You write a manuscript. You read over it a million times, polishing it with hope that someone in a position to publish it will see your genius and offer you a contract.
You get editorial notes and read it at least once more to make the requested changes. Yep, you get it and think it’s good to go.
You get copyedits and read through it one more time, looking for every crossed “t” and dotted “i”. (Don’t get me started on Scottish brogue and making sure you caught every bit of dialect. That’s a special kind of torture.)
Then you get the final version to look over one last time before it goes to print.
Then you wait, and wait, until the UPS man finally delivers your author copies to your door. I think this is the most painful wait – especially when you know your agent already has her copies and even some friends have received their pre-orders, but I digress. After you’ve terrified the UPS man with your ear shattering scream and he’s left the box on your doorstep to run back to the safety of his truck, you tear open the boxes and look down at your book, and you can’t help the grin that spreads from ear to ear. And then do you know what you do? You read the book again. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve read it up to this point. This time it’s different.
My boss caught me flipping through pages of TALL, DARK and WOLFISH the other day. He cocked his head sideways and said, “Isn’t that your book?”
“Don’t you know how it ends?” he asked perplexed.
“Well, yes,” I explained. “But it looks different in book form.”
He walked away at that without saying another word, but I think he’s questioning my mental status. Well, him and the UPS man, but that’s another issue.
So, now I’ve re-read TALL, DARK and WOLFISH. And you what? I absolutely love it. There’s nothing I would change if given the chance. I’m proud of this book and I could maybe even read it again. (But I’m under deadline right now, so please don’t tell Deb Werksman or she’ll start to question my mental status too.)
Then the panic starts to set in. What if no one else likes it? You wait for reviews to come in and chew your nails as you read them. I’m happy to say, I’ve been fairly lucky in that regard so far and hope that my good fortune continues, because at this point it’s out of my control.