I still can’t believe it’s been a year since GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN hit bookstore shelves. After seven years of research, writing, editing, querying, waiting, and praying through submissions, the hardback release went by fast. That may have something to do with the fact I was writing like a mad-woman to get Book 2 completed by deadline. But since Book 2 was dutifully turned in, I’ve been reflecting on this wild and wonderful year, and suddenly it’s time to talk about GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN again. To celebrate, here are 10 interesting moments from my first year as a published author:
1) I’m fortunate to have a circle of wise authorly friends, and during a moment of freaking out before release, one of them said, “Try to enjoy it, it’s like getting your author cherry popped.” It made me laugh, made me relax, and I really did enjoy it!
2) Social media on release day was chock-full of memorable moments as friends, family, fellow authors, and friends of friends shouted out to the word about GIRL’s release. Each and every post and comment touched my heart.
3) The moment I got my first bad review sucked more than I ever thought suck could suck. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “suck” on my blog before (another memorable moment!). After internet-stalking the person who wrote it and lamenting all indications the reviewer obviously hadn’t read half the novel and hadn’t understood the other half…I got over it. Not everyone’s going to like my work. It taught me to stop reading reviews unless my publicist send them to me!
4) When I received word from my publicist that we’d gotten a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, my heart soared over the moon. It was a great review and I will always be grateful to the reviewer who took the time to phrase it. Thankfully this moment came quickly upon the heels of #3, and is part of the reason #3 was so easy to get over. I’ve received a number of heartwarming and wonderful reviews and industry nods since, and I deeply appreciate each of them!
5) Media interview moments can be nerve wracking. My first radio interview was conducted over the phone. I was scheduled to leave home immediately after it for a library event out of town so I was crunched for time, plus I was extremely nervous about being on the radio! So nervous, in fact, I started to sweat all over, threatening to mess up my library-event-outfit! The only sensible thing to do was to lock myself in my bedroom and strip down until the interview was over. I will never tell which radio interview it was, but yes, I was almost naked while I gave that interview. One good thing from this experience (besides having the awesome interview aired!) was that I learned how to calm down and prevent “interview-sweats” before my television interview. I’m not sure a half naked author would have been taken seriously on television…
6) Signing books at the bookstore on release day – whoa. First of all, I’m holding this glossy, heavy hardback dotted with blurbs provided by my generous authorly friends, and I’m surrounded by readers, family, friends…people who showed up in a big way…people who wanted to read what I wrote! Truly humbling. Chokes me up just writing about it.
7) Blog interviews take up more than a moment, but it took no time at all to realize how wonderful bloggers are. I had the good fortune to be interviewed on some excellent blogs by thoughtful people. I cannot even begin to name all the wonderful blogs and how much I enjoyed each blogger! I have a deep appreciation for the blogging community out there who help spread the word about books-thanks to all of you!
8) At one of my signings, a particular gentleman peppered me with publishing questions (how’d I get my agent? how’d I get a book deal?) without ever buying a book. As he finally wound down, he took a breath, gave me the once over then said, “You don’t look like a historical fiction author.” While my dear sweet husband turned three shades of red, I, in my black leather high heeled boots and long blonde hair, shrugged it off. It was a moment that shouldn’t have occurred, (exactly how should I look?!) but I appreciated my husband’s protective response. It taught me to expect the unexpected at public events.
9) The following moment happened more times than I care to admit, when someone would approach my signing table at a bookstore and ask, “Where can I find DIVERGENT?” For the record, I was able to direct each of them! Nor was I upset. I’m always thrilled to see shoppers in bookstores!
10) Bookstore signings are crowding out my list of memorable moments! I thoroughly loved each and every bookstore that hosted me, but my all time doozy moment did happen at a bookstore. A reader told me their mother had hated my book. This reader quoted their mother who had apparently said, “That is a terrible book because it’s set in the olden days. The only way a book like that could get published is if the author knew someone in the business.” My dear husband turned redder than red (again). But I actually laughed out loud at this one (a LOT). Any author will tell you, publishing doesn’t work that way! My amused response made me realize that nothing can taint the joy of having my book published and out in the world!
I hope this sampling of my exciting year was entertaining for you as it was fun for me! If you haven’t read GIRL, I hope you’ll pick her up in paperback here or here! This latest release has even brought the kindle price down!