|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.
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.|
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. . .|
Signed in indelible ink by me.
Big deal? Who knows.
But very, very cool.