The Debs are delighted to welcome debut novelist Anisha Lakhani as our guest today, author of the very funny and unputdownable Schooled>.
There never was a grog, in the history of grogs, that I wished more fervently would become an actual manifestation of its title than The Debutante Ball. Blue blood will be replaced by blue ink, and new authors wearing white will dance-all-night like Eliza Doolittle on the arms of dashing author princes like John Grisham and drink champagne and gossip with author princess Meg Cabot. My first novel, Schooled, came out on Tuesday, August 5th, and I can assure you that had there been such a ball, I would have attended. Believe me, I have the determination and the chutzpah of Cinderella.
So in the absence of a Debutante Ball, what did I do on my “pub day?” (I’m learning all sorts of writer slang) I woke up and checked my Amazon rating. After brushing my teeth, I checked it again. I called my parents, sang “Happy Birthday to Me” (seriously, it feels like your birthday so really it’s the only appropriate song to sing) and then checked my rating again. Then my little brother called and suggested I get a life and try and find another activity. So I went to Barnes & Noble to spy on my book. If Narcissist is still looking for a wife, that was me on Tuesday.
Wednesday was self-loathing and paranoia day. Schooled is being touted as a “controversial book” and people are whispering of a “tell-all” in which I “rat out” all my colleagues and students at Dalton, a private school I worked at for the last eight years. It’s not. Certainly I used my experiences as a seventh grade English teacher and Middle School Department Chair as a springboard, but the stories in Schooled are a compilation of my experience, stories I heard through the years from other teachers, tutors, and students, as well as straight-up, good old-fashioned fiction. The fact is I really enjoyed working at Dalton and made some lifetime friendships there But OH NO some bloggers and reviewers are having a field day with stirring up controversy about how I “messed up my life” and I am convinced everyone hates me. Why don’t they understand my book? Why don’t they understand me? Why can’t I be loved? Wednesday is a sad, sad day and I drown myself in carbohydrates. I am still unbearably self-involved.
I was initially set to come to the Debutante Ball on my pub date, and all I can say is that I am incredibly grateful for the small delay. Here’s what even a few days has taught me: Amazon numbers are only pleasing to Stephenie Meyers (and well deserved that vampire Edward Cullen seems hot), having your first novel published is like discovering calorie-free chocolate, and having an ex-student who is now flourishing in college and making Dean’s List every semester call and say “I had to keep putting your book down because I was laughing so hard” IS the reward. For a teacher, having my student tell me “I’m proud of you” was a little like getting that ‘ol glass slipper back. There may not be a ball, but this deb got properly Schooled and is waltzing up and down the streets of New York. . . and okay, maybe the aisles of Barnes and Noble.