I woke up with a nervous stomach ache today, crawled out of bed, checked my phone messages and trudged downstairs to ponder eating a meal. My stomach was not happy with me, so I put it off, got on my computer, and checked my emails.
I saw that my post was up on Angie Fox's blog and that fans were already snagging copies of the book. I glanced at Amazon.com, read a short email from my Tor editor, and pondered why I wasn't bouncing off the walls.
It took me most of the day to realize why I wasn't jumping for joy or careening through the house like a manic whooping it up.
This is it. It's all official now. THE FIRST DAYS is on book shelves with a tiny Tor logo on its spine and at some point later this year I will receive my first royalty statement from Tor. I'm in the big leagues now.
With that status comes responsibility, not only to myself, but to Tor. I want this book to do well not just for me, but the publishing house that believes in me.
As more comments came in from fans today, I realized another reason why I've been strangely subdued. I want my old school fans to be happy with this new version. I really want them to love it. I've had quite a few complain that they felt I didn't need to revise the books. That they were perfect as is (which I know isn't true) and that they were afraid of the revisions. When at last I began to have positive feedback from the fans, I felt my anxious mood began to dissipate.
This evening some friends took me to dinner and we had a very nice meal. As we were discussing my journey (they have been there since day one), they reminded me of all the reasons why I love writing, self-publishing, going with Tor, my fans, and even reviews.
I love telling stories for my fans to enjoy.
Yes, now my book is on the shelf and I do want the book to sell well for Tor's sake. Hell, I want it to sell well to garner attention so the producer with the option to make it into a TV show can sell it to a network. But at the core of my soul, I write because I love sharing the stories in my head with the people who will enjoy it. That was why I originally self-published and why I signed with Tor.
Once I regained my perspective, my anxiety lifted.
Tonight I'm at peace and smiling. I'm happy. I know that this amazing journey I am on is only just truly beginning and it has been fabulous so far.