As I write this post, it’s Monday evening. I’m at the office, because my husband’s working late. The big excitement today was that the “honor system” candy dish came in $8.25 under, provoking a very entertaining and scathing email. I’m mad at myself because I ate too much over the weekend and haven’t worked out since Saturday. My left eye itches, because I have terrible hay fever. My dog has hay fever, too. I feel fat in these jeans. My parked car got smashed into a few weeks ago and my insurance company is bugging me to get it fixed.
Welcome to the glamorous life of a debut novelist.
I’m going to be honest, being a published author doesn’t usually feel very different from being an unpublished author. “But you know someone wanted your book!” aspiring authors might say. Yeah, someone did, and that was a great day. The day I saw my cover was a great day. So was the day I got my first ARC, and my first real book. But even that glow wears off after a few too-slow lines at the grocery store and being cut off by rude drivers talking illegally on their cell phones.
So I feel cranky, fat, full, but still hungry for cake, angry at myself for wanting cake, relieved that I get to go home soon, and tired. And no amount of sitting here and thinking to myself, “You are a debut novelist!” is going to heal that.
I have a secret weapon.
I have the incredible support and encouragement of some really amazing people.
Starting with my sister Debutantes and the amazing reader/commenters here at the Ball. Every day, I get to read the perspective of a bright, talented woman, and the reactions of a bunch of bright, interesting readers. Once a week, I’m even lucky enough to have those readers reacting to something I wrote.
And there are my own blogpeeps, the friends I’ve met all over the web at various times and kept up with over the months and years. These are people who, just to be nice, put my book cover up on their websites, or pre-ordered back when it was a total novelty, or swing by just to say hi, or bug me if I’ve been away too long.
Then there are the book bloggers–the amazing network of YA book reviewers, who charm and delight me with their frank, funny, and refreshing reviews and correspondence.
There are authors I’ve known for years now, who are busy with their own work but have still sought me out to wish me luck and congratulations–Holly Kennedy, Therese Fowler, Eileen Cook, Jenny Gardiner, Danielle Younge-Ullman.
There are people devoting their time and energy to blogging about the book–Debutante Ball “fairy godmother,” Larramie, and my friend Robin Brande, who is our guest here this Saturday.
There are my wonderful co-workers and friends, who came to celebrate with me this weekend. There are the insanely talented and creative folks who devoted their time and resources to helping me create my beloved book trailer.
And there are the people at my publisher, Disney-Hyperion: my editors, Ari and Margaret; designer, Beth; and my fabulous publicist, Hallie–not to mention the various other friendly and capable folks who have helped along the way (Angus, Colin, Christian).
There’s my agent, Matthew Elblonk, who has always been there when I needed [__fill in the blank__].
There’s my family, and my husband’s family, who are all so excited and sweet.
There’s my dog, who doesn’t care what I eat, as long as I drop a little on the floor for him.
And there’s my husband, who always believed in me.
What was I saying? I feel fat? I feel tired? I feel overwhelmed? Sniffly? Itchy? Bitchy? Snide?
Strike that. Forget it.
Tonight, after taking the time to reflect on the immense graciousness with which my little book and I have been greeted and treated…
I just feel grateful.
Thanks for joining me today!
PS – Enter to win a signed copy of “Bad Girls Don’t Die” for yourself or a reader of your choice. Just comment on the blog entries here at the Ball all week–one entry per day! A winner will be randomly chosen and announced this Sunday.