Pre-publication jitters…

My book cover!

My book cover!

Ok, so I got to thinking and after receiving a few lovely tweets from a few lovely writers I reckoned that someone, somewhere out there might like to dip in and out of the goings on of a rookie author (that would be me) as I try to suss out this weird and wonderful journey I’ve found myself on.

I should probably start at the start, but I’ll get to that in another post. (I said I was a rookie, and with that in mind, you should probably expect the odd smidging of dodgy chronology, grammar and/or spelling)

So then. Today. It wasn’t a game-changer, but it was defo something of a curve-ball. Today, I suffered the first real stirrings of something I can only assume to be pre-publication jitters?! Do other people get these? Please say yes.

In fairness, my mood was already on a knife edge after the boys (think of Thing A & Thing B from The Cat in the Hat) decided to join forces before school. They aren’t always like Thing A and Thing B, most of the time they’re actually quite awesome, but not today. Today they were a tag team of pain-in-the-assdom, and I sent them off to school with a telling off, and the sound of my mother’s voice ringing in my ears as I blew. Which sucked. All day.

Then, I got home to a filthy credit card bill and a dubious bank charge letter. I phoned the hubster to offload as he tucked into his mid-morning brew with the other fellas on site. He told me his van had broken on the way to work. Triffic. The morning was a bit of a downer.

So, I got off the phone before the hubster could tell me how much the van would inevitably cost, and began the daily ritual of checking emails. And, joy of joys, I’d missed one yesterday from the lovely Ali at Mills & Boon, telling me that my book cover was about to get its first public outing today!! Yippee!!

The morning was looking up!

I was going to get to share with my facebook friends yet more amazingness of the publication process. The same process I’ve clogged their news feeds with over several whirlwind months. Because I can’t help myself. Because it is completely brillopads. Because they are completely brillopads.

My facebook muckas have been more than awesome since ITV’s Racy Reads took our world and flipped it sunny side up. They’ve been encouraging, and excited, and to be honest I don’t think they even really care what Since You’ve Been Gone is about, or if it’s any good. They’re just super cool, and vocally happy for my unbelievable good fortune. Their consistently positive vibes make me feel bloody epic, and so I couldn’t wait to share with them my beautiful book cover.

But…then came the jitterations.

It’s not just my friends who are going to read my debut novel. (Well, hopefully not, or else my mum is going to have to step up her grand plan of ordering ten copies and start getting down to some serious bulk-buying. That credit card is not going to pay itself)

I started to get a teeny bit anxious about what people on the other side of my circle are going to think and say. Not only about the book cover, but about the book itself. People who don’t know me are going to have opinions on the story, my writing style (I assume I have one?!) my grammar, my breadth of vocabulary – or lack thereof – whether the story is ‘Racy Reads’ enough, whether it’s too racy for some. (My dad has already flat out declared he won’t be reading it. I should remind him that he used to wear a t-shirt that said ‘I choked Linda Lovelace’ on it)

When I started querying my choice of character names (really? at this stage?) it was time for spoonful of peanut butter and a reality check.

Not everyone is going to say nice things about my book. There, I said it.

And I’m still breathing.

It’s gonna be OK.

Another spoonful of pb. Of course I’m mithering about this stuff. I care! It’s important! And other authors must to some degree feel the same way about their work, and how theirs will be received too. And so they should be. Writing a book, I’ve found, might well be a wonderful experience, but it’s a hungry practice. Hungry for your time, and dedication and energy…all the things you have to take from somewhere else. Like your little boys and hubster, the housework (I’m not really bothered about that one) or hours of sleep (that was a toughie). It’s a hefty personal investment. Are you getting how important it is?!

I know I’m probably supposed to pretend that I don’t have these worries. But I doooo! Boy, do I ever! Not very many months ago, I was dreaming about self-publishing something with not a clue as to how to make it happen, wondering about what goes on this side of the divide. Today was an enlightening part of my learning. No doubt at some stage, I will have to learn to toughen up a bit and stop being so wet. Just not today.

After a third comforting dollop of peanut butter, I’d uploaded my fab cover for my pals to see. And guess what? They think it rocks. And I think so too. And I reeeally hope that anyone who might see my book thinks the same. And if they don’t? Well…that’s what peanut butter and my buddies are for :¬) x

Mmmm...peanut butter

Mmmm…peanut butter

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