how every morning when you open your email, it’s a new adventure:

My editor is leaving editing, moving to a new city, and becoming an agent!
My agent is starting her own agency!
My new editor has attached the long-awaited prototype for my book cover, but includes a baffling clarification about how “the lips will be in a high gloss.” Which makes me think, slightly panicked, What LIPS???
My name, on my very first book ever, is beneath a big, fat bullfrog.

Trish RyanNow each of these events turned out spectacularly well. My first editor and my second editor are both great team players, pulling out all the stops to bring my glossy kissed frog book to the world’s attention. My agent was born to run her own shop, and showed amazing patience and encouragement as my proposal for book #2—which we thought would take me a week or two to pull together after submitting the manuscript for book #1—languished like so many pieces of Humpty Dumpty all across my hard drive for almost a year. And I love my glossed-up bullfrog, so much so that I’m having a hard time deciding what to call my amphibian friend (I’m thinking of taking the British monarch approach, and saddling him with every name that catches my fancy. Which at this point means he’s Roger Homer Cedric Percival Eugene. The Third.)

Still though, the past year has felt like a roller coaster as I’ve navigated the ups and downs of a complex business as a newbie. Here’s what I’ve learned: the vast majority of roller coaster rides scare the &^%$ out of you, but return you to the ground unscathed. They press your buttons, stir up your worst “what if?” fears, but ultimately, everything turns out okay.

I’m heading out on tour this week, and I expect that some new roller coaster experiences await me. I’m armed with Tide Stain Stick, a back-up outfit in case I collide with a cup of coffee or the special sauce on a Big Mac, and a determination to turn embarrassing moments into viable blog material. Because in the end, I’m not sure you can prepare for life’s emergencies any more than you can prepare for life’s happy surprises. All we can do is hold on, hope for the best, and try to remember to enjoy the big-picture view.

Thanks for having me, awesome Debs! Writing this post has been a fun reminder of how things tend to work out. Here’s to 2008 being a year with few emergencies, and experiences that exceed our (ridiculously high) expectations ☺

8 Replies to “A Year Of May (Day) by Guest Deb Trish Ryan”

  1. A lovely, encouraging post, Trish! I’m still not convinced I could handle seeing my name, caption-like, under the picture of a bullfrog, though. Even if it were wearing a tiara.

  2. Welcome Trish! So glad you joined us today! Thanks your for sharing your publishing ups and downs with us. Looking forward to reading your book and to meeting you on the memoir panel in August!Good luck on the road.

  3. Oh yes, I will meet you in August too! (at the Backspace conference, right?) I love the frog and his many names and it sounds like you’re getting nice and zen about the whole publishing experience.

    Any highlights we should watch for on your tour?

  4. Trish, you’ve “got” it. Publishing, like life, is full of surprises with most having a way of working out “happily ever after.” And, Debs, you will totally enjoy HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME NOT.

  5. Thanks all…what a fun group!
    I had a new quasi-emergency last night at one of my tour stops: seeing an eager, nine year old girl–and aspiring writer–in the front row of my reading. Her Mom said she’d been longing to meet a real author for a long time. I had some racy material to read that was not written for 9 year old ears and had to make up some passages as I went along… Yikes!

    Nothing like editing your own work as you read!

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