03 September 2009
So, Tesco Book of the Month but Waterstones have "chosen not to promote your book". Elation at the first in no small way mitigated by disappointment at the second. Second time round, the publishing process still gives me the heeby-jeebies. My parents will read graphic sex scenes! My father in law will helpfully list all the stores in which my book is not sold! Friends will tell me they read my book and then glaze over as I look at them with puppy eyes, hoping for compliments... My private world and the characters I love with a passion, who are more real to me than most of the people I know, are going to be subjected to the public eye. It's traumatic. It makes me want to hide away. It makes me want to cry.
SO WHY DO IT? Because I can't not. Because writing is like a drug. Because, in the words of a dear publishing friend and bookaholic, "I had such high hopes for the world. Then I grew up, and found it only lives up to expectations in books." Sad, of course, and I do try to redress the balance but... life seems so much more interesting, most of the time, in my made up world. Is it about playing God? About exercising control? Maybe that, as well as the private to public aspect, is what makes the month of publication so difficult. I have no control anymore. I can write blogs and beg people to buy my book:), but like my eldest daughter walking into her secondary school playground for the first time this morning, I have to learn to let others take over its care. But in changing schools, my daughter goes from a class of 18 to one of 33. I suspect the ratio of individual attention for the average paperback is higher... But stop! That way madness lies...
Let it go. Focus on the next book. Do what you can to help this one along its way and remember the piece of advice given to me by another dear publishing friend. "A writer writes, Natasha. Damnit, a writer writes!"