Whenever I am finishing and OTHERS will now shortly have to read it, once again I start to have pre-publication terrors. I can’t help but think: What if I’m too close to its writing trees and I have failed to see the reading forest?
I may have even shredded them… which, for an historian, I guess makes me a terrible person and even a vandal. (That said, thinking about it now I may have a paper copy of Distances in a box in the Catskills, where I had finished writing it in 2015.)
I considered my perspective and my tiny contributions in four (and, hopefully, soon to be five) novels. I hope within them I have offered “creativity” – travel, learning, history, friendship, love, and even some lessons – that entertains, but also gets readers involved and thinking. But no single book can be everything and it is asking too much of any writer to produce that.
My cousin in New Jersey, prompted I gather from all of our exchanges about her daughter’s writings, emailed me that she had the other day bought ALL of my novels.
As I sat at the man’s desk, my father-in-law next to me, as she stood a couple of feet away she asked next: “Really? What are you doing here?”
The first time I ever mentioned – back in university nearly three decades ago – that I was interested in visiting France, my mother turned to me and was immediately harshly negative: “Are you nuts? They hate us.”
Writers: NEVER EVER EVER apologize for YOUR imagination and YOUR creations.
When a relative – the same one I’d mentioned last week – messaged me yesterday through Instagram that she wanted me to suggest which of my novels she might read first, I had no choice really. I had to talk about them directly…
I recall being assigned it in graduate school (too long ago now) in a course on Russian government/history. (There’s a real shocker, eh?)
So much for “privacy,” and “controlling” and “protecting” your personal data, eh?
Remember Jane Austen, for one, certainly did not possess any degree; she barely even set a foot in what we consider a school.
We want to do it because we love it and hope readers will love what we do; when you love something the rational goes out the window; we are sure the next book will be THE BOOK…
As the world turns. A blog post is often how I start my day, and by 9 or 10 AM I am often immersed in what I am supposed to be writing for eventual novel publication.
Novels are (to me) about a snapshot in time. Readers are dropped among “these people” for perhaps hundreds of pages. Abruptly they are then dragged away and are now unable to witness the goings on any longer.
Being pursued by the head of a major film studio desperate to buy the rights to your book would be “a problem” most writers would love to have.