It’s been a while, but I guess if I had time to blog constantly, that would be a bad sign, right? Things have been busy here. Always changing. Always progressing. But here I am, eager to tell you about my adventures. And, of course, share some photos.
We’re only a month away from the SEED relaunch, and I can hardly believe it’s nearly July. I just recently celebrated SEED’s first birthday, and it’s hard to believe that as well. To think that just a little over a year ago, SEED didn’t exist. None of you had read it yet, and Charlie hadn’t invaded any of your dreams. A little over a year ago, I was writing blog entries about how I was both excited and scared out of my mind to self-publish. Amazon Publishing wasn’t even a blip on my radar. And yet, here I am, thirteen months later… posting photographs from a New York City trip, one I took courtesy of Amazon as one of their authors. It’s still very surreal, and every now and again I wonder if I’ll wake up only to realize this was all a figment of my overactive (and sometimes cruel) imagination. Yet somehow, I keep waking up in the morning and it’s all still here. I don’t feel like I’ve ‘made it’ quite yet, no… I have a lot of work to do before I feel that way. But feeling that I’m on my way is indescribable. And what better place to embody that impossible feeling than the island of Manhattan? I can’t think of one.
I haven’t been to New York City in a decade, so I was excited to revisit the city that had somewhat escaped me on my first go-round. My first trip was full of distraction. This one was full of jittery nerves and astonishment. I was reintroduced to the city by way of rush-hour traffic, and I loved it. It nearly took an hour to get from JFK Airport to my midtown hotel room, and that hour was filled with the honking of anxious taxis and an ever-growing cityscape upon the horizon. Once there, my first official introduction to the industry was no less than a Manhattan rooftop publishing party with a to-die-for view of the city. I’ve never met so many people in such a short expanse of time in my life. It was a little overwhelming, but after the initial shock, I came to realize that these people were… fantastic. Genuinely fantastic. Every person I met was incredibly gracious and friendly. Every individual working for 47North and Thomas & Mercer, two of Amazon’s imprints, made me feel like an already established phenomenon. I felt like I was in a movie–beautiful people buzzing around me with drinks in hand, the city lights twinkling in the distance. Again, only one word can sum it up: surreal.
The next day, I arrived at the Book Expo only to be blown away by its size and scope. I got my first eyeful of a physical copy of SEED, which, let me tell you… seeing your book in print for the first time? Mind bending. After I got over the initial shock, I was faced with stacks and stacks of my novel on display. I quietly stood aside, watching BEA-goers flip the book over and read the synopsis. I watched as their eyebrows perked. Some shied away. Most took a copy with them. After a few hours of milling about, I was whisked away to the MET by an Amazon rep. We perused the exhibits while talking shop in an oddly casual way–like a couple of pals chatting about the next summer blockbuster rather than, you know, work.
That evening, the hubs joined me in the city. We wandered the streets before catching a cab to meet my agent and a handful of industry folk. Again, it was movie magic time. Picture a giant round table set to the nines, white table cloth and fancy plates. Five stars. An inevitable bill that would make me weak in the knees. And yet there I was, dining with an array of editors from one of the so-called Big Six. Yes, it happened. Yes, I was dumbstruck. Afterward, we were back on the rooftop with my agent, catching up with the people I had only met the night before but already felt like friends. Somehow, time escaped us. We got back to the hotel room at close to two AM.
The next morning, my first book signing. I wasn’t nervous until I got to the Javits Center. Once I stepped inside, I started sweating. The closer we got to the Amazon booth, the dizzier I got. Was this seriously happening? Was I going to sit there and sign copies of SEED? Would people actually want my signature? For gods sake, why? Would anyone even show up? …people showed up. Lots of people. My hour-long signing felt like five minutes. I started out nervous and ended up almost disappointed that my time was up. I could have done it all day. Maybe some day I’ll get that chance.
After BEA wrapped, hubs and I stayed an extra few days to take in the sites. We toured Manhattan. We went to Times Square and took the elevator to The Top Of The Rock for an incredible view of Midtown, complete with a birds eye view of Central Park. We took a horse-drawn carriage around the park and ate at a Moto, the most incredibly decorated restaurant I’d ever had the pleasure of experiencing. We saw the Statue of Liberty and explored Ellis Island. We crossed the Brooklyn Bridge on foot at dusk, watched the sun set behind the buildings of the city. We had a fantastic time, and all this on a business trip.
I continue to marvel at how incredibly lucky I am. But I also continue to remember where I started out–just a hopeful girl with a book nobody had read, anxious and worried that all my effort would be overlooked yet again. Amazon Publishing is made up of incredible people that I’m so fortunate to work with, but I would have never gotten here without my readers. Because without readers, what’s an author good for?