Now I’ve done it. Signed a book contract with Promontory Press and completed negotiations on a title and cover. At present I am awaiting their edits.
On the one hand, I am elated that my book is finally being published. On the other hand, I am as terrified as an overprotective mother sending her child off to college. In a foreign country.
Yes, I know I referred to my novel as a baby a short time ago, but they all grow so fast. Did I teach him everything he needs to know? Can he cook? Do laundry? Is he ready? Am I ready?
Yikes! No-one told me it would be like this. Maybe I should have utilized more beta readers. Did I make any critical errors, with all the changes I made? What if I changed a character’s hair colour part way through or got some farming practice incorrect? What if I’ve missed a crucial aspect of German or Polish cultural life or language? Are my war scenes realistic? (Spoiler- I went for PG so they probably aren’t). I tried my best, but honestly, despite the stack of books I’ve been through there are some things I just don’t know.
“Write what you know” is what they said at one of the first writing workshops I took. Did I follow that advice? Nope. I had already picked what I was most compelled to write about, which happened to have numerous facets of “stuff I have never experienced” and background info that was nearly impossible to find out, so I went to great lengths, even a trip to Poland to “know” what I was writing about.
So, if my readers are only slightly less diligent than I, my story should remain realistic and its world intact for the reader. At least that is what the logical part of my brain is telling me! If it does not turn out to be so, please let me know and I will correct it for the Second Edition! Presumptuous to think there would be a second edition, but allow me a little fantasy here.
After 18 or so revisions, it is time for this one to move out. When “Threaten to Undo Us” goes to print, that’s it. My baby will fly the nest of my efforts and live or die on its own merits. In putting the story out there I will face the possibility of success or failure.
As a parent I know the bitter sweetness of barely adult children leaving home and going off to make lives of their own. But in breaking those ties, we forge new ones and relate in a different way. That is as it should be. Now, instead of just me and my book, I hand it over to you, the reader. You will have the final word.
And so I must, in the words of a popular song… Let it go!