This is just to give you all an idea of how long the publishing process takes. In August, I accepted the offer for the publication of my novel The Bird Sisters, and today (October 9th!) I just received a pdf of the contract. For anyone out there who is a bit antsy as a person, I say good luck in the book business. For the past month and a half, I have been biting my fingernails and had even begun to doubt the reality of my situation.
My book is being published? I'd think. Yeah, right; you had a wonderful dream, that's all.
Well, it is in fact being published. I have signed the document and sent it back to my agent this afternoon. But I don't think I will ever fully believe the manuscript I slaved over in private for so long is ever really going to being turned into a book, even when it is a book. Or maybe I know it will be a book, but it won't be just mine anymore. It will be belong to a combination of wonderful people: my agent, my editor, my publisher, my readers (crossing my fingers here), my family and friends, the people I love and the people I've stopped loving...
You get the point.
It will no longer be that secret thing of mine that I worked on in coffee shops and academic hallways, sleep and wakefulness, day and night. Its life, its longevity, won't be up to me anymore. I don't think my bird sisters, Milly and Twiss, will ever leave me completely, but they'll leave me a little, which will be both happy and sad, limiting and freeing.
Thank you, I'll say to them when they do. Be well, my dears.
I don't know what they'll say to me.