Being an Author is Weird

This weekend I was at my niece’s graduation party. It was a joyous day where we could celebrate the lovely young woman she’s become and the parents who raised her. My niece is amazing. Smart, funny, and a huge heart. I can’t wait to meet the adult she grows into.

This also means I was home in Iowa for the weekend, which is a different experience now that I’m An Author with a Published Novel.

Me talking about HER DYING DAY at Malice Domestic’s New Author Breakfast

It’s weird to be an author. I have all these voices and people and scenarios running around in my head, pretty much all the time. Not unlike that absurdist play Six Characters in Search of an Author written by Luigi Pirandello in 1921, where six characters need their story to be told and are trying to find an author to tell it. (A very, very simplistic synopsis. There’s a lot more to it.) My high school Advanced Composition teacher made me read it instead of Our Town because I was one of her theater kids and she thought I needed a challenge.

I also don’t look at the world around me with a casual and blissful ignorance. Anything can spur an idea. And the idea can be a moment in a chapter or the foundation of the entire novel. You never know.

A road I’ve traveled many times in Iowa, but I use this picture taken by my cousin Shelley as inspiration.

But the weirdest part of being an author is when people come up to you and say the words, “I’ve read your book.”

Usually my first reaction is “sssshhhhhhhiiiiiiiiittttttt.” Most of the time, if I’m lucky, that’s an internal reaction. If I’m not so lucky, I say it in my out loud voice.

Publishing a book is one of those most vulnerable things a human can do. This is the deepest part of your imagination on display for everyone to see and judge. It’s hard to have something you’ve worked on for a year or two released upon the world and ask them to love it as much as you do. Much like a parent watching their child graduate from high school.

Here are some book graduates I’d like to introduce you to.

How To Kill Men and Get Away With It, by Katy Brent

A fantastic mystery novel that’s also a commentary on #MeToo. Kitty Collins is a professional social media influencer and a women in our modern society where women are treated as second-class citizens. Kitty is ready to stab the patriarchy. Literally.  The first murder was an accident. A man slipped and fell on a broken bottle after angrily pursuing her out of a club because he bought her a drink and she didn’t immediately sleep with him. The second one was self-defense. The rest? Those were justice.

A Likeable Woman, by May Cobb

A Likeable Woman is a mystery told by a daughter and her missing mother. The narratives weave together, doling out clues about what happened the night Kira’s mother Sadie died, and why her entire family believes it was suicide. Throw in a class reunion in the hot summer of East Texas, a domineering grandmother who’s living in the wealth and grandeur of the past, and the flame of a crush that was never quite extinguished, and you have an unbeatable summer read.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: