True Colors arrives in paperback!
Monday, December 28, 2009
Welcome to 2010. Even as I write those words, it seems amazing to me, remarkable. A year worthy of sci fi movies and futuristic novels. To be honest, I have been putting off this blog because I kept thinking that I ought to have something important to say, something inspiring or fascinating or at least interesting. Well...I've been waiting and thinking and nothing has come to me.
At first, I thought it was because of the holidays. Then I blamed it on the aftermath of the holidays--you know what I mean: the cleaning, the packing, the driving, the un-decorating. But today I finally understood the root of my malaise: it's publication time. In the next eight weeks, more than two years of work will basically come home to roost. I know what you're saying to yourselves right now. She's freaked out by the publication of her book? How can that be? Isn't this exactly the day she's been looking forward to?
It's certainly the common understanding that we authors live to see our books on the shelves. You probably think that the day we see our work in a book store is pure magic. And it is. It absolutely is. But to be totally honest, when you've been writing for a long time--and this September will mark nineteen years of publication for me--you discover a lot of ups and downs in the career. Good reviews, bad reviews, good sales, bad sales, good covers, bad covers. It's like this giant pendulum that keeps swinging to and fro, taking you along for the ride.
I am not a neurotic person; neither am I pessimistic nor nervous. But every book turns me into Sybil for a day or two. I am certain one minute that the book I have slaved over will break all sales records and lodge firmly in readers' hearts...that the word of mouth will be overwhelming. That upswing of optimism can last for a few minutes, maybe even an hour, and then the pendulum will swing the other way. I imagine not just bad sales and bad word of mouth, but a career-ending backlash. I suddenly question every word I've written and every plot choice I've made. I stay away from the computer and the book stores.
As I said: Sybil. My family and friends love this time. :)
Fortunately, I have a short attention span. I spend a few hours careening through moods and then I'm done. I put aside the whole question of sales and I focus on what I really care about: writing. For years, that alone has saved me: the next book. And I'm sure it will be true this year as well, but you know what? There's something else out there that has kept me on an even keel this year--and it's you guys. I can't tell you how much it helps to hear from readers. For most of my career, I huddled in my own silent world--I didn't put my address out there for fan mail or try to communicate with people. I just sat at my little desk and wrote my words and piled them up and edited them into manuscripts. Now, though, through the firefly blog--and to a lesser but still important extent, Facebook--I get to actually hear from the people who read my books. And amazingly, a lot of you love them.
How cool is that? So, thanks for taking the time to let me know what you think about my work. I love hearing it--the good, the bad, the great. (Okay, okay, especially the great--but really, I'm good with all of it). As you read True Colors in trade paperback and next month, Winter Garden, I'll look forward to your reviews and posts and thoughts, and yes, your criticisms. All of it makes me a better, stronger writer.
Speaking of making me a better writer, I wanted to let you all know that mine is not the only publication day that I'm celebrating this month. As most of you know, I've been critique partners with Megan Chance for twenty-two years. Wow. Just saying that out loud is a shock to the system. We first met and began our journey as friends and writers when my son was three months old--and now he's a senior in college. Yikes. Basically, I have never written a word that she hasn't read--and probably edited. :) and vice versa. Anyway, her latest novel, Prima Donna, is out on book shelves this week. It's a gritty, erotic historical novel that will keep you riveted from beginning to end. Book clubs will love it. Check out her website at MeganChance.com. I'm trying to post a photo of the cover, but it isn't working. Grrrrr....
And then, of course, we can't forget Kim's book, Lake Magic, is out this month. :) Kim is out doing a bunch of fun stuff this week, but when she gets back, we'll get her to post a cover photo and a link to her brand, spanking new website. Go, Kim!
Last but not least are the house parties. Have you all checked out the site? Wow is all I can say. There actually ARE going to be 1001 Firefly Lane/friendship parties on Jan. 30th. I can't wait to hear all about them. How many of you are hostesses???
Let me know!
Aloha for now,
ps: the photo is of my family skiing on the day after Christmas. What snow we had!