Friday, November 07, 2008

Level III

I said I'd be back.

I've been staring at that line for half an hour now, trying to think of a clever way to follow it up, but I can't come up with a thing. My book is being published, that's the bottom line--a real (though admittedly small) publisher took it on because they like my work and see a sales potential in it.

The e-mail came during flurry of retrenching, reflecting, regrouping and reinventing. My day job was not going well, I had recently realized that I have been dreaming of being a novelist since I was 10 years old but had yet to sell a single word of fiction and had just, out of a desperate desire to feel as if I was doing something constructive, signed up for NaNoWriMo.

I had finally put my unprofitable and distracting habit of writing humorous essays behind me and managed to send a few short stories off. Then, in the midst of all this, I got the e-mail: "We like your work; we'll send you a contract." I looked at it, thought, "Oh?" and went back to whatever it was I was doing. I didn't even tell anyone.

It wasn't my novel they wanted--I think I might have gotten excited about that--they wanted my book, "Postcards From Across the Pond," a manuscript I had given up on long ago and self-published through Lulu. The publisher didn't know about that, however; they had looked at my website, liked what they saw and offered a contract. The fact that I already had a finished manuscript and was able to add another 23,000 words to it over the next few days only meant the process could move ahead faster.

The book is currently going through the editing/processing phase; it is due out before Christmas, in case you're stuck on what to get aunt Mildred.

I suppose, by my own definition, I now have a Level III blog; I am now in The Club. But I don't really feel like it.

It's as if, after all this time of knocking on the front door begging to be let in (and even having an agent mingling with the insiders on my behalf over canap├ęs in the back garden) I was never actually let in. Instead, someone opened a side door and allowed me slip through, not into the main part of the house, but a neglected utility room off of the main hallway.

Still, here I am. And if I'm just another schmuck with a publishing contract--nestled among the growing number of blog-to-book writers--and one of countless thousands who have had a book published (instead of the countless millions who only wish they had a book published) I suppose it's up to me to take this opportunity, no matter how slim it is, and ride it for all it is worth.

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