Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Morning After

You want to know how it feels when you've just signed a book contract?


Like one of those crazy rabbits running from one corner of the cage to the other, holding their heads and going, "Oh my God, oh my God, what to do now?"

Oh wait there's something wrong with this image... nevermind. It's how it feels. I needed a drink. A four-finger drink, straight up. And I needed to TELL! The news sat in my chest like a huge big shining bubble, ready to burst if I did not let it out. Trust me, if this happens to you, you want to SHOUT it to the world. It is the proverbial dream coming true. The one you have lived through, as a writer, on many nights lying awake in your bed. The scene you play out in your mind, the one moment you long for, more than anything else.

Only when it happens, it is WAY different from what you thought it would be.

For me, it was a short email asking for a skype chat. Uhu. I hate webcams. They make me look even fatter and dowdier than I already am. I'm shy, and I did not want my family to be present for this "talk" (I had no idea what was coming!!!) and hid in my kid's room with my laptop.

So on comes this nice lady in a slightly messy office, and she tells me THESE THINGS! Tells me she loves my book and really believes in it, and what a joy it is to work with me, and yes, they really do want to sign me (Insert here: Mariam goes to pieces). There was some more business talk, of course, but the bottom line is: Yes, I have my book deal. And I got it sitting on my kid's unmade bed, the mess on the floor thankfully  not visible over the webcam. I must have come across like a total imbecile, but whatever. Nothing was said that I couldn't just nod to and say, "Uhu,uhu, right, sure." Business cards? Sure. Book tour? Hell, yes!!!

While this went down, my family was grumbling about lunch - which was ready and heartily ignored by me - and ate without me.

And folks, I'm SO glad that camera catches only your face or my brand-new publisher would have seen I was not even wearing a bra... now is THIS how you picture your moment of glory? Certainly not, right? Well, it was mine.

So today I woke up and wondered... is my life different now?

And the answer is, yes. It is different. It is VERY different. Not outwardly, mind. I still need to clean the bathroom before our friends come over later to drink the bubbly with us and celebrate. And the cat still barfed on the carpet. Nothing different there. But on the  inside, everything has changed. It's the day of justification, the moment I worked for so long. Now I can look at my dusty shelves and the grimy stove and say to them, "See? You had to suffer, but it was worth it!" And my dear, poor hubby, who did most of the housework so I could write, and edit, and rewrite, and edit... now I can say, "Thank you, sweetheart, and look, it was good for something."

I know they say you should write for yourself and not think about publication. That's just whistling in the dark. If you are serious about it, you DO write to get published. Well, I did. Do. I need this vindication. I need it to return it to my family and friends. They deserve it, for all their support and patience and love during the past three years.

And hey, I rather like it, too. I liked walking through our book store today and thinking, "Soon, soon!" I like the feeling of being on the other side of the wall, I'm not going to lie. And yes, I do want the commercial success, both for myself and for the publisher who put their trust and money in me. There will be a lot of work before I can admire my novel in the shop windows and displays, but it will be there. If I have to stack it there myself it will be there. My publisher, MaryChris, will not be sorry for her decision to take me on.

My novel, "The Distant Shore", is a Contemporary Romance set in Norway, London, L.A., NYC and the outskirts of Toronto, and it tells a nearly impossible love story. I have the hope it will be published late this year, but that depends on me, and how fast I get the final edits done. So stick around, and watch this space for updates.

I think this will be a wild, wonderful ride.


  1. You deserve every wonderful second of feeling great! You often wondered if it was all worth it - and YES IT WAS!

  2. I am soooooooooooooooooo happy for you! TOTALLY worth it! I hope it's published by December so I can buy a squillion of them (all signed by the author, of course) as gifts for my freinds. :) xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    PS: cats barfing = reality check. Keeps you grounded. :)

  3. Hahaha, Leslie... of course.
    Thank you all! x

  4. I can't think of anyone more talented than you and you deserved it so hard. Don't forget us little kittens when you get famous (which WILL happen, I always told you it would).
    *big hug*

  5. If it was possible to march past your house on a herd of elephants blaring trumpets, setting off fireworks and making a huge fuss trust me I would.

    When we write we hope that someone will read what we like and like it.

    And they do lovely lady. Well done. You deserve this xxx

  6. It's possible. Bring on the elephants and trumpets. ;) Thank you!

  7. I am so happy for you, Mariam! Thank you for sharing your joy with all of us. You rock!

  8. Don't even know what to say honey...I am beyond excited for you and soooo thrilled that your first offical reading will be here in my little house on the West Coast of Canada...where, I just realised, you do not mention in your book....#2 will fix that yes?
    LOL ((((hugs))))
    PS I may have something very exciting to share with you when you get here...but I have to work on it a bit.

  9. I felt a smaller version of the same bubble when I saw the comment on Sue's page yesterday; that's how I found out. I am so excited for you. I really hope I'm in Houston when you are there.

  10. squeeeeeee!

    so happy for you!

  11. This is great news, Mariam! I saw your Facebook updates and rushed here to read the details. So happy for you!

  12. Congratulations, that's sooo cool!

  13. Wheee!!!! Congratulations!!!

  14. Karlheinz a.k.a hubbyApril 23, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    every moment during the past decades was worth it. I love you darling. And don't mind about not wearing a bra. Love this too.

  15. I cannot express how totally and completely thrilled I am for you! To see this dream realized for someone I care for? Well, I feel like I'm watching someone I love walk amongst the stars. You deserve every ounce of happiness that this is bringing to you. :)


  16. KH just made me cry ... what a sweet man :-)

  17. Visiting you via Marion. What wonderful news! Congratulations to you! I look forward to reading your book.

  18. Thank you, thank you, thank you all! What else can I say? :)

  19. I just saw a link about your amazing story on Twitter. I am soooo happy for you!! I can't wait to read it either. It's so nice to see that such good things happen. Love, all the way from Lebanon!!