The doorbell rang today. I thought -- oh no, the post has already been. What could it be in a harpic box? It was my copies of The Lady Soldier. In print. 6 shiny new copies. A profound moment. Now, I am really a writer, a published author. People will read this book who have never met me.
It is so bizarre to see the words Kate and I agonised over in type. I had a quick read through. The book is still close in ways. I had no idea what to expect. Could I read it as a book? As a writer? Detached?
Memories of when we were writing this crowded in. I can so clearly see the early mornings inDecember 2003 when I got early, switched on the computer and retrieved that day's version. I remember this time last year when we were working on the revisions for the agent. The way my arms trembled as I wrote my version of the last scene and then had Kate report that she was trembling as she revised it. The fact both our hearst were in our mouths, I hope means that it will provide some amusement for others. I am well aware that no one is as close to those characters as Kate and I.
I can also clearly recall the disappointments along the way -- the rejections, the having to revise and the awfulness of waiting to hear. Finally, the joy that we were going to be published and now the BOOK in my hands. (I suspect Kate will have to go to the PO and pick it up as it was a sign for package - so she might not get hers until the weekend.)
The whole experience is rather overwhelming.
Does it banish the crows of doubt (and I do so love Julie's phrase!) To a certain extent, but now comes the real test will someone out there love it as much as Kate and I? Will they be moved by it enough to put up a review on Amazon? Will they tell friends? Will it earn out its advance?