There is a moment, in the life of every book, when it becomes suddenly, gob-smackingly real.
With Before I Wake, that moment came when I opened up that first book of Advanced Readers Copies (ARCs), and gasped, and wept, and held a lifetime’s worth of hopes and dreams in my hands for the first time. (Okay, that’s perhaps a little overstated, but I think you see the point).
With The World More Full of Weeping, that moment came when I saw Erik Mohr’s fantastic cover art. It literally took my breath away, and made it real months before there were actually books.
For Bedtime Story, that moment came today. No, I haven’t seen an ARC, but the fact that I started getting emails from people who had received them brought the reality of the whole thing crushing down on me, fifteen tons of weird.
Part of the weirdness, I think, is that it’s done. DONE. DONE! A couple of years late, and after much work and angst, but DONE. That’s weird enough.
What really got me, though, I believe, was the fact that there were ARCs landing on desks before I had even seen one. Now, I’ll be getting mine in the next day or two That’s weird enough.
What really got me, though, I believe, was the fact that there were ARCs landing on desks before I had even seen one. Now, I’ll be getting mine in the next day or two – it takes a little longer for a package to travel from Toronto to Victoria than it does for one to travel across town – but that’s not actually the weirdness.
No, the weirdness comes with the fact that, for the first time, the book is going out into the world completely outside of my control. For the past four years, I’ve controlled who read it, and when. I’ve spoken to everyone who touched it. I knew which pages were where at all times. I was in control, dammit (well, as much control as one can be when one is in the throes, but that’s another post for another time).
And now I’m not. Now it has a life of its own, completely outside of my control and, to a very, very great degree, out of my awareness. As of this morning, it’s not mine anymore.
And that’s a good feeling, it’s just a strange one to get used to. It’s done. It’s out in the world. And now all I can do is watch.