Thursday I had one of those days that is the raison d’être of writers. I got my books.
Three of us are on the spring list from Scrivener Press; Mark Dunn, Bonnie Kogos and me, and we’re all holding launch events. Mark’s was the first, on April 5th, and both I and our publisher, Laurence Steven, were able to attend. Laurence brought Mark’s book, “Fancy Clapping” for the book-signing afterwards. He also brought me my copies of “Shepherd in Residence”.
It’s a big thrill to see a boxful of my own books – I don’t think that kind of thing will ever get old, no matter how many times it happens. (David says maybe Stephen King doesn’t get such a thrill out of it any more, but I think he could be wrong.) All day I felt like I was walking just a little bit off the ground – an amazing feeling.
Now I’m preparing for my own launch in Thessalon on May 12th, and also for the three-author launch in Sudbury on May 8th, when Laurence will unveil his spring list to an eager public.
That’s another good thing in the life of a writer – that kind of open, in-person, meet-the-readers feedback. We work alone in a room for so much of what we do. Now and again it’s good to meet the audience face-to-face. It’s also gratifying to have some attention, pats and praise, be treated a little like a celebrity for an evening or two before getting back to life as usual.
The thing is, I am, (and I’m sure my fellow Scrivener Spring List authors are) on to other projects now. “Shepherd in Residence” passed out of my hands with the last edits, the last opinion needed on illustrations, the last little additions like biography and acknowledgements. Here in my office, “Shepherd” was done months ago, and I’m hard at work on other things. I have columns, and some non-fiction book ideas, the current working draft of “The Swan Harp” and notes for the two other novels currently in progress, and my writing for money that I still need to do.
It’s a busy, layered life, the writing life. The public sees the release, but not the huge amount of work that was done beforehand. They see us in the limelight, not in the glow of the computer screen or whatever we write by.
That limelight is comparatively brief, which is good because it’s tiring – in a good way – and also because you can’t work when you’re being social. Perhaps it’s the very brevity of limelight that makes it so appealing. I certainly intend to enjoy every minute of it between now and whenever it fades.
Excuse me while I go work on a couple of new steps for the Happy Dance.