Saturday, February 27, 2010

Great Expectations

For years I fantasized about being published, what it would be like, who I would meet. What publishers and anyone in that world would be like. In my mind it was always very posh and slick. Hey, I grew up on a ranch and lived in jeans ( still do) anything past Vancouver is the OTHER WORLD.

The first time I went to NYC was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I even Facebooked when I saw my first New York yellow cab!! I sat outside the Flatiron building for a few minutes before I met my editor at St. Martin's, and just shook my head. Here I was, little ole me, in New York, going to go meet my publisher. Crazy.

Of course I was nervous as all get out and spent the weeks leading up to the trip driving myself and my husband nuts agonizing over clothing choices and anything and everything else. But then I was there. And it was amazing. Everyone at St. Martin's was so real and friendly. Not sure what I was expecting--white marble floors, white leather couches, fancy coffee type drinks I'd never heard of? Maybe. Anyway, I was ecstatic to realize not only was I happy to be published, I loved my publishers and everything about St. Martin's. How lucky is that?

I had a similar experience the first time I met my agent ( who is amazing. I send him long emails and I get " Yes" back. Love him.). He was on holidays with his wife in Washington and they took the ferry up to Victoria to meet me. My mind was busy for weeks trying to imagine what he'd be like. I had a mental picture of fancy New York agent. Sort of an Entourage Ari, kind of thing. So I was nervous. (Insert hours of obsessing here.) But then I met Mel and his wife and they were wonderful and real and well, normal!

Then I was asked to speak at the BC Book Fair. My first speech. Gasp! I rehearsed for weeks and gave the speech so many times to my husband he was repeating it in his sleep. More debating clothing options etc. etc. Then I was there and I met the sales reps for Fenn, the Canadian distributor for St. Martin's, the lovely Judy Parker and the super cool Peri Maric. They put me at ease right away ( although, Peri wouldn't let me take the cardboard version my book cover you see in the photo above, which I coveted furiously, something about needing it somewhere :) and I couldn't have asked for a better support system. Even if we weren't working together I would want to be friends with these people.

They took me under their wing, introduced me to lots of fabulous BC booksellers ( book people are so nice, really), and just generally gave me a crash course in the Canadian publishing world. I learned so much, and had an absolute blast doing it. I even got to sign some books--another first! I was so bloody new at it that I didn't know there is a certain page authors are supposed to sign. There is a man out there with one of my ARCs signed on the wrong page. Sorry!
The moments of the speech are still a blur in my mind, but I survived, it was over and I'd DONE IT!!! Then that night I got to go to my first ball at the Union Club, which was all very elegant with wood beams and dim lighting. But I think my favourite moment at dinner was when I was talking to this lovely young editor sitting next to me, who exclaimed that she couldn't believe she was at the Union Club having dinner with publishing people and sitting next to an author! It took me a moment to realize she meant me! I cracked right up, because I knew exactly how she was feeling.

Thanks again, Peri and Judy! You guys are the best.


  1. Book people are good aren't they? I am sooo excited for your release.

  2. I just read this - I'll send you the cardboard cutout ASAP! (That being said, Moses would be disappointed how brazenly you ignore the 10th commandment...ha!)

    Such nice words about your experience - I'm glad Judy and I made your first book fair a bit more enjoyable.

    Hope all is well on the island - I am sure we will be in touch when your tour starts.

    Warm regards,

  3. lol...hi Peri!Thanks so much but the lovely folk at Fenn beat you to it! I haven't had a chance to blog about it yet ( will do today!), but they sent me a cardboard cut out! How cool is that ?!

    Talk soon!