As of today I am a published author. I can’t even tell you how weird it is for me to write that. I’m no spring chicken, and this has been a long, like decades-long, journey for me. I started writing in earnest when my youngest was 4. He’s old enough to drive a car now, so you do the math. I don’t regret the wait – I think I had other, also important things to do. But I’m grateful this day has finally come.
So what does one do the day her book comes out? It is surprisingly calm today actually. I’m out of the country, spending time with my family and reading, far away from any bookstores, so I’m wondering… Did it happen? Are there books on a shelf somewhere? Did someone actually buy it? (Please send me a picture if you spot SMALL ADMISSIONS in public anywhere!) I don’t really know what to do with myself, but my instinct is to say a big, huge “thank you” to everyone because books don’t come out by themselves. I know we have acknowledgments pages, but I’m going to shout out my gratitude one more time because this book would NOT ever have happened if not for the following people:
1. A supportive spouse. I’m talking about a guy who has been saying kind and positive things to me for the past almost 30 years, such as, “You should write,” “You’re good at dialogue,” “Yes, you look thin,” and “No, you don’t drink too much.” David is an awesome person, crazy-smart, ridiculously nice to me, and I’m so incredibly lucky to have him.
2. A wonderful agent. I often want to ask her, “Why, Linda? Why?” but I won’t ever ask her this because I’m afraid she’ll ask herself the same question. Linda Chester had no reason to take me on, but she did. She gave me a job – “Write this book and then get ready to write another book every year or so.” What made her think I could possibly do such a thing? I don’t know, but for her, I will rise to the occasion.
3. A badass editor. Anika Streitfeld is amazing – she’s so smart and good at what she does, and she’s willing to be really hard on me when the pages I send her aren’t doing their jobs. And she’s always right — Do you know how hard it is to be always right and still extremely likable?? Anika has it down.
4. Rock Star publisher and team. I love Emily Bestler. I love Stephanie, Lara, and the whole Atria group. I’m not a gratitude journal kind of girl, but working with these amazing women makes me consider starting one, and I would fill it with entries about them, and I would title it, “Rock Stars.” Here’s the book trailer we filmed for SMALL ADMISSIONS.
5. Helpful, jaded, hilarious, smart children. Humbling me, teaching me technology, giving me material to write about, making me laugh, surprising me – just a handful of the things my three sons do for me. The fact that they are also supportive, kind, politically-minded people and committed feminists is really awesome.
6. Unsupportive pets. I mean, they’re with me all the time, but they seriously could not give a shit. I’m all, “Oh, someone tweeted about my book!” and they’re all “Oh, I just took a tweet on the carpet.” But I’d be in despair without them.
7. Smart writers. I have met many in the past year, and I am so impressed by them – they are amazing, funny, kind, self-deprecating, angry, clever, strong women. Not to pick any favorites at all, but Elissa Bassist – You are the best ever combination of hilarious and truthful. (MUST-READ article: “Are We United in a State of Depression?“)
8. Soulmate sisters. The best people in the world are the ones who know you so well and love you anyway. Doesn’t matter that we span the continent (San Diego – Texas – New York) — The older we get, the closer we get.
9. Dad of the year. Because he’s my dad, and he reads all my stuff and says he likes it, no matter what I send him. And he used to drive all over the country to see me act badly in plays. Talk about dedication. Also he always set an example for me that one should truly love one’s work, if possible. I can honestly say now that I have a job I love.
10. Old friends. And I’m not talking about the ones you see often although those are awesome too. But the ones you see once every seven to ten years and you remember immediately why they are in your life and why you’re going to insist on keeping them there. I’m talking to you Liz King, Donna James, Honore Comfort, John Kim, Tracey Tisler, Maria White, Marcella Butler, Dawn Charles, and Ashley Cooper. *Not at all a comprehensive list*
11. Local(-ish) friends, like the ones who tolerate my company in some kind of regular fashion, like Amy White, Anna Salajegheh, Felice Kaufmann, Karyn Delay, Candy Moss, Dacel Casey, Ana Blohm, Kristin Harman, Julie Bruhn, Lili D’Huc, Georgia Clark and the Brooklyn Writers’ Salon. *Not at all a comprehensive list*
12. Rebel debutantes. Lynn, Tiffany, Jenni, and Crystal – You are making this year so much fun and I can’t thank you all enough!! (Tiffany – You’re up next!!)
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