In retrospect, I should have started this diary a long time ago – when my manuscript was first slated for publication.
I guess, like many a writer, I live inside a little bubble. We writers quietly write for months on end, usually in almost solitary confinement, the clickety clack of the keyboard forming a kind of background track to the universes we create. We ‘connect’ virtually: with our e-buddies (usually other writers who are also alone in their wordsmith towers), with experts who help us with our research and, occasionally, with distant loved ones.
Eventually, we package up our forest of paper and send it out into publishing-land. We weather the rejections (some of us make wallpaper with them, some compost the garden) and – eventually – we try to stop thinking about our ‘baby’ out there in the world trying to impress publishers with its style and panache and we begin work on our next project.
Then, joy of joys, it seems our manuscript has managed to impress. We do another check of it, pretty it up a little, and hand it over to the publisher.
What did I expect would happen next?
The reality to which I refer is made up of typos and spelling errors, of to-ing and fro-ing between editor and author debating the subtle nuances of a sentence, a phrase and – yes goddammit – a word.
It’s a reality filled with misunderstandings and misgivings, minor tanties, excitement, tears, fright, pride, vacillations and confidence kickers.
But finally, the manuscript is deemed complete. Paperwork is signed. There are sighs all ‘round.
But wait, there’s more…
There’s fonts and designs and cover art and blurbs and bios and decisions, decisions, decisions. For someone who has trouble deciding on fish or chicken at a restaurant, someone whose friends constantly order for her because they can’t stand the waiting or the anxiety; presenting me with options is a big no-no.
I am thrilled to say though that my humble story ‘8 States of Catastrophe’ is now almost a book. I have seen a proof of its cover.
But my journey to seeing the book in stores and having it ‘walk off the shelves’ is a long way from over, as I trip into yet another universe.
The Publicity Universe I am soon to enter has a different reality altogether.
It means talking about oneself, about one’s body of work (no matter how slender), putting one’s actual physical self out there (no matter how ‘not-slender’), being articulate – instantly – via the mouth, rather than leisurely by keyboard (with the aid of dictionary, thesauri, library and internet).
Oh well, this is what I have been waiting for. There is nothing for it but to dive in ‘boots and all’.
I’ll keep you posted…