Right, so I can’t exactly call it a job yet, since I haven’t exactly been paid. And my bank account is still maddenly empty thanks to Amazon’s convenient no-pay-out-for-60-days policy (made more maddening by the fact I took the Kindle version down over a month ago). But, technicalities aside, I am just now beginning to comprehend how absolutely, well, awesome it is that I get to write for a “living.”
Let’s be honest– like any of us, even if BSB had never graciously agreed to put Searching for Forever in print, I’d still be writing. I’ve been writing since I was able to pick up a pen, when I made up stories about a young girl who got drafted by the NBA (this was before there was such a thing as the WNBA, kids… don’t be fooled by this baby face), and I’d continue to write even if I was the only one who ever read it. Of course, I’d never be the only one who ever read it, because like any writer, I’m a raging narcacist when it comes to my work. I’m reminded of the Family Guy episode where they make a reference about the people who take their laptops to Starbucks because “you’re only a real writer if people see you write.” Okay, so I do that sometimes– mostly because it gets boring at home when my girl is at work and I’m working the graveyard shift at the hospital– but mostly, my narcasism only goes as far as sending every piece of dribble I get down in Word to my Mom. My good old Mom… who recently told me I “write better than John Grisham.” Have I mentioned she’s ridiculously bias? Always has been. Like most moms, itching with that proud-mom-ness, I have to take what she says she with a grain of salt. Maybe even an entire shaker of salt. But she is an English teacher. And a damn good editor, too. Not to mention really well read. It has to count for something. Even if she does toot my horn. But I digress…
The greatest job on earth… Yeah, this would be it. I’ve decided my dream is to be able to someday make enough money at this to work part time as a PA, and stay home with my future children and write with the rest of my time. It’s funny how realistic dreams get when you approach 30… “I want to be a rich and famous author” turns into “I just want to pay my bills without an anxiety attack.” I knew this would be fun. What I didn’t realize was how much work it would be. It was Christmas Day when my editor, the great and talented Shelley Thrasher, sent me my first revised manuscript back at 10pm. What kind of person works on Christmas?! And this is coming from someone who’s spent the last five years in hospitals, working every holiday imaginable! That was when I realized this process was going to be a bitch… So to speak.
I think Shelley and I are up to the third or forth pass-back of Searching for Forever, and that’s not including the forty two thousand times I kept messing up the formatting because I was using a Mac (pro tip– if you want to write a book, GET MICROSOFT WORD. You WILL need track changes. And you will need it NOW. GO. No, really. Don’t be a cheap bastard. Go get it). My feeling (and my hope) is that we’re in the final stages here. But editing is just the beginning. Once the editing is done, the book goes to the typesetter (I actually had to Google what the hell a typesetter did… Green Author Alert). Then, after the typesetter, it goes to print. And that, in and of itself, is going to bring about a whole lot of hoopla with pictures and briefs and cover art and all that stuff that gets people to actually BUY my book… which, really, is kind of why I’m here. Right? It’s easy to forget, especially by the fifth round of staring at your book you’ve been writing for the last four freakin years, that this is going someplace– that someday, in the not too distant future, I’ll be sitting in Woman Craft during Woman’s Week and signing copies of my paperback book that I poured myself into since I was a tiny little twenty five year old with no direction in life.
This is hard. It’s really hard. It’s not just “oh I should write a book” (see previous blog entry), and then sit back and wait for a big, fat check to come to me. It’s meticulous reading and rereading, until you’re so sick of your own story you want to barf (but you love it anyway, sort of like your child when he won’t stop screaming and running around the house). I’ve had some hard jobs. I was an EMT in the back of an ambulance, scraping up people off sidewalks. I worked in an ER where I cleaned up various bodily fluids and stayed on my feet for twelve hours at a time. But this isn’t any easier than that. What it is, though, it fun. I’m having nothing short of the time of my life seeing Searching for Forever morph into this real, actual, living novel. Something that’s polished and rich and might actually give people some enjoyment, or maybe even more than that. So, I’m happy to put the work in, because it doesn’t really feel like work. I write this as a cautionary tale to anyone looking to delve into this world– there is no such thing as “I should write a book.”
That being said, I want to present you all (my fiercely loyal readers I hope to acquire if I post this link on my Twitter/facebook enough) with the official blurb for my soon-to-be-released debut novel, Searching for Forever. Please, leave me some comments. Let me know what you think. Is this something you’d read? (Too late now, so ya’ll better get out and buy it this summer!).
Searching for Forever:
Dr. Natalie Jenner’s life is going exactly according to plan. She has the house, the family, and the perfect job. On paper, she has it all. But when she meets Charlie Thompson, the charming, young Paramedic, that perfect life is shaken inside out. Natalie quickly realizes what she’s feeling for Charlie can’t be explained by anything other than love. Natalie wages a war not only with death in the Emergency Room, but also with herself, as she navigates the consequences of a life with Charlie. The more the two battle to save lives together, the more in love they fall. But will Natalie be brave enough to face losing the security of the life she’s always known? Or will she face losing Charlie instead?