Friday, 6 April 2012

So does this mean I'm a Published Author?!

Right, hang on a minute, let me just check something… I have written a book – check. It is sitting on Amazon – check.  It is published by Crooked {Cat} – check. I have an Amazon Author page – check. I even have a Goodreads author page! I guess I must be a published author – right?

Hold on a minute while I just look around me, pinch myself until I’m purple and make sure it’s really true.

I must be, mustn’t I?

This should be the dream sequence, with the full blown orchestra and me sitting on cloud nine, but I’ve just pinched myself, and it’s still me. I’m just the same, but different.

I am going to let you into a secret. I have wanted to be a published author for a long time. I don’t know where the dream came from, or the desire, or the inclination. I just wanted to.  And I’m going to let you into an even bigger secret here when I tell you that I used to write the words ‘published author’ in big swirly letters, as though to visualise it happening.

I’m also going to tell you another secret. I told myself that if I ever became a published author, I would play the ‘hallelujah’ song over and over, and that is exactly what I’m doing while I write this blog.

Why am I writing all this? Well because I know the type of me. I know that in a week’s time, or a month’s time, I’ll be off worrying about something else, and sometimes it’s important to sit down and enjoy something: enjoy the moment.

I’m pretty sure that I’ll find something to stress myself out about in the future, like reviews or ratings or whether someone looked at me the wrong way sideways, so just for today, I’m going to lap it up.  I did have a well-meaning friend tell me not to get too ecstatic – I know she was trying to help, but sometimes I think it’s important to really enjoy the milestones.  And this is a milestone.

If I told you that it took me about six years to get here (longer?) and that I have had many times where I had to pick myself up and dust myself off (many, many times) and about the times when I just thought, 'this isn’t going to happen for me, but I’ll just write for enjoyment,' then I would probably be here all day. So what I will say is; it’s a long time coming.

So here’s what I’m going to do today to celebrate: I’m going to go and meet a few friends for lunch. I’m going to treat myself to a new outfit. I’m going to have a nice bath and pamper. I’m going to meet friends for dinner. And later we’re heading on to meet more friends. Later tonight I’m a looking after a little puppy for my friend! And tomorrow night is the Titanic Light show! How very, very kind and thoughtful of them to put on a nice spectacle for me.  I have some people coming over to my apartment and we are going to watch the pretty lights. And that’s that! Good celebrations huh?

When you harbour a dream to have a book published, you are also swamped by a whole lot of fears. The ‘what if’s’.  What if my ex reads it and thinks he recognises himself? What if a family member reads it and finds it a bit too graphic? What if some of the scenes are a bit cringe-tastic and it makes me look really stupid?

It’s funny, really, those fears have melted away and they don’t seem so important anymore.

But, before time wears on, and I start worrying about something else or another, I thought I’d take a moment to sit and cherish the things that have been super-cool so far about the published author thing.

  1. Meeting complete strangers on facebook – people who have seen my release date and have pressed ‘attend’, even though I don’t know them from Adam.  Having new friends on my facebook.
  2. Meeting fellow Crooked Cat authors.
  3. Meeting other writers on Facebook and Twitter.
  4. Working with “my publisher” who is very cool and helpful.
  5. Getting an email with my ISBN number on it.
  6. Having an “Amazon author” page.
  7. Having a “Goodreads author” page.
  8. Being on the list of “our authors” on the Crooked Cat website.
  9. Having my book actually being READ instead of hiding in a bottom drawer!
  10. Having people say, “Haha! I really identified with that character! That made me laugh!”  
For me, it really is a Good Friday :o)