Monday, September 29, 2008

The 59th Month

My doorbell rang and the postman passed a heavy cardboard box into my arms. Books. No, I hadn't ordered any books lately from Amazon or elsewhere.

What's this? I asked the postman.
Ami Sands Brodoff? Second Story Press?
Yes and Yes. My God! That's my book!
Congratulations! He flashed me a warm smile.

My heart beat faster. The big box contained my novel, The White Space Between, which I'd been working on for nearly five years. I struggled into my kitchen, balancing the bulky box with care, slid it onto my counter and found a sharp knife to slit the tape-secured seams. My precious contents were covered with layers of fluffy tissue.

I dug out a single copy of my finished novel, held it in my hands, examined the beautiful austere cover, the silhouette of a lonely woman, surreal blue suitcase in hand, as she walks down a snowy road on the Lachine Canal, its embankment resembling gravestones, the graphic architectural image and stark type playing off the title: The White Space Between.

I read the back copy, paged through slowly, leaf by leaf. Euphoria. Finalmente. My novel in my own hands. Finished, not abandoned. Complete.

Now, "it is the best of times, it is the worst of times," thanks to unavoidable pre-pub jitters.

I want this baby to be welcome in the world, to be understood, to be accepted, to find its niche. I want this baby to disturb, to make people think, laugh, cry, to shake them up.

I want this baby not only to survive, but thrive.

I don't think that's asking for too much from a much loved story, created over nearly five years with my own blood, sweat and tears.

So I'm ready, watching and waiting, in my 59th month, for my book to take its first baby steps into the wider world.

1 comment:

Leo said...

OK, so you've given me hope. After nursing along a novel for about a year and a half, and getting nil reaction from publishers and agents, it's a relief to see that even it today's competitive publishing market, it is possible to get a book published and looking good.

But - to continue with the metaphor - like any child rearing, birthing the infant is really just the start of it all. What's important, as you are well aware, is generating some buzz so that the book gets legs and begins to run on its own on word of mouth alone. Then it grows up rather quickly, becoming a full-fledged adult in no time.

It's when is becomes old and haggard, when the sales slow to a trickle, where the sheen is off and the buzz is gone, moved on to some other hot new talent out there, that's where the rubber really hits the road and that baby had better keep going, if for nothing else than to keep the mama happy.

Good luck in getting this one off to a good start. I wish nothing but success, buzz, interviews, good reviews and sterling sales. Ater five years of effort, it's the least that could happen.