Things I Worry About As I Wait For My Book To Be Published
When I finished my book I experienced a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. I had actually done something, finished something! Then I found an agent: more feelings of accomplishment. He sold the book: tremendous feelings, etc.
The manuscript was shipped off to New York. Then long periods of waiting began, during which I began to doubt that I had actually sold the book. Before long I began to wonder whether I had actually written it.
From time to time the manuscript would arrive in the mail, back from my editor, demanding intense spasms of revision or proofreading. This kept me more or less in touch with reality.
Now, finally, it’s done. But there is still some time to go before the book actually comes out. A lot of time.
Now the real waiting begins. With nothing to distract me, I’ve been worrying about what might happen, or not happen, when the book finally appears. I worry a lot.
–that people will hate the book. They will line up outside my house, waiting to tell me how much.
— that the next Global Depression will begin on the day my book is published. No one will buy it. Instead, people will steal it, and use it for firewood.
— that the entire book, word for word, exactly as I wrote it, has already been written by a famous author. Somehow I have never read this book or heard of it, but no one will believe me. I will be accused of both plagiarism and impersonation, and jailed.
— as above, but substituting “roomful of monkeys” for “famous author.”
–that the Italian American Anti Defamation League, the Irish American Mafia, and the Croatian American Protection Society will be deeply offended by the characters in the book, and will form a coalition to have me assassinated.
–that the book will go out of print in six months in the United States, but be published in a pirate edition in Burkina Faso, where it has an enormous success. I earn no royalties, but am famous in Ouagadogou.
–that, hungry for fame, I go to Burkina Faso on my own nickel. But when I get there no one has ever heard of me. No one knows what I’m talking about. It turns out to be a misunderstanding, a translation problem: the book everyone is reading in Burkina Faso is about a man who has invented a simple, easily constructed small shelter useful for storing tools: Vinnie’s Shed.
–that due to printer’s error, the book is marked to be shelved as a “memoir.” It has an enormous initial success, but when people find out it is actually fiction, they are very angry. Oprah slaps me and spits on me on national television.
–that my mother will make the mistake of showing it to the Baptist Seniors Reading Club in her assisted living center in Texas, causing a riot that lasts three days and destroys several buildings.
–that no one will buy it. Not one person.
VINNIE’S HEAD St. Martin’s Minotaur March 2007
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