I just read over the last entry and realized that nowhere in there did I thank my agent. Bob, I don't know if you're reading this, but here's a huge public THANK YOU!!! I still don't know Bob very well, but so far he's been just terrific -- given me lots of great editing suggestions and notes without being overly prescriptive about them, been encouraging and cheerful and excited about the book, done a great job of clarifying the details of a mighty murky agent-to-editor process, and just generally been a pleasure to work with. Not to mention insanely fast! Here's hoping that all our future collaborations together will be just as successful and fun!
I really feel as if I've been in some kind of altered state the last few days. I woke up every morning worried that I had somehow imagined the whole thing, that I had had some kind of psychotic break and just made up that cell phone conversation in the hallway outside the dining room at the Concourse hotel. Luckily, someone was eating there and overheard the conversation, so that was reassuring. That particular concern dissipated, but what replaced it was the ongoing terror that the deal would fall through -- that if I checked the voicemail messages on my cell phone, I'd find a sad little note from Bob telling me things fell apart during contract negotiations, or that they just changed their minds and decided they didn't like the book after all, but chin up, kiddo, we'll sell it someday, somewhere. I was so scared that I couldn't bring myself to check those messages after Thursday until just now, in the car. So far, no such message. Until the contract is signed, though, I'm going to fret. (There *was* a message from Friday just checking in from Bob and letting me know my editor's name is Marjorie Braman. That makes me feel better somehow, knowing she has a name. It seems more real. Apparently I should have notes from her by July 4th. Eep.)
At the same time, I really just floated through the convention. I told a few people, and it seemed like it wasn't long before everybody I met, including masses of strangers, knew about the contracts. So I was getting just oodles of congratulations, which were delightful and exciting and scary all at once. Yay! Eeep! Yay! Eeep! Every once in a while I would realize that I had agreed to write a novel in a year, and I would then be very eep eep eepish. But then I'd realize that someone was actually paying me money to write a novel, and I would be back to yay! And that it was a major New York publisher -- yay yay!! And that they were going to do both hardcovers and trade paperbacks -- yay yay yay!!! And so on.
I was so excited, I actually stayed up until close to 4 a.m. most nights, despite having to be up by 8-ish to get dressed and open the dealer's room for the SLF small press co-op table. (More on that soon too, but briefly, we made money for us, and money for most of the people who sent in stuff. Yay!) Usually at conventions, I crash hard around midnight, all worn out by the running around and panels. And I was doing just as much running around as usual -- more, in fact, since I was scheduled essentially from sunup to sundown and didn't have time to attend a single panel that I wasn't actually on. But I was so excited, I just stayed up and up and up. I danced. I talked. I snuggled with cute boys and girls. I was utterly euphoric, and frankly, five days later (and very short on sleep), I still am. I'm back in my peaceful apartment, sitting in the same chair where I wrote most of my dissertation novel (it's sort of a roundish, black leather thing, extremely comfy), and I feel like a different person. Like my life is about to change.
Thanks to all of you who posted congratulations in the last entry -- it means a lot to me, really. In some ways writing a book is a very individual thing -- much of what happens, happens inside your own head. But unlike a lot of authors, I have drawn incredibly extensively on the knowledge and wisdom and listening ears of many many people. Mostly you guys. You've watched me write this book, in bits and pieces, starting when I started this Ph.D. -- though if we really go back to the beginning, it starts with "Season of Marriage", the second story I ever wrote, back in 1993, and I think one or two of you were actually with me all the way back then. I was talking with Jen Nissen and some of the other old U of C people who had come up to WisCon, friends I went to college with oh so long ago, and they were talking about how satisfying it was to watch me improve over the years, to watch the writing actually get noticeably better over time. Satisfying for me too, guys.
I want to take this moment to say to all of you who have been with me on this unpredictably twisting path, whether you've been here from the beginning, or joined somewhere along the way -- thank you. Thanks lots!
Stick around, okay? Whatever happens next, I have a feeling that we're in for a wild ride. :-)