Happy new year, lovelies!
So. 2014. It’s here. The debut year of myself, and Andrea and Heather, and lots of other fabulous authors.
Almost precisely one year ago today, I got that email from my agent—the one with the word “offer” in the subject line. And amongst all of the celebratory dancing and margaritas, I had this vague sense that my life was, more or less, changed forever because of that single message. Yes, I’m pretty sure I thought something terribly dramatic like that, something along the lines of this is one of those moments that divides, and now life is split into parts: the part that came before, and the part that comes after.
So I braced myself. I was so ready for this next part, for that sense that I’d moved into a new era of my life, the “published author” era—because I’d been working to get to this side of the divide for what felt like forever.
To be honest, though, for most of 2013, things didn’t feel much different.
I kept writing, as I always had. Sure, I had official deadlines now, but I’d always set those and met them for myself before, so it didn’t seem much different. And yes, I had a book coming out, but it was still so far away that when I told people about it, I’m pretty sure most of them thought I was making it up (because most people outside of publishing don’t really get that, yes, it’s normal to take 18 months or longer, and no, that doesn’t mean my publisher isn’t actually serious about publishing my book).
In a way, it was liberating, to be able to carry on and just go about my business of writing without feeling like there had been any sort of dramatic shift; I was able to complete a new book, the same as I’d completed the four that it took me to get to this side of things. Yes, I was also working through edit letters, fielding interview requests, and learning how to answer the “oh, you write books? Tell me more” question in public without sounding like a babbling idiot (okay, I’m still working on this last one)—but honestly, it was still No Big Deal.
But then, last Monday, I had my cover reveal for FALLS THE SHADOW. Which means it now has a face— a tangible sort of something that people now associate with the book, and that I don’t think they’ll easily forget (because my publisher is amazing and they created a totally striking, memorable coverthat you can see here).
And then suddenly it was like: Oh.
That’s right. My book is going to be out before long, and strangers are going to be reading it.
More than that, some strangers are looking forward to reading it (or so they tell me!). I’m still completely blown away and humbled by that—by the hundreds of twitter messages I received during my cover reveal (from strangers or otherwise), and by goodreads adds, and people sharing my book—my book—on their blogs, and pinterest boards and everywhere else all over the internet. To google your own name (not that I ever do that *cough*what google alert*cough*) and find that complete strangers are talking about this little story that once existed only inside my head, it’s, well…
It’s finally real now.
There's no stopping it, now.
And it’s exhilarating and terrifying and I-don’t-even-know, all at once. What I do know, though, is that all the time it took to make it real feels totally worth it now.
I’m bracing for a crazy ride in 2014—and beyond—but whatever happens, I don’t want to forget that feeling, so I'm committing it here as much for myself as anybody. And I'm hoping for lots of dream-affirming moments like this for all of you this year, too--and so here's to goals and resolutions, and working toward those moments.
Time to go out and make 2014 your bitch, secret lifers!
But first, tell me in the comments how you're going to do that, and what exactly you're working toward this year--writing-related or otherwise? I want to know! So then I can hound you and guilt you about it until you make it happen ;)
Stefanie Gaither writes YA novels about killer clones and spaceships, with the occasional romp with dragons and magic-users thrown in for good measure. Said writing is generally fueled by an obscene amount of coffee and chocolate, as well as the occasional tennis and/or soccer break. She's represented by Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary, and her debut novel, FALLS THE SHADOW, is forthcoming from Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers in 2014. You can add it on Goodreads here!
You can find her on Twitter @: https://twitter.com/stefaniegaither
Or drop her an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
And also visit her website @: www.stefaniegaither.com