I’m referring to the closet where books are written. Admitting to friends and loved ones that I am a co-novelist, now published, has taken many years. My writing partner, who is much braver than I am, has always been out and loving it. So, a big thank you to Patty.
Of course, having two novels available on Kindle, with a third (Death in Door County) on the way, has made it easier. These days, when the subject of my writing does come up and I am asked the inevitable question by non-writing people (and I am always asked), I have a darn good response.
Before Kindle, it went something like this:
Non-Writing Person: “Oh, you are a writer?”
NWP: “Have you ever been published?”
Me: “The food here is very good . . . ” or “I think it might rain later . . . ” or “Do you think Daniel Craig is tall enough to play James Bond?”
Basically, I’d grab any response that would change the subject before the glazed-over look appeared in NWP’s eyes. And it always did. It used to be that the worst thing you could say to any writer was are you published? These days, almost anyone can be published. But it’s not easy. It takes hard work, editing and formatting knowledge, and definitely some technical skill. And I’m not even talking about the actual writing part. That’s why I leave all the publishing stuff to Patty. In fact, without her, I would still be so far back in the closet, I’d be eating dust bunnies for breakfast.
The reason for my continuing hesitation was all the attention and fuss I was sure would be heaped upon me. I’m just not comfortable with that. Nevertheless, when our second book was published, I decided I would tell people, but only if the subject came up.
So, the very next day at work, my boss just happened to mention how much her mother loved her Kindle and was always looking for new writers. I could feel Patty kick my Texas shins all the way from Wisconsin, urging me to take advantage of this opportunity. So, I did it. I announced to the office of six people that I would be going to lunch at noon, and oh, by the way, I have co-authored not one but two murder mysteries and they are available on Kindle.
I had been expecting champagne corks to start popping and the paparazzi to camp outside my office. But it wasn’t quite that way. In fact, apart from a few raised eyebrows and several looks of suspicion, the only comment was from the twenty-two-year-old girl who asked if she could pose for the next cover. Seriously, where was all the attention and fuss that I had been dreading? And shouldn’t I now be happy that no one was fussing?
Mike, my one true love (for the past thirteen years), has always been so encouraging and was excited when the first book went live on Kindle. So excited, in fact, that he’s read almost half of it. I should mention that although Mike is a voracious reader, the current book on his nightstand is a tome on the the Punic Wars. So, he’s not exactly our target audience.
But here’s the reward for coming out. Even though my writing wasn’t mentioned again at my place of work for several days, my boss came in one morning and announced that her sister had bought our second book, The Murder of Susan Reed, and she actually enjoyed it. Phew!!!!
Okay, so it’s not really the attention I fear, it’s the bad attention. The good stuff is worth leaving the closet for.