If you missed my publishing news from my December post, it goes something like this:
Squeeeee! I have a book deal!!*
In the interim between the initial excitement and the editorial letter, there's a kind of a "did that really just happen" limbo. Luckily, I spent some of that time with family and friends but the following is a smattering of the (sometimes) bizarre reactions to my book news.
1. OMG! That's incredible! You've worked so hard for this!
The best reaction! Usually from the people who know how long I've been at this writing thing.
My response: Thanks! I know, pretty wild? Still wrapping my head around it.
2. How much is your nice, fat advance check?
Yes, people really do ask this question!
I get it, I do. Humans are curious creatures but um, really?!
3. You sneaky little devil! I didn't know you liked to write!
This was at a family dinner with a cousin I rarely see so I'll cut her some slack but for some reason this made me feel odd. As if I sit at my computer, twirling my moustache and laughing maniacally while I write.
My response: Giggle. Blush. Mwahahahahaha...
4. What's the book about?
Okay, totally legit question.
5. Will it be a movie?
This question is asked with more frequency than I ever imagined, sometimes with genuine enthusiasm.
My response: Um, well, no. It's a book. And I'm pretty stoked about that!
The funny thing is, all these reactions brought up a few unexpected feelings of my own. The most heinous and surprising one being: sheer terror. What had I done? Why not just perform naked karaoke to "Call Me Maybe" instead? My characters are my babies, and they will be "out there"...under scrutiny...possibly on Goodreads. Yikes.
And this got me thinking about #4. I think the real reason I don't have an elevator pitch is because I don't want a face-to-face snap judgement. What if the person replies, "oh, um, sounds good, please pass the blue sangria", or worse...no reaction at all.
Writing is such a fragile endeavor and mostly it's just you and the page with some idea of a phantom audience. It took a long time for me to share with others that I was even a writer in the first place (hence #3), I'm not sure why I thought I'd feel differently when I could finally say "My book comes out next year." Each new step brings its own set of fears.
So how about you Paper Waiters? How do you deal with bizarre reactions to your writing endeavors?
*I apologize if this is obnoxious. I've been squeeing an awful lot lately.
**the .gif reactions are inspired by the following awesome tumblr sites, check them out! Title to Come, Life in Publishing, Life of a Dude in Publishing