September 8 used to feel like a long time in the future.
But not so much anymore.
That’s the publication date of my new novel, Miss Dreamsville and the Lost Heiress of Collier County.
The book is squarely in the production phase. Right now I am reviewing what are called “first-pass pages.” This is the first time I’m seeing the book after it’s been typeset and formatted.
In other words, it looks like an actual book, not manuscript pages.
Each step is delightful. You might think by now I would be jaded, since this will be my ninth book and second novel. (My first seven books were nonfiction.)
But one thing that is different this time around is that I’ve already made the big leap from nonfiction to fiction, and miraculously survived. And, because the second book is a sequel, I’m not building my readership from scratch.
This gives me a little more confidence, but don’t get me wrong. Anxiety is part of the package when you write from your heart and then share it with the world.
At least, thankfully, the “pre-orders” are very good. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with publishing jargon: The print run, or number of books that is published, is determined in part today by the number of books pre-ordered on Amazon and elsewhere. When a book has a large number of pre-orders, it has what is called momentum, and the publisher is likely to increase the support of the book, such as adding cities to a book tour.)
The fact is that with the sequel, there is an advantage in that I know so many new people now. Through my travels as well as through social media, I feel supported and loved in my new role as novelist. I know my readers better than I ever have before.
I also have the support of a network of novelists. Until I wrote my first novel, I didn’t really know any novelists, and now I know bunches of them. While I still maintain my ties to nonfiction book publishing and journalism, my world has expanded. I’ve been taken under the wing of many fine novelists, starting with the women writers at Southern Belle View Daily.
Thus, unlike with the first novel, I’m not taking this on all by myself. This time, I’ll have many friends by my side for the journey, come what may.