When I was in first grade and got picked as Central Elementary School’s “Writer of the Week,” I was pretty sure that, with a little hard work, I would be published before I graduated to middle school. I’m sure I’m not the only one with something like this in his or her past. I’ve wanted to write a book ever since I was little. For a while, in high school and college, I wrote plays instead, and for a while after college I thought I wanted to write movies. Then I did what I’d planned to do in first grade, and I wrote a book.
Today, more than two weeks before I’d prepared myself for it, Nathan and I found it in a bookstore, like…like it belonged there, with the rest of the Real Books.
Here it is, courtesy of Nathan:
Now, The Boneshaker was supposed to come out–let me check my countdown widget–eighteen days from now. So I didn’t have time to figure out what I would say to the very nice woman behind the counter at Word, the first bookstore I found it in. Because…I don’t know why…I wanted to say something. I desperately wanted to say to her, that’s my book and I can’t believe you have it here, faced out and pretty on a shelf for me to find. I wanted to say thank you, I guess, only I was about to cry and not really thinking that clearly about the whole thing so I thought, I can’t say that, that’ll sound dumb…I’ll just ask when it came in. So I went to the desk and started to ask my fake question and I got as far as, “Um, you have…there’s a book…The Boneshaker over there and”–here’s where I started wrinkling up my face and gulping air and the bookseller started to look panicked–”and I wrote it and”–tears started about here–”and it was going to be out way later and when did it…when did…”
But she brightened up as soon as I got out the I wrote it part and said, “That’s your book? That’s so great! Congratulations! Would you sign the copies for us?” Like I hadn’t just about had a meltdown in front of her. Bless her. I wanted to hug her.
So here’s me, signing two copies of The Boneshaker for the first time, at Word in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I don’t have words for what this felt like. And now I have to stop, or I’ll start crying again.