June 01, 2015
A Few Thoughts Before the Circus Comes to Town
Tomorrow is June 2nd. Tomorrow is Circus Mirandus’s release day. Tomorrow, for the first time in my life, I will be a published author.
Since nobody can reasonably expect me to be anything but a tangled mess of joy, gratitude, and nerves tomorrow, I had better take time today to share a few thoughts on my arrival at this long-hoped-for place.
I didn’t get here alone. Maybe everyone else already knows this, but publishing is filled with book-loving magicians—agents, editors, publicists, copyeditors, and so many more people who design the book, market the book, and whip the book into shape. When acquaintances ask what my favorite part of “the process” has been so far, I think they expect me to gush (more than I have already) over things like the book’s gorgeous covers.
But honestly, the best thing about having your novel published is getting to know all of the people who make it happen. When your book finally hits shelves it’s something more than you could have made on your own, and that’s amazing.
And what about before? What about those years spent hacking away at bad rough drafts of books that are now relegated to the dust bunny kingdom at the back of my closet? There were people then, too, who kept me going. I had my family and my writing mentors pushing me to write more, better, truer.
Until one day I found the story I had to tell, and Circus Mirandus was born.
It was so different back then. That first draft was years ago, and though it was brimful of heart, it was a mess. I think you have to love a story with all of yourself to make it through revision after revision with your faith in it still intact.
When you do finally put that last comma in place, you find you’ve arrived in the land of firsts. First time seeing the cover design. First time holding the ARC. First time hearing from a reader who isn’t somehow affiliated with the business of publishing. You get to meet librarians and booksellers and teachers—the best sorts of people in the world. You get letters from parents who are reading advance copies of the book aloud to their children.
And then comes the day when you hold a finished copy of the book for the first time.
And the moment when you turn back the jacket on the hardcover, and you see this:
And it’s magic. Pure magic.
I can’t wait for tomorrow.