(Picture that attempts to capture the mood and important setting of my new novel)
The first two readers have now finished the manuscript for my new novel. There's always a bit of nail-biting nervousness as you wait for a reaction from the first pairs of eyes besides my own to peer at the pages. Part of me always believes that the latest thing I've finished is my best, but there's always that nagging voice that tries to convince me it is the worst. It's impossible to really know where it stands until you have a reaction. Well, I'm pleased to report the response from both readers was exceptional and confirmed my belief that I've written a novel of merit. Now, it's off to the publisher...and renewed nervousness as I hope they share my belief.
Looking back, it's kind of a miracle that I ever became an actual author with published books, because in my teenage years and college years, I NEVER shared my writing except on a few odd occasions to a very select number of people. It's not that I didn't think it was any good, it was just the subject matter for most of my writing is typically very personal and potentially embarrassing as it's usually about thoughts and experiences I tend to hide. I need not point out the irony that these thoughts now make up most of my books widely available in print.
It still amazes me that so many teenagers are willing to share their writing with me. Perhaps it has to do with our online culture of expressing every unimportant fact of our daily lives that there is no longer a sense of privacy (very much one of the central themes of my new novel). Or perhaps they are just more confident than I was, because I know that my 17 year old self would be horrified to share one of the many odd stories he had written with an author that I admired. (though I'm glad others do, I enjoy reading it). Obviously, I'm very used to it at this point in my career. Now my nervousness isn't so much fear as it is hope that all the hard work I put into something will be appreciated in the way I anticipated.