The book is out. My faithful and wonderful family and friends are buying and reading. I had some concerns about this stage of the game. We writers are an odd lot - and I use the plural because I refuse to believe that I am alone in my neuroses. We obsess over getting the book finished, then over whether it's been tweaked enough to be sent out. Will anyone like it? Will anyone buy it? Lo and behold, an agent or editor picks up the book. A contract is signed. Much rejoicing ensues. Lots of magic (aka: hard work) happens betwixt contract signing and release day, some of it even performed by the author. As release day approaches, the same questions hound the writer, again. Will anyone buy it? Will anyone like it? The book comes out. People buy it. Lots of them, people you know. It's touching that your friends and relations want to participate in this massive event in your writing life.
This is where interesting stuff starts happening. A sister says, "It's really, really good! I was surprised!" A couple of friends confess they've never really liked science fiction, but they'll give it a try - so far they say they've been pleasantly surprised. The ones that have been hardest? The friends who don't care for romance novels. At all. They, as a group, have approached Enemy Within with the most trepidation. I've tried to assure everyone I know who's been kind enough to buy the book that it's perfectly okay to say, "wow, not for me."
Thus we come to my culinary tie-in for this week. Books are like walnuts in chocolate chip cookies. You either love 'em, are neutral on 'em or loathe 'em. There's no value judgement, unless you hate nuts in cookies, while your father loves nuts in cookies, so you lose and Mom makes the cookies with nuts. That *might* have been a value judgement. It's also possible that I took that sort of thing personally as a kid. Back to the book thing. My point, before traipsing through painful, walnut-infested memory, is that I've tried to assure my friends that I won't take it personally if they dislike my book - because Oprah books? SO not for me. I don't need help being cynical or depressive, thanks. I am humbled and grateful that anyone is willing to take a risk reading something they wouldn't normally. Like it? I'm thrilled. Discover it isn't for you? No problem! Thanks for giving me a few hours of your life!
Still. I'd like to note for the record: I'd rather be a chocolate chip than a walnut. Just saying.