Even though our Countdown to Pub was only for the month of February, we felt the need to take you all the way to liftoff--Uptown officially pubs today!
It Happened on Monday
It happened on Monday. I was taking a shower when it hit. Yes, it was 2:30 in the afternoon. I hadn’t been away from the computer until then. I made myself get up because Virginia and I needed to get to the post office. And I really needed a shower—Trust me.
So I soaped up some essential parts, and then the wave smacked me upside the head and left me woozy—Uptown pubs tomorrow and until that moment I thought I had my feelings under control. No big deal. We did everything we could do—write what we feel is a fast paced book, with intriguing characters and situations and let as many readers know it’s coming as we can. I mean, really, it’s not like it’s the first time.
But it’s really always the first time. No matter how I prep for it there is always the point when my feelings get out of control. Kind of like when I’ve had surgery. I am calm in my hospital pajamas as they walk me to the surgery suite, swaddle me in the microwaved blanket and look for my veins. No big deal I tell myself. My doctor has explained the procedure (and I’ve triple checked on the internet). These are trained professionals, blah, blah, blah. And then there comes this moment when my brain is screaming, “Oh crap. They’re gonna cut me open and move stuff around!!!” Fortunately, that moment happens shortly before anesthesia is administered.
But there is no anesthesia for book pub day, so I will not be operating heavy equipment. And this is not a good day to tell me anything I need to remember because I probably won’t. But the shallow breathing will subside and I will get back to normal—whatever that means. But hey, if you’re an author, a new book is supposed to throw you off your axis, a little like new love, isn’t it?
Back when we had our first Pub Day, we didn’t know enough to be nervous. We were excited. Giddy. Silly. The first time we saw Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made in a bookstore window we were in a strip mall. I screamed, told Donna who was driving that we were in the window. She didn’t believe me, so we circled around again and when there was no doubt—that pink and purple cover was unmistakable, we stopped the car, jumped out, hugged each other and did our very own Happy Dance right there in the middle of the road. That was then. We were innocent and inexperienced. There was no Bookscan. We had no previous “numbers” to be measured against. There were no e-books or Kindles. All we had was the joy of seeing our hard work, our book out in the world.
But this is now.
And as P-Day has crept upon me, I’ve been experiencing a low level vibration—like a tuning fork—you can’t exactly see it, but that doesn’t mean the tremors are not there. I’ve forged through the last month, nose to the grindstone, fingers on the keyboard, doing guest blogs, answering Q&A’s, sending out newsletters updating our readers of Uptown’s impending arrival, Tweeting, Facebooking—doing everything we can to get the word out and keep our names popping up in “Google Alerts.” Mostly I’ve managed to accomplish all of those assignments without any visible indication that “frazzle” was about to ratchet up to “frenzy.”
The very same day that DG has the shower meltdown. I left home to do a few errands—conscious that DPP (Driving Pre-Pub) might present its own challenges, but I reminded myself that green means go, the red sign with 8 sides and white letters means stop moving—and that brakes were the horizontal pedal, the little lever on the left side of the steering column will let people know my turning intentions in advance—if and only if I also make up my mind in advance. But heck! I was only going to the Post Office and Walgreen’s—both within 3 miles of home. How bad could it be? Surely I could handle that.
Turns out driving was not the problem.
I was in the drugstore with a jumbo pack of toilet paper in each hand when I realize that I had not combed or brushed one hair on my head. Yes, it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Yes, I had plenty of opportunity since I’d been up since 6 AM. Yes, I usually comb my hair every day—at least once, if I’m going out, more often than that. Yes, I had passed a mirror—several of them, several times. No, I never noticed. (By the way, DG who was with me didn’t notice either.)
At this point, what could I do except act like I looked just fine, pay for my toilet paper and go back home where I obviously belonged until I am fit to unleash on the public again.
I’m in the parking lot, stashing the T-paper in the trunk and I see a man walking around the car parked next to mine examining the ground. He is in his shirtsleeves (it’s 35degrees), holding a bag containing a jumbo pack of sanitary napkins and he is locked out of his car.
I, ran my fingers through my hair, secure in the knowledge that it can always be worse.
But somehow I don’t think James Patterson feels like that on Pub Day—but then, he probably has hair combers.
We are best friends who’ve been co-writing women’s fiction for twenty of our twenty seven years of friendship. Uptown is our seventh novel. For more information about who we are, what we do and/or to read an excerpt of Uptown please visit http://deberryandgrant.com