Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The first few days in the life of a brand-new New York Times bestseller

I originally posted this at the NovelThoughts blog at the request of the lovely and gracious Aztec Lady, but I had such great response to it, I had to share it again:

Wednesday, June 10th

6:30 a.m. Wake up, begin obsessively checking the bestseller lists. Is Bookscan out yet? Nope. USA Today? No chance.

7 a.m. Beg night-owl nine-year-old daughter to wake up for last day of school. Do the breakfast thing, remind her to brush her teeth, wear shoes (!) grab her backpack, and finally herd her into the car for drive to school.

8 a.m. Out to breakfast with dear friend– have champagne cocktails to celebrate release week (mine) and other good news (hers). Check Bookscan on iPhone and discover Atlantis Unleashed is 14th bestselling romance (all formats) in the nation! Cheers! Drink all champagne; too excited to eat much of lovely asparagus omelet.

9 a.m. Wander around bookstore in a happiness/champagne daze, admiring prominent store placement and comparing it to the placement of my last chick lit book, which was generally used to prop open bathroom doors in bookstores across the country.

10 a.m. Arrive home and receive frantic phone call from daughter who needs clean clothes since pajamas she wore for pajama day are now covered with fruit punch. Drive clothes to school. Wonder if other bestselling authors have nannies.

11 a.m. Talk to agent, who is thrilled with good news. Agent says: June competition really tough. Do not be disappointed if don’t make NYT list this time; you’ll make it eventually. I say, I won’t. He says, Can I write that down?

Afternoon: Blurry. Stuff happens. Obsessively check to see if USA Today list up yet. Child comes home. Clean clothes now also covered with fruit punch. More stuff happens. Made USA Today list again – all 3 books have done it! More happiness!

5:30 p.m. Talk to lovely editor, who is miserably sick but still in office. Tell lovely editor to go home, get rest, see doctor. Editor says: No, I’m waiting for NYT list – I think you might have made it. I say, I have no chance to make it. Summer beach read competition, etc. etc.

5:35 Other line rings. It’s agent. Heart rises into throat. Start stuttering. Editor yells at me to ANSWER PHONE. Click over to line with agent and say, Hello? Agent says, NUMBER 28!!!

5:37 Start laughing and make squee-ing sounds and fall out of chair. Say, Are you sure? Agent says, Yes. Start crying. Agent (who is a guy) hurriedly says, Talk to editor now!

5:38 Tell editor. Both of us are laughing and crying. Blurry. Said stuff. Thanked her for believing in me. She said words like, I told you so. More laughing and squeeing. Some shouting of happy words. Finally tell lovely (sick) editor to go home and take much Nyquil to celebrate.

5:40 Tell children. They shout out Yay and congratulations!! Then: She says, He touched me. He says, She stuck her tongue out at me. Wonder if other NYT bestselling authors have nannies. Or Swiss boarding schools.

5:50 Call agent back. He is very happy for me. Thank him for believing in me. Say, I am NYT bestselling author now. He says, I always knew you’d get there one day. More tears (me only, see above re: guy) and laughing.

6 p.m. Out to celebratory steak dinner. Too excited to eat much. Announce news on Twitter and email with iPhone. Congratulations start pouring in from lovely, lovely friends. Husband calls from Japan. Tell him, You are now my trophy husband. He cheers for me, tells me he always knew I’d make it. More tears. More laughing. Wonder if other NYT bestselling authors are so emotional. Wonder if other NYT bestselling authors are tempted to get letters N Y T in a tasteful tattoo. Start laughing at self and realize am still crying. Waiter is a little freaked out, wonders if I am having psychotic break. Leave big tip.

7 p.m. Out for celebratory ice cream. Wonder if all NYT bestselling authors weigh 5 lbs more than the other kind. Realize Dairy Queen is not really special enough, go wild and add chocolate dip to ice cream cone order.

8 p.m. till ?? Email and answer email congrats in a daze. Call family. Call friends who have been there through all the ups and downs of the past five years in publishing. Stare at pile of laundry. Decide NYT bestselling authors do not have to do laundry until tomorrow.

3 a.m. Finally fall asleep, still smiling so huge face hurts.

7:30 a.m. Son wakes me up. Dog threw up in family room; I need to clean it up. Realize NYT bestselling author’s life not much different from other kind.

Thursday: more congrats via email and phone and Twitter. Many bouquets of flowers arrive. Lovely editor gives day off so spend afternoon at pool. Home again and doorbell rings: lovely agent sent case of champagne! Case is 12 bottles. That evening: Do a very good job of making case only 11 bottles. Some singing and dancing ensues.

Friday: Wonder if other NYT bestselling authors wake up with hangovers. Decide was totally worth it. Still feel like luckiest, happiest person in world, albeit with headache and upset stomach. Post heartfelt THANK YOU to readers on website. Get back to work on current story, just had a great idea for putting my characters in more trouble. Realize that nothing has really changed: I still have the best job in the world.



Dee said...

Excellent! It sounds like an awesome time!!


FeyRhi said...

That sounds like the best 3 days I have ever read. *G*

I still think that NYT authors don't get hangovers as bad as us plebes. ;o)

Many congratulations!

RKCharron said...

Hi :)
This is a belated but heartfelt Congratulations on the NYT Bestseller list and release. I love the Atlantis series.
Love From Canada

Anonymous said...

Happened by this via your Romancing the Blog column. Your post here made me smile. Your joy is contagious. Congratulations!:-)

Anonymous said...

this made me laugh when I read it. Congratulations of making the NYT list! I love your books, and Alexios' story had so many funny parts. I am waiting anxiously for Feb 2010