My second novel, WHEN YOU REACH ME, was officially launched into the world on July 14th. I forget which brilliant writer (anyone?) dubbed the pre-publication months the "season of nausea," but she really nailed it. It's something like that moment on the rollercoaster when the safety bar locks down. The ride is straight ahead, and there is no getting off.
This year's season of nausea has turned out to be the stuff of dreams. Better than my dreams, even. Generous people have held the book up for all to see, reviews have been terrific, and there was one afternoon when I had my picture taken in a real photographer's studio downtown. There was even one of those big fans. Blowing. my. hair. around.
I am stunned by all of this. Have you ever met a writer who just KNEW that many fine people were going to embrace her book? Yeah, me neither. It's just not the way the business works most of the time. So I'm spending a lot of time feeling indescribably grateful to the many amazing people -- bloggers, reps, booksellers, librarians -- who did something extra to help get the book out into the world. (I put indescribably in italics because I tried and failed to think of a better word. I don't want you to think I just dropped it in there casually.)
I'm also remembering one night a couple of years ago when I tried to explain to a friend what this still-unwritten book was going to be about. I didn't have it all figured out, so it was a choppy, stumbling explanation, but I know that I was excited to write it.
I'm holding on to that memory, because I am getting up every day and hoping to capture that kind of excitement for the next book. For me, this capturing-of-excitement is absolutely, positively the most difficult thing about writing. Advice is always appreciated.