You know how at the beginning of a night out dancing, you head out onto the dance floor and do that subdued side-to-side move because you don’t want to look like a dork?
And then, by the end of the night, fortified with a few tequila shooters or a bottle of Veuve, you’ve kicked off your shoes, begged the DJ to play Oh, What a Night or Dancing Queen or Hit Me Baby, One More Time. You’re popping and locking, shimmying up to partners half (or twice) your age, doing the most current rendition of the Electric Slide/Hustle/Macarena/Achy-Breaky Heart, and finishing out the evening with your super spectacular version of The Funky Chicken.
And then, twenty minutes after Last Call, as you hail a cab in your bare feet, you don’t care if you looked cool or not. You had one hell of a night.
To me, my year with the Debs has been a lot like that.
We all started off a bit unsure of ourselves and each other, and what the experience might be like. But by the end of our year here, we’ve let our hair down and kicked off our shoes. We soothed each other through disappointments and cheered each other on through triumphs: Movie Deals! Target Breakout Book! New Book Deals! Kick Ass Blurbs!
And then, the most amazing things began to happen. Larramie debuted us all on her blog. John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, Meg Cabot, Meg Tilly and Jane Green joined us as honorary Debs. We had a perfectly valid excuse to wear tiaras on special occasions. Readers came (and linked!) from all around, and the grog took on a life of its own.
I think all of us will tell you that the most unexpected, and by far the best experience of the Deb Ball has been the friendship we found with each other, at this, the most exciting, terrifying and lonely time of our lives.
The one thing no one ever tells you about publishing is how stranded you feel through the process. (Tom Hanks-talking-to-a-volleyball-stranded.) How you find yourself searching out writer blogs for somebody, anybody, who knows how you feel. You’ve sold this book, something you spent months or years of your life creating, and it seems like an engraved invitation to be a member of a really cool club, but what you really feel is how you don’t have any idea what’s going on, how you’re terrified that no one will buy it, how so much of your career is out of your hands, and how sometimes it seems as though the publishing house might just be plotting against you. Or like no one in the whole world understands (or gives a crap about) what you’re going through.
Except here, there were six of us. And we all knew what the other was going through, because we were all in the same place.
I am so thankful to the brilliant and talented Kristy Kiernan for creating this wonderful grog, and so happy to be a part of this amazing group. It’s been my honor and delight to know all of you.
Congratulations to our 2009 Debs, I hope this experience is as wonderful for all of you as it was for us.
And last, The Debutante Ball would not be The Debutante Ball without all of you, our readers. Thank you so much for cheering us on, reading our blog posts and our books, weighing in on everything from publishing to pets to Shaun Cassidy. You’ve helped to make the debut of Fifteen Minutes of Shame, and all of our books, a thrilling experience.
So, before the bouncers have to drag me out, I’ll say goodbye. (Or maybe I’ll stay. It wouldn’t be the first time the bouncers have had to drag me out…I think this might be the part where I start slurring, But wait, I jusssss gotta tell you ….I REALLY love you guys! )
And I really do.
If you’d like to hear about what I’m up to next, I’d be completely thrilled to tell you all about it.
(Just once a month or so. You will not find yourself pelted with unnecessary emails every afternoon to update you on my new laundry detergent preferences, the shoes I got on sale at Nordstroms, or my dog’s psychic predictions. Well, unless he tells us who Jennifer Aniston is going to date next. )
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Cue the Chicken.