Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Some Rambling and Random Thoughts on a Big Deal

This is me standing in front of an already shelved copy
of THE PULL OF GRAVITY at the Strand Bookstore, NYC. 

So, after nearly 12 years of trying, and nearly 18 mos. of post-success waiting, my book came out yesterday.

Cool? Yes.

Surreal? Yes.

A big deal? Sure.

Nothing in the scheme of things? Yeah, that too. (at least in the zen, drop in the ocean sort of sense. . . ).

So, how to celebrate something that's everything and nothing? I knew it was important for me to get away from the computer yesterday (and the sort of incessant "checking on things" a computer allows us to do). I wanted to try to do something to make the day stick -- to have it be something more than anticlimactic if I could.

Believe me, you, when you gear up for something for 12 years and 18 months respectively, it's hard to really make it climax. Er. But, ask any debut author and they will tell you the same thing.

Lucky for me, my extraordinary editor, the lovely Frances Foster, invited me to lunch at the Union Square Cafe. I already had an enviable plan. :)

Given that lunch was at 12:30 and I love to train in on the 8:55 am with my dear friend Selbern who is the editor who cleaned up my TPoG book trailer and made it emmy-worthy quality (yes, Selbern has 3 emmys in his house, so, um, yeah -- I'd show you a photo, but he'd get mad), I had some time to kill first in the city.

I made plans to meet two dear friends, Lori and Donna (and a dear tag-a-long -- thank you, Ellen!) at the Strand Bookstore on 12th Street first, in order to take a photo with the book there on the Strand shelves. This is what good friends do: they schlepp across, or into, the city to buy your book they've already bought, so they can buy a copy in front of you, and climb ladders to get a shot with you and the book. (see photo above).

Bear in mind, the Strand was a hallowed place for me -- I practically lived there in my twenties, when I still lived and worked in NYC, didn't have kids or a real career yet, and still had time to read 2 -3 books a week. I'm sure I bought most the used classics there when I went through my read-the-classics phase (I should go through a phase like that again!).

When I got there, only one copy of TPoG had been shelved; the rest were still boxed in receiving. Lucky for me, the Strand is full of awesomesaucey people, like the cute dude with long hair whose name sadly escapes me, and the manager, Laura, both of whom were so very kind to me, told me they'd get them out pronto, and that I should return after lunch to sign all ten copies, and that they'd then display the books on the "Bestseller" table in the YA section. I didn't see a Bestseller table, so maybe they meant the New Arrivals table which would be totally cool with me!  

Lunch with Frances was delightful. Despite a large menu with a variety of delicious offerings, we both ordered the same thing without pre-planning, which made me wonder if the same thing that made us both desire the "spring greens ravioli" made her connect with the early manuscript of The Pull of Gravity.

After the main course, we shared some deliciously-decadent, chocolately-caramelly thing, in celebration of TPoG's release.

I sat in a teeny tiny chair at a teeny tiny table and signed copies. Surreal.
After lunch, Laura at the Strand had made good on her promise, and the copies of TPoG were waiting for me. I sat at a kiddy table in the children's section and signed copies, all the while trying to get it to settle in my brain that I had a book out; that I was signing copies where it would be sold to people from the Strand; that people would read it, and maybe a few people would truly love it, and they would remember it for years and years.

Instead, all I kept thinking was, there are a gazillion books in here. Gazillions of people have done this before. How can it be so hard?

On the train home, I was tired from weeks of marketing, and interviews, and (UGH) photographers, and a general sense of trying hard to get the name of my book out there. Upon return home, my facebook page was flooded with well-wishes, one of the things that has made this journey so extraordinary.

Throughout the evening, people kept asking, was it a good day? Was it a good day? Was it everything you hoped?

And, it was a good day. A lovely day. But, you know, somehow still anticlimactic. I think partly because there's just no way to internalize what it is.

But you know what? This morning, I woke up smiling. The photos from the Strand fill me with joy. I love my friends dearly. And, I will always remember that lunch with Frances.

from a Yoda quote in the book. .  .
Oh, and, if you're in NYC, and you walk into the landmark Strand Bookstore on 12th Street and Broadway in NYC, you can pick up a copy of The Pull of Gravity.

Signed in indelible ink by me.

Anticlimactic? Maybe.

Big deal? Who knows.

But very, very cool.

xo gae


  1. Love this post Gae! You put that feeling into words so perfectly. Congrats again!

  2. "because this is what good friends do....." thank you for the opportunity to BE a good friend. yesterday was "ordinary" you know what I mean?

  3. This is itself an awesomesaucey post. Congratulations again!

    (Obligatorily: MINNESOTA!)

  4. thanks all. Yes, Lori, yes I do. :)

  5. Great post! I love the idea of getting away from the computer. It would be impossible to avoid clicking on things all day.

    Glad you had a lovely day out!

  6. I smile everytime I see that picture of you. :)

  7. You found your power, girlfriend!

  8. i'm sitting here in a coffeeshop with an intention of putting in more time toward my own 12 years and 18 months and I paused to read this and you have me choking up. love, love, love you and this glimpse into your day.

  9. So happy for you -- even for your "ordinarily extraordinary day". Love, B

  10. Many congratulations, Gae. I'm sure you don't remember me but we were both in the first ABNA top 100 pool. I'm so pleased your book is out. Excellent!

  11. Clive, thanks for stopping by and for the congrats! I think I DO remember you! :D What's going on with your writing?