Several of my friends and acquaintances have asked what it feels like publishing a book. It seems writing a novel is right up there in bucket list items along with owning a restaurant, skydiving, and getting a tattoo! Now that Darkness Before Dawn is complete and I have checked off all of the above, I can speak from experience. (Okay, it was indoor skydiving in Vegas, hoots of fun but yes, I did hurt my back and limp for days after! I’m not crazy enough to jump from a perfectly good airplane!)
When someone inquires what the publishing experience is like, after writing 125,000 then editing it down to 84,000 I surprisingly found myself at a loss for words! Perhaps they are among the 41,000 that were deleted?
Words like amazing, fantastic, exciting can’t really convey accurately enough so I have tried using analogies. The first one that came to mind was that I felt naked, with only a tiny hand towel to hide behind leaving all my cellulite in plain view. There was no hiding my faults or insecurities under clothing. My women friends nodded in understanding glad it wasn’t their vulnerabilities on display while the men looked at me a little strangely. I tried a different tactic so the men could understand.
“Imagine,” I set the scene, “Imagine you’re in a bar, looking cool and feeling snappy. You walk up to a group of beautiful women laughing, drinking and having a good time, you laugh along and then ask if anyone would like to join you for a dance or a drink but instead of agreeing, they all giggle at each other and turn their backs while your buddies watch you strike out from the shadows of the bar.”
“Shit, that’s rough they agreed.” I could see their Adams apples move as they swallowed, their mouths suddenly dry, nervous at just the mere thought. I could tell they were silently relieved and happy to be out of the dating scene, their wives safely nearby.
My young nephew congratulated me and wanted to know if he could read my book about the soldier and to know how I felt now that I was on Amazon. (He loves finding things he needs on Amazon!)
“It’s really cool.” I replied and blushing, let him know he could read it after his twenty first birthday. Then having coached his little league basketball team last year I explained using terms he would easily understand. “But I kinda feel like now that I’m part of the league, all the players are lined up and the captains are choosing their teams. I’m just hoping I am going to be picked quickly and not the last choice left on the field.”
“Oh,” he said his nose scrunched up in uncomfortable memories. “Yeah, it’s fun playing but that part really stinks.”
Out of the mouths of babes!
I alternate between feeling like I am on a huge roller coaster, though I haven’t been on one since Disney’s Space Mountain back in 1982, I can still remember the feeling of excited anticipation as the little car climbed to the top of the track, only to swoop down at an intensely high speed and feeling your stomach bottom out before whipping around the curve to do it all over again.
Basically, I am walking on clouds 24/7.
I still pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming, and now I keep a copy in the paperback in my purse to peek at whenever I start to believe it’s too good to be true. But it’s not. It is true, and that’s good. Amazing, fantastic, exciting and very, very good.