Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

There's never a Camera around when you need one!

I just received, in the mail, hot off the presses, with that lovely new book smell, the very FIRST copy of my novel, exactly as it will be when you pick it up in the stores.

The digital camera is at my Mom's house right now, but let me describe the book for you.

It is approximately the same size as all the hardbacks next to it on the shelf on my mantel. It is, actually, printed on higher-quality paper than the ARCs, with much, much better binding - thank God: I didn't say anything, but I was worried about the ARC binding!

My name and the book's name on the spine are both utterly visible from across the room, on my couch. That's a good eight feet away. In fact, it really stands out among all the other books.

Also, it smells heavenly from here... Oh, wait, that's my birthday cake!

I got this book in my hands the day after my birthday.

Now, flashback a few years. I got the callback on this book, when Phil Athans first asked to get the full manuscript from me, the very day before my birthday. I was sitting in a car repair shop in the middle of a very unpleasant neighborhood. I had to step out to the repair shop because my car died while I was on my lunch break at an Automobile Tax and Title company. I had spent the last week doing odious data entry for a temp agency. I was mostly broke. I was single - I'm almost always single in December, don't know why - and I was in this repair shop dreading the bill I could barely afford.

I was watching Montel Williams on the grainy black and white, and looking at the most fly-riddled donuts you've ever seen in your life.

I was hating my life and everything about it. Another year of my life was about to close with no improvements, and no tangible hope for the future.

Then, in the middle of that waiting room in the skanky parts of Irving, Texas, my cellphone rang, and I didn't recognize the phone number, or the area code.

Today, the day after my birthday - and this one wasn't too bad, because my car didn't break down and I don't hate my job but I am single because this is December - this package shows up in the mail, and it's my book looking back at me.

I worked really fucking hard to get this book in my hands.

A lot of people, actually, worked really hard to make this happen.

There's never a camera around when you need one...

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