Countdown to publication: Four weeks, minus 1 day.
This is when many authors go slowly nuts. All revisions on the book—for better or worse—are finished. Not even a comma can be changed; not even a question mark. Someone is working hard, turning manuscript pages into actual books; but the author’s part in the creation is over. Marketing and publicity plans have been finalized. The heady days of e-mails and phone calls between author and publisher are at a lull. Nothing now requires the author’s input.
Cue the nail-biting.
I’m no good at waiting for a bus, let alone a publication date. When it comes to the quiet time, it’s like all caffeine, all the time. I’m scattered. I can’t get to sleep. I fret about everything. That the book won’t get reviewed. That it will get reviewed, and the reviews will read exactly like hideous, cackling hyena laughs, if hyena laughs could be translated into English. I fret that the pub date will come and no one will notice because readers will be too busy swarming around another title. You don’t even want to know how many young adult novels are pubbing the same day as mine. In fact, I don’t want to know. I stopped counting at six.
So, yeah. It's the quiet time, and I’ve got the pre-pub jitters like you wouldn’t believe.
This is what helps:
My sweetie, who has the front row seat for every fret and anxiety I can dream up, and who still hasn’t run screaming out the door.
My writer friends, who get the deal because they’ve been through it themselves—especially Sally Nemeth, who took me on the hunt for a fab 1940s dress to wear to my publication shindig, and the hunt was good, and spoils were brought back to the lair in triumph. Did I mention the fabulousness? Oh, child. There’ll be pics, you just wait.
My non-writer friends, who are steeped in yet more wonderfulness because they get it, too. Or they’re all actors right up there with Cate Blanchett, only Cate Blanchett would be getting that narrow-eyed little frown of hers that makes ordinary people look like ferrets and yet she remains gorgeous as she telegraphs with her ice-making eyes, You’ve become a crashing bore, get hold of yourself, can’t you? Bloody American, and none of my wonderful friends are doing that. Yet.
Kitties falling asleep on my keyboard.
Working on the next book. Because no matter what flavor of reality ends up smacking itself all over the book about to hit the shelves, there’s always another story that needs telling. Publishing is one thing. Writing is a whole different beast. Writers write, and so…off I go.
While I wait, the next story is waiting for me.