(Re-post from my guest blog at Women and Words. The Hootenanny is still going on. Check it out to win books!)
Writing a book is terrifying. No, that’s a lie. Having written a book is terrifying (really, it’s a mass of contradictions). When you are writing it, it’s fun. You get to tell these elaborate lies and no one gets mad at you. But when the book is done, you’re supposed to do all these horrifying things.
First, you have to let other people read it. I mean, you want other people to read it. But also, you want it to stay in that perfect, just finished state where there are no typos and the plot makes complete sense. So you start telling your beta readers and your editor and your publisher that it’s done. But then they ask to read it. At that point you’ve been writing for a month straight because you realized oh shit, it’s November 1st and my book is due December 1st (maybe that’s just me). By the time November 30th rolls around you are so damn tired of writing and so exhausted (who has time to sleep in that last month?) and so happy that it’s finally done, that you can’t wait to send it off. And as soon as you do, you want it back. Because you just know your publisher is going to write back and say:
The first two were good, but I dunno what the hell this is. Grow up.
PS You suck at life.
That’s totally how my publisher talks.
And after your publisher doesn’t say that, you think you’re in the clear. But then your editor starts editing. I know. Shocking right? You get that email on your iPhone with the little star that means it’s a VIP. And you only have two VIPs and one is your girlfriend and she is sitting next to you so she probably didn’t send you a special little email. So you open the email and there is the manuscript with your editor’s notes file. And you just know the notes file is going to say:
What up, gurl? I deleted everything except for the chapter markers. Those were keepers.
PS Your deadline is in a week.
Also how my editor talks.
And when your editor says really nice things instead of really mean things, you start to think it will all be okay. But then she gets the most insane idea. She wants to send it to the printer. And you’re like, silly editor. But she keeps sending these page proofs. You read the page proofs and suddenly everything that you loved about the book when you were writing and editing it, is complete crap. You want to change character names. And the locations. Also the dialogue (what were you thinking?). But you approve the proofs anyway (‘cause if you don’t, she’s still going to print it, but she will be really mad at you).
Then that fateful day arrives. The release. Your mom ordered ten copies. She sends you a photo of her new stack of books. And your BFF wants to meet for coffee so you can sign theirs. And you want to crawl in a hole and wait for about a year because someone, somewhere just ordered your book for the first time.
This chick, your reader, will open the box and nestled inside is Dirty Sex (no, you perv. It’s the name of my book). She will look at the cover because the cover is sexy as hell. Flip the book over. Scan the bio, maybe. Read the blurb. If she is weird like me, she will fan the pages and smell the book. And then she will open it and start reading.
I’ll just be hiding out here in my hole, okay?
I am currently in author hell. Because for some idiotic reason, I decided to write a trilogy. Which means for the last month I have been on the edge of my seat waiting for my December release, Dirty Sex. And editing my February release, Dirty Money. And writing my August release, Dirty Power. Yay. All the worst and best parts of being an author rolled into thirty days.
I’m excited. I’m terrified. I’m relieved. I’m really fucking sleepy. Did I mention that I’m excited? (Why is my heart beating so fast? Could it be my recent intake of twelve cups of coffee a day?) Also, I’m excited.
If you read the Dirty Trilogy, I really hope you like it. Because I carved out a chunk of my heart and squished it into the pages. If you don’t like the books, that’s okay too. Because I have Scooby-Doo Band-Aids.