Saturday, 26 September 2009

Headin' over to Texas, y'all

This time tomorrow I'll be in Houston (actually I'll be in a plane over the US somewhere, but you get my drift) for the start of my US two (!!) tour.
Sooner or later, I'm going to wake up and discover my writing career was all a bit of a dream. The tour was as unexpected as the rest of it (the agent, the book deal, the parties, the dinners, the parties, the signings, the dinners) and it kind of makes you wonder 'how come Neil Gaiman's not fatter?" since he must have invites coming out of his nostrils.
Well, it is about the writing and, truth be told, the novelty hasn't worn off. In fact, Dark Goddess was more fun than Devil's Kiss. I went to Harriet's launch party on Thursday (did I mention the parties?) and met a good friend who's going through the doldrums, a tiny bit. Her book's not moving, she's spent ages on it, it's her third attempt and no joy.
QUIT. That's what she's thinking. QUIT! QUIT! QUIT!
Oh God, please don't! Any of you!
Everyone goes through it. You will want to give up (hell, there are times I've wanted to give up and the last was only a few weeks ago). Someone's sold for six figure sum, someone's got a three book deal with Bloomsburg (yes, Jon, not jealous at all!), they're out in hardback or tours or awards or whatever.
This isn't about writing, it's about doing something that means a lot to you, whatever it is. Society doesn't ask it of you, your friends, family, work mates don't understand why you waste all that time and effort, for what? You're not getting any younger, y'know.
Success means something, but so does failure. It means more.
At some point I will tell you about my fiorst media presentation, which wasn't that long ago. Inmitigated DISASTER. First I was following a well known media personality that had everyone clapping. Then I decided to go off-piste with my prepared speech (which was a bit crap anyway) only to discover that I was looking at a HUGE precipice. That I promptly went straight down.
Failure will happen. It's what makes us better. I'm quite looking forward to my next.

Though obviously I hope it doesn't happen in the next fortnight!


kathryn evans said...

Gawd bless ya guv...encouraging words :O) . Now behave yourself when you are stateside and don't fall off any horses.

Paula Harrison said...

Thanks Sarwat I really needed to read that. Keep the faith!

Dadawa said...

Being a old worlder who is now living in the new world... just down the road from your signing last night I have to say it was a pleasure to hear you talk at Murder by the Book.

I did manage to get one or two questions in before I had to run back to my one year old (the one running around the bookshop squealing), but wish I had managed to stay longer.

Good luck on the rest of your trip. Having not really heard much about your book, I am now very curious to see 21st century Templars in my old haunting ground of London!

Jon M said...

You are so right. It's important to keep on going. It's a cert that if you give up, you won't get published.

And don't be jealous, I think Bloomsbury have cottoned onto me and realised the deal was for another Jon Mayhew...

Tam said...

And even when you do get published, the doubt never goes away. You're always wondering why you do it when you can't string a sentence together...

I haven't had any party invites yet. When do they start flooding in?

SarwatC said...

Morning gang,
Half-way through the book tour, which I'll report on in more detail when I'm in NY in a few days. Houston, Kansas, Chicago so far, Memphis and New York to go.
Wow, don't know where to start, but it's an amazing experience. Met lots of people and getting a blitz-eyed view on the US.
Highlights are many but one of the school visits had Kanye West interrupt a battle between the forces of good and evil with his opinion on who was the baddest. I suppose you had to be there.
Anyway, Tam, wait until your book is out, then the invites will come flooding, I'm sure!
Dadawa, Glad you could make it at Murder by the Book, I think it must have been a huge step to settle in the New World, I know it all seems pretty overwhelming to me!