I am really an author! I realize that for those of you who follow this blog regularly you are already bored because you know that. I have written about my journey. You have seen my book for sale on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, perhaps even bought it. But you see the person that doesn’t always get it is me. And lately that has been more true than not.
I can’t quite pinpoint the reason for not feeling it. Perhaps it has something to what my friend Agapi Stassinopoulos discussed in her blog today, comparing oneself to others instead of focusing on yourself. I have been so consumed with seeking out reviewers, pitching different publications to write about me or my book and wondering why it seems so easy for others, that the fact I am an author has gotten a bit lost on me.
And then there was the day after Thanksgiving when I decided I had already I had enough of the holiday season. With December 1 looming ahead, my already congested head was trying to make sense of the year about to close. Just what exactly had I accomplished? I avoided taking out that list of 101 intentions I had trumpeted here last January for fear there was too little to check off.
Yes, I know you are thinking….WTF*#!!* is she talking about it? She published a novel. She found a fabulous editor, a talented cover designer and a genius interior designer. She learned about KDP, Smashwords and Create Space and hit the publish button. She IS an author AND a publisher. That’s a lot to check off!
But you see, I still wasn’t feeling it.
Until last night when I drove to Denville, New Jersey to attend my first book club event.
As I navigated roads of the Garden State I don’t usually travel, I felt a small panic unleash. I had never done this before. Just what exactly was I going to say? What if the thirteen women who had read my book, of which I only knew one, had no questions for me? What if they hated it? Why did I say I would do this? Oh, yes, my old college buddy Sandy had been so excited when the book came out, she had purchased 13 copies and given them to her book club and asked me if I would attend their next event. I had been so moved that I said yes, of course I would.
The panic quelled when I remembered I used to sell radio and television commercials. I never met a question I couldn’t come up with an answer to. I had been trained to think on my feet. Besides, my fear was better left for how I would ever find my way back to Manhattan in the dark.
And then a funny thing happened. I sat down in the circle of chairs that had been set up in the kind of family room with a fireplace that is not to be found on the Upper West Side and I got my first question. Don’t ask me what it was. My memory span doesn’t last that long, but I know I answered it easily. As I did the next and the next. And in that room with this group of bright, engaged and might I add well prepared with their questions women, I got it. I really was an author. This is what authors do when not begging for publicity. They interact with their readers, the ones most important to the process. The people they are writing for. They learn things about their story they didn’t even know was in there. They get excited when someone tells them their book made them cry and they never cry. They feel joy when they are told their readers loved the characters they created. They know they have done their job when they are told the family dynamics transcend ethnicity, in essence, you don’t have to be Greek to like the book.
I remembered I really was an author and this time I felt it.