We have a house in our neighborhood that I call the copycat house. We painted our house yellow, they painted their house yellow. We have a white picket fence, they put up a white picket fence. We painted our front door red, they painted their front door red. Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but I was forced to admit, “They do everything we do, only better.” We should’ve put up a sign that read: Come to us for ideas. You’ll make them look better than we ever could!
Now I’m finding myself admitting that little truth again. I’ve cruised over other authors’ websites lately. Let’s refer to them as raging successes, or RS for short: people who have accomplished far more than I could ever hope for, whose names others instantly recognize when they hear them, who seem approachable and authentic and amazing all at the same time. They are also prettier, younger, and thinner, but I digress. They do what I did (and more!), only better.
Those caviar book launch parties where the RS autographed until their fingers grew numb? I’ve never tasted caviar, and I take this opportunity to apologize to my first autograph receivers whose books appear to have a sweet little note that looks like it could’ve been written by their Aunt Edna who gave them the book for high school graduation.
The RS probably began their second project immediately post-launch, pounding out chapter one in a two day span. Me? Oh I have a next project, yet it is no exaggeration to say that I break out into a sweat when I even think of downloading a program to convert some musicals to pdf so they can be used by a publisher. I made myself access aforementioned site today, began reading it and – I am not kidding you – shed my sweater on this rainy day and finally fled the room in distress. Oh computer, there is no love lost between us.
However, here are some samples of my first few weeks of being a published author. I am not among the RS, but I am very, very fortunate. You see, my book was launched very near the time when a musical I wrote entitled Just One was being performed by a wonderful cast who not only gave 110% to the project, but also gave me some lovely flowers. I wish they would stay as breathtakingly beautiful as they were when I received them.
The Just One cast also gave me some really great, fun and funny memories. Memories are just as beautiful as the bouquets and less likely to fade.
They say the effectiveness of a book is as much or more of what you take out than what you leave in, so I will be brief in my descriptions of the very nice experience of having a first book published.
Seeing my book up on the Amazon website for the first time. Here’s a word: surreal.
Giving my parents a copy of my book, pointing out the dedication, and being at a loss for words due to unexpected tears from both giver and recipient. Touching.
Having my mother question my worldliness as well as her pointing out that the characters seem to eat a lot. Typical! (I note here that this picture is from our celebration lunch where we actually did eat. A lot.)
Having my husband assure me that it doesn’t start out slow as some of the reviews have claimed. Kind. (This, from someone who loves dusty history books, so let’s just admit there’s some question about the source of this reassurance.)
Watching my daughter read a book with my name on the front. Priceless.