On the 23rd, I got the best moment of my life: I got to hold my book in my hands for the first time. It was such an incredible feeling. I've literally dreamed about that moment for years, when I would get to see my work in print, see my name on a bookcover.
I am utterly thrilled with how the book turned out. Right now I am checking it for any print errors, but so far so good. If everything is good to go, then the book is going to be ready for sales and all sorts of fun marketing stuff will commence.
From what my publisher was telling me, they are looking to do the newsletter, of course. There's also supposedly an author video, a website, and some other things in the works too. It feels very strange to know that very soon my name will be out there, and at some point people may recognize it.
I am constantly torn between wanting to show off the cover and let it be a surprise for everyone. I'm immensely proud of this book, so it is difficult to decide.
I've had a couple of people ask me, why use your real name? Why not use a pen name? I did consider briefly using a pen name, but then I realized this: It's my work. It's been my brainchild for years now. Success or fail, I want it to be mine completely. Let everyone know that it is my work. And even though there are going to be people who don't like, there will be people who do like it.
This is my biggest challenge yet. I've always been fairly protective of my work, a little self-conscious of it, afraid to know what people think. I am officially entering the larger world where I am open to criticism, praise, and all the joy of the literary world. Big step for me.
Soon enough, my book will be on shelves. I want to tell everyone! Get excited with me!