About seven minutes ago, I sent off the final draft of my new book to a publisher in Seattle.
They like this book, they wanted this book, they are going to pay for editing and proofreading and printing and will do all the things publishers do to a book before they try to sell it. They are very enthusiastic.
It’s hard to describe how wonderful this feels. Not loud and boisterous wonderful, but quietly fulfilling wonderful. Like seeing my daughters graduate, or holding their own in an adult conversation. Having the apple trees thrive.
According to our contract, they want to have the book available to readers on August 15. That’s a pretty tight time frame, and that’s pretty cool, too. In fact, there’s only one thing that isn’t amazingly wonderful about all this.
I had to write it under a pseudonym. That’s just how it played out. It’s going to be a while before anyone can know that it’s mine.
Chalice may be sitting on the desk of a big-deal publisher’s Somebody. I’d sent a copy to a “friend of a friend who knows Somebody,” because friend’s friend did preliminary reading for Somebody and said she would look at it.
Like the other 10 hard copies I sent off for feedback (with about 10 in electronic form), the spiral binding was for reader convenience and it was printed two pages on each side of each sheet to save paper.
Yesterday my friend got a call from his friend that she had sent it on to Somebody who said the submission was not even formatted to standards available online, but Somebody would read the first ¼ and give it to one of her readers who would read the whole thing.
Chagrin mixed with appreciation mixed with a modicum of “…but if I had known…” tempered by “… should I have assumed…?” I guess work pushed even in the direction of traditional publishing channels should have been formatted to traditional standards.
As we were walking his dogs through the manzanita near the river talking mostly about his divorce, my friend asked how I will feel if Somebody says Chalice is crap. My answer was sloppy, involving art and ego and opinions and the market place. All true, but only pointing at the nexus.
Which is that Chalice is not crap and knowing this gives me serenity. It is vastly improved from where it started and there is room for improvement still. I am doing my best and soon it will be done.
Chalice may not be for everybody, but it is not crap. And the opinion of one Somebody doesn’t change that, though of course I hope she likes it.