So last night, as I was lying in bed re-reading "Deerskin" (one of my comfort books, weird as that may be) and the phone rang.

It was my agent. Apparently we’re now in negotiations for Dragonbreath 4 & 5.

The first book is STILL not out yet. Buying the third book without numbers on the first was good, buying the fourth and fifth…well…starting to become absurd, really.

I’m saying this not to brag, just–publishing is so bizarre! This is not what I expected! Particularly not when the marketing department is suddenly behind this book–Nurk got minimal marketing, and I had sort of internalized that as the norm (and in fact, it IS the norm) so having a marketing department that’s taken to calling me up before book signings to check and make sure I’m ready and do I need to talk to somebody for help composing a speech? and can they book this panel for me ("Well, sure, if I can afford to get down there…" There was a silence on the other end of the line, and then she said, rather gently, "No, we pay for that." "OH!") and stuff is–I mean, it’s awesome, don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic, but it’s just so–what? Wait, what? (The first time someone from the publicity department called me, right before I went to the thing at Quail Ridge last month, I felt like I was getting called into the principal’s office, and they were going to yell at me about something. Actually, I still feel like that. There is a deep-seated feeling that whatever professional authors do, I am doing it WRONG.)

"What you have to understand," Deb said, when I had called her in bafflement and delight, "is the "we pick you" factor. The publishing industry chooses somebody that they have decided is the next big thing. Sometimes it’s because they’re genuinely talented, sometimes somebody’s just got a bug up their butt about a book, but…they pick you. And in this case, they’ve picked you."

"Guh," I said, staring off the back deck into the dark and listening to a whippoorwill sing a cheerful Lovecraftian tune. "What if it’s a flop?"

"Then it’s a flop. And you got a five book deal out of it. Poor baby."

Perspective is good.

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  • I write & illustrate books, garden, take photos, and blather about myriad things. I have very strong feelings about potatoes.

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