The big day has finally arrived. At midnight tonight, Dreamspinner Press will release my first novel, Until Thanksgiving, as a paperback and in multiple digital formats. I’m walking on air.
That the editors at Dreamspinner Press liked my first novel enough to offer me an advance blew me away. But four months ago, I had no idea what was in store for me. Signing the contract was just the first of many thrills, and I’m pretty sure this is only the beginning.
I’ve had an amazing career in academia and achieved success beyond my wildest dreams. Over the last quarter century, my work has garnered numerous awards, recognitions, and accolades from my peers across the country. I tell you this not to toot my own horn, but for context. Becoming a published author is, beyond a doubt, the coolest thing that has ever happened to me. None of my other accomplishments even come close.
On a scale from one to ten, with ten being the coolest thing in the universe, my day job has a cool factor of maybe one and a half or two. The work is obscure, and difficult to explain to ordinary people. Nobody understands how I can be faculty and not teach any classes. Long before I get to the specifics of my role, eyes have glazed over and whoever I’m talking with is looking for an excuse to escape.
When I tell someone I’m an author, there’s no need for a lengthy explanation. I write gay romance thrillers. That’s all I have to say. But the shock–and I’d file this under Things You Can’t Miss Until You’ve Had Them–is that being a published author has a cool factor of at least eight–maybe even nine.
Throughout my twenty-five year career, at no time have I ever heard anyone exclaim, “Oh my God! Now I can say I know an extension financial management specialist!” Surprised? Me too, but it’s true.
Even people who will probably never read my book congratulate me for my success. From little old ladies in the retina specialist’s waiting room to some of my stuffier colleagues, everyone seems to know at least one aspiring writer with a manuscript they can’t get published. They may not like the genre, but they recognize the accomplishment.
People I know tell their friends they know a published author. More and more, when I run into someone I haven’t seen for a while, they already know about my book because they heard it from so and so. Again, this never happens with my day job.
The social marketing campaign to launch Until Thanksgiving starts tomorrow. I’ll be appearing on numerous blogs over the next few weeks, and am frantically trying to come up with something interesting and original for each one. Being clever on demand is exhausting!
Thanks a million for all you do to keep me moving forward. Writing a novel was just another item on a long list of things I couldn’t do. But with your encouragement and support, I gave it a shot. And now a published author blogs here at…
My Glass House