I owe you guys a blog post.
I've been guest posting and interviewing all around the internet (thank you, everyone) and, indeed, I have one more interview coming up on Tuesday, one I'm very excited about. But in the hoopla around my book release I've not spent a lot of time, here, at home base, except for brief posts directing you to other blogs.
I tell myself that a guest post or interview is still me on the page, it's just at another venue.
But still, it feels odd not to be spending as much time here.
And so on this Saturday morning, I will write a bit about where things stand.
My local book release party was Thursday night, the bookend to the virtual release party I hosted a week ago. We held it on the second floor of one of my favorite local brewpubs and I had a blast. I think at least 60 people came. I sold out of all the books I had on hand, and took orders for more. I spilled wine all over everything at the book signing table, including three just-signed books, and several people in attendance got very, very drunk.
And most of all, I felt like an author. It's hard not to when you're sitting behind a table signing books. I think this is a thing that I will grow into more, because I realize even as I type this that I still have a bit of anxiety around the whole thing. Stepping out with my novel feels very different than the other writing and writing-related work that I do. It feels like I'm putting more of me, myself and I out there–which is kinda funny because I strive to do that all the time on this blog.
So maybe it's a matter of getting accustomed to different writing venues. When I first started writing this blog, come to think of it, I was very shy about sharing it. I remember telling my family that I'd started a blog and then saying, "But don't go read it yet." Which is probably hard for you who have read me here regularly to believe. And I remember even farther back to when I first started getting articles published in magazines how I'd never actually look at them in print.
All of which is odd for a writer, but I don't think I'm the only one who deals with this. We writers spend so much time alone crafting words that it's a bit of a shock when we realize that others are actually reading them. But then, that's the point of what we do. It's just that it sometimes take so long to get our words out there that we get used to nobody reading them.
And getting used to readers reading my novel is a wonderful problem to have. As far as I can tell by obsessively checking my Amazon sales rank, the novel is doing okay. Lots of you have said you've purchased it–thank you so much–and as I said, I sold a lot in person. So I'm happy.
I'm also ready to get back to my so-called normal life, like writing regular blog posts and being on time with critiques and responses to people. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving everything that has happened, and I'll be talking about my novel in a variety of venues for the forseeable future. But perhaps we can turn out attention to other things as well. I promise to be here more regularly.
Have you experienced anxiety when getting your words out to the public? Does it vary with different genres? I'd love to hear your response. (And by the way, if you've commented recently and it didn't show up, I'm aware of the problem now, and I think I know how to deal with it, so comment away!)
(You can buy Emma Jean at all the usual outlets, by the way, and I'll be eternally grateful if you do.)