On the other side of “the call”
by Emmie Dark
I realized the other day that I’ve just reached the year’s anniversary of the date I got my “call”. It’s been an amazing twelve months and I thought it was timely to re-cap some of the key moments of my journey. So, with a whole one year’s experience as a published author, here’s my recap on the year so far.
Things I expected:
There are lots of exciting things that come with being a first-time published author. Holding your book in your hands for the very first time. Seeing your book on a shelf in a store. The first time a reader – someone you’ve never even met – writes to you to tell you they enjoyed reading your story.
So is finally getting the call and seeing your dreams come true as exciting as you always thought? You better believe it.
Things I didn’t expect:
All the things I just mentioned become even more precious because of the blood, sweat and tears you put into your book AFTER the call. That’s right – unfortunately the hard work of polishing your manuscript until it glows in order to get it noticed is only the very first step in getting it out to readers. You’re going to have to polish that book until your fingers cramp and you’re so sick of every single word you never want to see it again.
Of course, I knew there would be work to be done – no book is perfect. But I don’t think I’d ever properly thought about what life would be like as a proper author, when writing was a job and not just a passion.
And that leads me to my third and final point:
Things I wish I’d known:
Unless you’re incredibly fortunate, odds are you won’t be able to quit your day job when you get your call. But you know what? Being a published author is pretty much a full-time job. So prepare to work two jobs for a while.
Sleep is overrated, isn’t it?
One other thing I should mention, and I guess it goes under the heading of “Things I didn’t expect”, is the pleasure of seeing your book under various different covers.
Cassie and Ronan’s story is out this month (July) in Australia and New Zealand as a “Blush” imprint from Mills and Boon. It has a pretty pink/mauve cover with a lovely, happy-looking couple who I’m quite happy to consider to be Cassie and Ronan.
I imagine the thrill must wear off for some of those authors with dozens and dozens of books in translation all around the world. But for me there’ a special thrill in seeing Cassie’s Grand Plan with a different cover – perhaps because it’s the Australian release, right here in my very own home town.