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?