Here it is, the cover for my debut novel, The Big Rewind!
I am beyond thrilled about this. I had gone back and forth about it, choosing colors and such, with Chelsey (my editor) & Jim (my agent), who are the two most awesome people in the publishing world, but until now, the cover was still top-secret to my friends and followers.
Then yesterday I got a text from Matthew saying “I saw your cover and it’s AWESOME” and checked Goodreads to see that, yes, my final cover has been released. And it started to hit me that not only is this a book, but that people actually want to read it. ARCs are going out to reviewers and reviewers are excited about them. I can’t stop smiling, even though I have a crippling migraine that mere existence makes worse.
I am always so surprised when people are excited about my work. I came up in a very negative writing environment, with one teacher telling me I’d never be a writer and other mentors telling me to “stop bragging” when I published a story. I had a grad school mentor sabotage my thesis and the program director shrug it off when I complained that, hey, now I can’t graduate. In high school, despite being sent to several young writer’s conferences, including the exclusive statewide Silver Bay conference (where I met my pal April, who I adore) the school’s Creative Writing scholarship went to a student who’d never attended a single one.
(Generally I refer to my ex as a complete cad, but I will give him this — he fully supported me as a writer, giving me the summer I lived with him to write all day, rather than insist that I get some 3-month job before I went back to college. I never published the book I wrote (because it was garbage) but for that patronage, Aaron, I will always be appreciative)
So while I never stopped writing, I partially absorbed this idea that my work was worthless and that no one cared. I can take rejections — hell, I got three this week — but being told by mentors that other students didn’t like me because I published so much* is kind of a drag. Whenever the words won’t come, I panic that, oh bollocks, they were right and I really am just a fraud.
But the fact that people are marking The Big Rewind on their Goodreads “To-Read” list? That I’m having stories solicited by lit mags and anthologies? All this makes that garbage go away. It’s a reminder to focus on the positive people in my present and future, rather than all the negative in my past.
*Yes, someone at my grad program actually said this to me.