Thursday, April 19, 2012

What It's REALLY Like to be Published

...or, six things I never knew before deciding to hitch my rope to the "I want to be published so badly it hurts" star.

6. You spend an enormous amount of time alone. Luckily I adore being alone. I'm a fan of quiet and get my best thinking and writing done in an empty house. Gone are the days of lunches in the faculty lounge and chit-chatting with fellow teachers in the hallway in between classes. I do miss that. Most days are me, me and my thoughts.

5. The general public really thinks authors are rich or are on the fast train to becoming rich. Famous too. I hear it everywhere I go - people asking me how it feels to be famous. I seriously do my best to not laugh. It's a funny misconception. I let them know that fame and money weren't the reasons I wanted to become an author.

4. Meeting and talking to other authors is not only fun, it's important. In light of this being all so new and mysterious, it is quite reassuring to discuss publishing experiences with authors, regardless of where they are in their career as an author. We authors are an encouraging bunch of human beings.

From an event at the Exton, PA Barnes & Noble: (from the left) Beth Kephart, Ame Dyckman, Monica Carnesi, me,    Dianne Salerni, Amy Garvey, Elisa Ludwig & E. C. Myers

The one, the only, James Howe. He is certainly one of the most genuinely kind human beings I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.
3. Booking events and presentations takes an enormous amount of time away from writing. I'm still in the "figuring everything out" stage of my journey. I'm learning new things every day. Being a logical person, one would think I'd have foreseen this time-suck snafu, but it has come as a surprise to me. Good news though, I'm getting better at managing my precious writing time.

 2. I have to put on eye makeup a heck of a lot more than when I was teaching (I only put it on for Back to School Night or when I was presenting to other teachers). Despite loving how I look with my eye makeup on, I hate putting it on. In fact, I'd say it's one of my least favorite things to do. Right up there with cleaning the toilet and doing the laundry. And since becoming published, with tons of events and presentations on my calendar, I have to put on the damn eye makeup. A lot. Newly published men are so lucky.

1. Having complete strangers read your book is a mind blower. Again, duh, this shouldn't be a real shocker, but it's surreal and wonderful and fascinating and wild. These people, these readers...adults and students, spending their time with the characters I created, is a monumental thing. I hope I never lose the wow factor of how that feels.