the eve of publication. sort of.

My book is in the first stages of being out. The official release date isn’t til Oct. 4 but — as the wickedly charming Cherie Priest has just discovered with her own novel — books tend to show up on the shelves a little earlier than what your publisher told you. I don’t know if BLOODANGEL is actually on any shelves yet, but Amazon is starting to ship out copies.

Am I ready for this? Wow. I’m not sure. Yesterday the reality of it began to hit me and I started freaking out a bit — I was drinking way too much coffee, which didn’t help — and went to a friend who’s already been through all this. He said, Calm down. Wander those stacks and picture ‘Bloodangel’ there. Just like you’ve done a thousand times before, except now IT’S ABOUT TO REALLY HAPPEN.

As a kid I had little things published in local papers, won a contest here and there, which in my childlike naivete/arrogance I accepted as par for the course. Writing was like a trick I could perform, for escapism and also reward and recognition. I was a socially awkward child, who read more than anyone else I knew, who thought and talked a little differently than the other kids and many of the adults in my small Canadian hometown. Through grade school and junior high I was the lowest-ranking member of the pack of girls I ran with — girls who were smart, charming, the kind whom teachers and other adults always favored — before they excluded me altogether. So writing was the place where I could go to feel good and be a star, because no one — not even the girls who bullied me the most (boys rarely if ever gave me any problems) — could deny the fact that I could write. And when one girl actually tried, I remember I laughed in her face.

Then I left my little pond and became another guppy in the ocean. For years, I wrote in the dark. No one –except for the people who love and support me, and the people in my writing workshops — paid much attention. For all I know, people won’t pay much attention now — although obviously I hope this isn’t the case — but it’s like being a kid late at night, scribbling away inside the makeshift fortress of your blankets — and now those blankets get pulled away and the overhead light snaps on and you look up dazed and blinking. Whatever happens, you, and your writing, are out in the world.

And it’s great. It is great, and I’m truly lucky to be here, and I just need to take a deep breath and relax.

And switch to decaf.

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