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Thursday, December 29, 2011

More Author Insight: That Authorly Feeling (And a winner!)

At what point in your publishing journey did you really feel like an author for the first time?

"I still don't feel like one! I still feel like a girl messing around at her father's desk, playing with his pens and paper. But I figure the day I feel like "a real author" is the day the end begins, honestly - I don't want to lose my sense of wonder, the sense that things are still unfolding in front of me. Knowing myself, I'm not sure I could find the tenth book as exciting as the first. I hope I'm wrong!" - Lia Habel, author of Dearly Departed.

"The first time I was invited to talk to a college class about writing. They actually thought I was legit!?  Crazy.  Half the time I still feel like a total imposter. 'Look at you, all dressed up in your big boy pants!'" - Geoff Herbach, author of Stupid Fast.

"Do you remember in Back to the Future how Marty's dad George wanted to be a writer?  And how at the end, there's this little bit of a scene where George receive a box full of copies of his first book?  That's the moment where I felt like a real author… when I opened my first Back to the Future box." - Sarah Beth Durst, author of Drink, Slay, Love.

"When my box of ARCs arrived. My book was book-shaped! With my name on it, and the dedication to my grandmother, and all my words inside! It was tremendously exciting." - Jessica Spotswood, author of Born Wicked.

"The day I signed ARC copies of Frost at Book Expo America. No question. Until then, actual readers had been missing from the equation. It was one of the most exciting days of my life." - Marianna Baer, author of Frost.

"Wait, let me check my watch . . .

Really? The very first time? I think that would be when I was asked to speak to a group of distributors and sales force people. It just hit that, holy smokes, these folks were here because they wanted to learn more about me so they could get behind my book. So they could tell other people—booksellers and librarians—why it was worth their time to read what I had to say. That was an amazing and humbling moment.

But I got to tell you about the second time because it happened just yesterday. Another true story: I’m working, and I see the little kid from down the block come bicycling into my driveway. She stops right at the steps, gets off her bike—but then she just stands there, looking at the house. So I waited, giving her space. Finally, she rings the bell. When I answer, she says that she picked up one of my books not knowing that I had written it and like it so much that when she saw that one of her mom’s friends was reading Ashes, she snuck the book for a couple minutes. And she was hooked. So, she wanted to know if I had copies of Draw and Ashes lying around that I would sell her—and, oh, would I please sign them.

Oh, my God. Of course, I gave her the books. (Free, natch; what kind of ogre do you take me for?) Can you imagine the courage it took for her to ring that doorbell? What if I’d told her to get lost? But, no, she only knew that stories she liked just happened to be written by this woman she only sort of knew—and it wasn’t about me. It was about the books; it was about story.

That’s what the journey should always be about." - Ilsa Bick, author of Ashes.

"When I received my first reader email from someone who’d read and loved Everlasting. It was such a surreal feeling knowing someone had picked up my book on a bookshelf somewhere, read my words, and met my characters. Amazing." - Angie Frazier, author of The Eternal Sea.

  "About a year ago, several years after I was first published. I finally looked down at something I was writing and said "oh...yes...Yes! This is the way." After that, I started doing it right. Or closer to right. For me." - Stacey Jay, author of Juliet Immortal.

 "When I held an advanced copy of my first novel and smelled the pages. Long live paper books!" - Stephanie Perkins, author of Lola & the Boy Next Door.
"The day I finished writing my very first book (a highly autobiographical YA that will live forever under my bed). I had created a book, an entirely new thing in the world. I knew I was a writer then." - Amy Garvey, author of Cold Kiss.
"At my first booksigning when a line of people were waiting to buy my book.  MY book!  I was lucky I didn't burst into tears." - Gemma Halliday, author of Deadly Cool.

  "When I held my book for the first time I thought, 'Wow, I wrote a book. A BOOK!' Then when I got my first review from someone I didn’t know who purchased the book on her own. The fact they genuinely enjoyed my novel enough to share their thoughts with the world was so thrilling." - Brena Pandos, author of The Emerald Talisman.

"Not there yet (in my own mind).  But I will say that the first time I felt fully embraced as a writer was when Amy Riley, of the blog My Friend Amy, organized (quite without me knowing it) a huge blog launch party for Nothing But Ghosts.  I woke up and the bloggers had united in support of that book.  It’s a moment I will never forget." - Beth Kephart, author of You are My Only.

And the winner of the Author Insight giveaway is...

Leslie G.

Congratulations! I have emailed you with details and will send the books to you ASAP. Thanks to all the authors for donating and to everyone who entered.

Author Insight will be back in a few weeks with a new group of authors so stay tuned!
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