This is when it feels real

Hello, friends. Look at what turned up at my house recently!

Yes, these are ARCs of The Traitor in the Tunnel (publishing February ’12). That gorgeous cover is even better in real life (mitigated only by the knowledge that the finished copies will be even more stunning). As for its contents…

It’s a curious feeling, holding the book in my hands. You might expect that after having written, rewritten, and edited it, and having been edited, line-edited, copy-edited, and proofread, that it might feel, um, somewhat familiar (resorting to understatement). And it’s true: there are parts of it I’ve unintentionally commited to memory.

But seeing it bound is astonishing because it also distances me from the production of the book. After all, this is the part I know nothing about. It becomes less my book, and more like a strange and staggering miracle. The cover is lovely and intriguing and slightly nostalgic (because I have, after all, seen it before). And then I flip open the pages and the experience becomes terrifying because it feels like looking into part of my brain. From the outside.

It’s at this moment that the panic sets in. I’m about to send this out into the world? Without anyone to protect it? Or even an explanatory preface?

This is far from rational, of course. I know, at some level, that this is a strong book. Actually, I think it’s the best of the three Agency novels so far. But still. Still. This is the curious push-pull of the almost-published moment, for me.

Is it like this for you, fellow authors? And how about you, aspiring writers and fellow bloggers and readers? How do you feel when you’re about to send something Out There?

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10 Responses to “This is when it feels real”

  1. Prangon says:

    The feeling of holding a book in your hand feels soooo good! And come to think of it I think I am going to buy another copy of the book when it comes out in February just for the cover, it’s absolutely gorgeous :)

    And I keep thinking will there be a book 4?!?

  2. Steph Burgis says:

    Ohhh yes. That panic/excitement mix is so potent!

    From outside, though, as a reader, it’s all joy. Congratulations!!!! (I love the cover on this one so much, I am holding out to buy a US edition!)

  3. Helena :) says:

    i love how you capitalise ‘Out There’ haha! i thought it was the best of the three because there was a lot of amazing stuff that happened in this book! :D

  4. JaneE says:

    I cannot WAIT to read it… I have an inkling of how you feel; sometimes I show bits of my stories to my friends and I’m always hesitent and a little scared, lol. My stories are like my babies…. :) The cover looks awesome!

  5. Mara A. says:

    I have yet to actually send any of my work Out There (I have not yet been pleased with any of my drafts enough yet to show anyone else, other than really close friends), but I both anticipate and dread that day when I submit my first story to the critical eyes of a publisher. It must take a great amount of courage to actually go through with publication!

    And I am soooo looking forward to your new book!!!!

  6. rayray says:

    Omg I’m kept up at night thinking about whats gonna happen in your book!!!!
    I’m so excited and i bet all my friends are already tired of me talking about the agency and sometmes ill be thinking about it in class and my friends are like,”watcha thinkin about?” and i say the agency and then they roll their eyes.

  7. rayray says:

    and also when im commenting it feels sort of weird to have other people just read it.

  8. Ying says:

    It’s a badge of honour to have distracted you from your education, rayray. ;) And I hope you don’t feel uncomfortable commenting (it’s a nice bunch here), but please don’t do anything that feels off to you! Mara, we’re our own fiercest critics, most of the time. I hope you find the courage to show the world when it feels right! JaneE, I agree about stories being like babies. I just want to protect mine from possible misreading! Thank you so much, Helena. And Steph, I’m so glad you share my madness. Prangon, I’m thrilled you love the cover so much. And yes, there will be a fourth MQ novel. Its working title is Rivals in the City.

  9. Lily says:

    Ahh, I could not wait for this book! I ordered it from the UK. I hope that the stories are the same! I still am going to buy the American version though! Are the stories the same?

  10. Ying says:

    Yes, it’s the same book, Lily. Thanks for your kind words, and I hope you enjoy it!

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