I announced it on Facebook and I'm announcing it here, with pleasure: My second novel, The Discus Thrower, has been accepted for publication by Soho Press. The book is set in Italy 1938, and is a road adventure story, through Tuscany and the Piedmont, about classical art, politics, and love. Pub date is early 2012. Best of all, I'll be working with an editor I really, really admire.
When my 16-year-old son heard me making anxious comments about post-publication issues (like marketing), he said, "So which of part of this process do you like?" Well, the truth is, before I was published, I thought publication was the best part. Walking into a store and seeing the book on the table. Checking Amazon and getting a peek at customer reactions.
But in truth, I get really nervous about the reviews, sales figures, and all that. My favorite part, actually, is now: the opportunity to collaborate with an editor, to finally be part of a team after working on something alone (mostly) for so long. I'm always hoping, up until the final proof, to learn something more from the story itself, to have a last-minute epiphany as the excess is pared away and the best of the work emerges. The butterflies in my stomach are dancing around at that prospect: of spending the winter holidays working on a manuscript. (We writers have strange ideas about the ideal 'vacation,' don't we?)
Happy as I am at this moment, I could almost forget about the recent times I was quite unhappy about writing. But darn (or bless!) the electronic trails a blog leaves behind. For example, my August post, Cold Night in Rejection City. I mention it because several of you took time after reading that post to email or call, to offer sage advice or a silly link to something funny when I needed it most. Thanks again for that.