Friday, January 8, 2010
Light Beneath Ferns
Since I've blogged about my dog, I think it's only fair to devote one blog about a new book I have coming out.
Probably the number one question people ask me is, "So what is it like to get a book published?" I think my answer to that has changed. With my first book, I actually felt terrified. I liked anonymity, writing whatever I wanted without anyone knowing anything more about me other than where I had previously published. And it was really, really weird to go from that to having people send me manuscripts to pass along to "the people at Flux" -- I guess everyone knows by now that if you have a published writer's email address, you're just about there...
But you get used to it. And you get used to people asking you to sign the book and telling you what's wrong with the book and how they would have written it and what both you and Andrew Karre (the previous editor at Flux) should have done. But it's definitely a life transition. The readers force the change in your life. There's one Library Thing reader review of The Shape of Water that speaks to how that's done more than I ever could:
This novel helped me let go of some painful and shameful things I had a difficult time with in my own life that I had...I was able to finally speak up to my father about anger that I had never been listened to without him cutting me off mid-sentence and that was the one main thing I was angry about. This novel changed my being able to speak up for myself, by persisting and clarifying what I meant to him. I have never been able to say that before about a book. I really love this book. As a result of reading this book, I dealt with tying up some loose ends in my own life. TERRIFIC!!! HIGHLY RECOMMEND. The entire review is here.
That amazes me. And it reinforces what I've always believed: that books have the power to change lives. (Wonderful, I hear my son's voice saying, "Yeah, Mom, but so do diets." He's not here now, and I don't recall him ever saying that; I just hear that response. He really needs to go away to college...)
Anyway, I'm not talking about my NEW book which I said I would. First off, I love the cover. Everyone does; they tell me how great it is. I always say "THANKS!" even though the lovely folks at Flux did all the work. They figured out what went with the story, scouted for it, put it together, showed it to me, and I get the credit. So I love covers.
And second of all, I've already gotten emails that ask "It's not like your first book, is it?"
Nope. It's different. I think it's easier to read, less dense, and probably for a younger reader. I'm sure people will tell me what I and Brian Farrey (the present editor at Flux) should have done.
Or maybe not. I'm not sure what it's like to have a second book out yet, since it's not really official until February. I do know that if someone asked me now, "So what is it like to publish books?" I would answer: "It's great. It's really, really fun." How else would I ever open my email to read this from a thirteen year old girl: "Your new book is Parnormalish, right?"