I just finished my first month as a published author, and Past Me has some questions for me. Here goes:
PAST ME: Holy shit, you did it! You’re a published author! What’s it like? Is your life totally different? Are there beams of light and singing cherubim (A Wind In The Door style, naturally) and clouds of glory?
ME: First of all, let’s be honest, that thing looked like a Beholder. Second, it’s amazing. Third, life is exactly the same, except with really intense deadlines for Book Two.
PAST ME: Aw, c’mon. It’s gotta be completely awesome. Are you famous now? What’s it like? What’s different?
ME: Uh, no, really super not famous at all. Mostly it’s still just kids and work and laundry. Some things are definitely different…For instance, party conversations with people who haven’t seen you since the book came out are pretty much guaranteed to be about the book. Everyone makes jokes (I think they’re jokes?) about when will the movie come out. Like, you think other writers are kidding about that, but they’re not—it’s totally a thing. You also wind up doing a lot more interviews and guest posts, and oh, I even did a bookstore event! With S. A. Chakraborty! It was REALLY COOL.
PAST ME: Pics or it didn’t happen!
ME: Okay, here! It was a blast. The audience was great and had fantastic questions, the bookstore was wonderful, and S. A. Chakraborty was totally lovely.
PAST ME: That’s awesome! What else has been cool and different about being a published author? Anything you didn’t expect?
ME: Okay, so the very coolest thing, totally unexpectedly, has been hearing from friends who’ve read it (or listened to the audiobook)—or even better, while they’re reading it. Because they’re your friends, and they don’t hesitate to do things like text you going OH MY GOD when a surprising twist happens, or send you emails about how they totally caught this subtle clue you put in there without knowing if anyone would ever notice it, or post at 2 AM being like “DAMN YOU MELISSA I HAVE TO WORK TOMORROW BUT I COULDN’T PUT YOUR BOOK DOWN!” It’s AMAZING.
PAST ME: Seriously? I didn’t even think more than one or two of them would even have read it by now?
ME: Someone has already listened to the audiobook twice. You have the BEST FRIENDS. And the best readers. They are all awesome.
PAST ME: Tearing up, here. What else should I know about? What did you decide to do about the release party? I know I was waffling about whether to try to do it at a bookstore or what…
ME: Oh! So I realized that if I did it at a bookstore, I’d be performing the entire time. And I also realized there were a LOT of friends who wanted to celebrate with me, even on a weeknight, and that nearly all of them had already preordered the book or had plans to buy it in a bookstore on release day. I just wanted to be able to celebrate and relax and enjoy their company, and be myself in all my goofiness rather than being all author-y. So I just rented a hall and invited all my friends and had a BLAST. Best decision. Plus, I decided to buy a “Screw it, you only get one debut” dress, and I have no regrets.
PAST ME: PICS OF THE DRESS YOU MONSTER.
ME: SERIOUSLY LOOK AT THIS CRAZY OVER THE TOP THING!
PAST ME: Niiiiiiiiiiice! So, I have to ask….Did you blow up all those balloons by hand, or…
ME: Jesse did most of them. Best husband ever. But I drove them, inflated, to the venue in the minivan, which was kinda wild. They filled the entire van. The kids could barely squeeze in among the balloons.
PAST ME: It sounds like it’s been a really fun month!
ME: It’s been incredible. But also really busy. You don’t really understand about writing to deadlines yet, Past Me. You think you do, but you don’t. BUT YOU WILL. OH YES, YOU WILL.
PAST ME: That’s…ominous.
ME: HA HA HA HA HA HA (gasp) But no, seriously, it’s incredible. Everything is totally worth it. All those years, all those rejections, all that work—worth it. OH! Wait, you have to see the cake!
PAST ME: Cake? What caaa….HOLY SHIT!
ME: I KNOW! Laughing Oak Bakery, of course, and that pic is totally hand-painted on the frosting! And it TASTED EVEN BETTER THAN IT LOOKED. You are in for a huge treat, Past Me. Just you wait.
PAST ME: That’s SO COOL!
ME: It is! And now, I really have to go catch up on everything I blew off while I was making that deadline I mentioned. Don’t forget to take a break from work to enjoy all this awesome stuff, Past Me!
PAST ME: I will! WOOT!!!