Friday, May 4, 2012

The Day After, Part Three




My publisher - who, of course, as you all know by now, is MaryChris Bradley of Buddhapuss Ink - and I, we talk a lot. We talk about small things like the weather and the yearning for a muffin, a new movie, and we talk about the big things, like publishing dates, book covers, reading tours and what to have for lunch and where when we meet this summer. Sometimes we talk first thing in the day (HER day), to check if the other is doing ok, to toss a "good morning" at each other before we settle down to a day's work.
Just like last Sunday. Here is how it went.

Publisher: "Good morning. If I tell you something very very very nice, will you promise to NOT talk about it?"
Me: "Uhm, sure."
Publisher: "You won an IPPY Award!!!!"
Pause.
Me: "What's an IPPY?"
A looooong pause at the other end, and clearly audible breathing. Calming breathing, too. I could actually hear her count to ten.
Then: "YOU WON AN IPPY AWARD AND YOU CAN'T TALK ABOUT IT UNTIL IT'S ANNOUNCED OFFICIALLY BUT I THOUGHT I'D TELL YOU BECAUSE I JUST WANTED TO READ MY EMAIL AND THERE WAS THE MAIL FROM THE IPPY PEOPLE!"

Really, she said it like that. In one long phrase, without catching her breath. I swear!
I went to google "IPPY Awards" while she was busy not fainting at my stupidity.
We talked a bit more after that, virtually holding each other's hands and dancing through the room, she calling me an "award winning thing" and I telling her she was the going to be running a BIG publishing house before she knew it, and naming her "Miss Six".
We both wished we could hug each other for real right then, but, well, distance and the Atlantic and all that.
My family, as always, greeted these news with their usual stoic "Aha..." and went on with whatever they were doing. They are like that. I mean, MEN. ("Is it something I can eat? No? Then please carry on!")

So here I was, with these enormous news, with this huge glittering marble of news, and I had to keep it under my tongue, lodged between my molars. It rolled around in my mouth, tapped insistently against my teeth, but I managed to keep it there for the four days it had to stay this well-kept secret.
Well, almost. I told my Mom. She was even more clueless than I had been, so she didn't even know where to take that information, and all was well.

Tuesday morning, 2 am my time, the winning lists were released. That meant it was 8pm Monday night for the publisher. So... I called her.
Me: "CAN I SAY IT NOW, CAN I SAY IT NOW???"
Publisher: "Not yet. Let me get the press release out first. I'll do it first thing tomorrow."
Sigh. That was a restless night.
There I was, the award winning author, and there was nothing for me to do but stare at the dawning sky and wait for New York City to wake up, to lie there in my bed and marvel at what was happening to me.

Three years ago, I decided to write a book. My first one ever, too.
Just over a year ago, I signed that first book deal with Buddhapuss.
This January, "The Distant Shore" was published, and hit the bestseller lists within hours. It sold out within hours! At the same time, before "Distant Shore" was even released, the publisher sent me two new book deals. They believed that much in me! And now, only a few months later, I can return that faith by winning this award for my publisher.

Yesterday, the "day after", I woke up in a funk. Mopey. It broke my heart that I won't be able to go to the award ceremony and pick up my medal, enjoy that moment of glory, but it's not to be. There's just no way it can be done.
Also, I had what the publisher calls "Impostor Syndrome".
Why ME? Of all those who entered that award, why was my book picked to win a medal? There are so many out there who work and write and work and submit and promote, and who've been at it for so much longer. They should be getting awards, not me.
Publisher brushed it away, called me silly (she likes to do that), and told me to get back to work.

Which I'm doing. Back to writing it is for me, since I promised to finish the trilogy before my summer travels.
Clothes shopping it is for the publisher, since she will go to pick up my medal for me at the awards ceremony. NO black, I told her, DON'T wear black like all those NY publishers, stand out, wear RED.
After all, we have reason to celebrate.
Here's the proof:

IPPY Award 2012 Winners List




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