It’s such a cliche to say that giving birth to a book is like giving birth to a baby, but that’s almost exactly how it feels knowing this next book now has an existence outside of me. I already got my first email from a reader who’d started When We Were Friends last night, and it was a reminder that my baby is out there in hundreds of places waiting to be picked up, leafed through, taken home. (No matter how many times I go through that, I still think it’ll come as a shock.) I want to tell readers to be nice to her, she’s only little, and very easily hurt.
I opened the email almost shaking…Does she like it? Or does she think my baby is ugly/annoying/stupid? Such relief when she thinks it’s beautiful, but more emails are coming and I know they won’t all feel the same. And it’s the readers who don’t like the book much that stick with me, tear me down a little one by one, make me doubt myself. My baby is being bullied and I feel this need to protect it but don’t have any idea how. I get a brief high at all the kind, sweet people who write, want to sign up for my newsletter, tell me I’m a favorite. But then somebody writes a crappy Amazon review and I totally forget those other people even exist. One bad review in a sea of good reviews can ruin my entire week. I know I should get a thicker skin, but one just doesn’t have a thick skin when it comes to one’s children.
Speaking of which…
…my real life baby turned one on Monday. Which is all I can say about that without tearing my hair and rending my garments. I love you little monkey, with all my heart and soul.