Tuesday, May 6, 2008

book 2, first sighting

There is nothing quite so otherworldly as receiving the package from the publisher that has the first copy of your new book inside. In spite of having seen it in its many incarnations (from manuscript to copy edits to first pass page proofs to galleys), none of those are really the book yet. They make it almost real, but it's not until you're holding that final copy that you feel that sigh, the smile spreading across your face, that your hands keep touching the cover reverently, and you know, it's real. It's done, here, your new baby, about to go out into the world.

There is also a strangeness to holding your book for the first time, because so much of what we do is via the internet, that these final stages feel like a real countdown. The cover is a nicer green than what shows up on the online jpegs (and I noticed for the first cover for Bobbie Faye's Very (very, very, very) Bad Day, the jpeg shows up as very blue, but then when you see it in the bookstore, the actual book cover is way more of a pale green.) In fact, the book looks a lot better with that pale green, and I still haven't figured out why the jpegs were so different than the final cover.

For this second book, the green you see online for Bobbie Faye's (kinda, sorta, not exactly) Family Jewels looks almost turquoisey green, but when it arrived today, it actually looks a lot hipper... it's more of a spring green, more olive to it, more of a current color (to me).

But those are just the first things you notice when you're holding you own book for the first time. Much like you run your hands over a baby's face, memorizing features, so you catch yourself doing with the book cover. Oh look, you think, they embossed all of the diamonds, too. Even the crawfish and the TNT plunger have nice embossing and depths and shadows. You turn the book over, reading the back copy and are thrilled. And you peek inside, flipping through the pages, looking to see how certain things finally came out once the final art was done, and you're very happy.

When I set that book down, I think about the year that was the making of that book; that needs to be an essay somewhere all by itself, because there were about a million changes in my life, most of them for the good, but all very very busy, and woven into that craziness was the writing of this book. At times, it seemed impossible that it was going to work out, but at the end, at the next to the last pass, I realized it had finally come together. This book make me work harder than I'd ever done as a writer, because I was reaching for more, bringing Bobbie Faye more into her own, more into having to deal with consequences and facing choices, more into having to start facing some of those things she'd really rather have been happily in denial about.

It was a tough year, physically, but extremely gratifying, with family and friends and now... a book to show for it. I think I will always look at that book as my most difficult challenge to date, but the one I'm proud of.

I can't wait to see them in the stores at the end of this month.


Blogger Kitty said...

Wow, seeing the graphic online it looked the same color as the first Bobbie Faye book. Side by side I see the new one is greener.

I just love the graphic and can't wait to see it in the bookstores.

But mostly, I can't wait to see what Bobbie Faye is up to.

May 7, 2008 at 1:56 AM  
Blogger becky h said...

Congratulations, Toni! What a thrill it must be to have your second book ready for your family, friends and fans. I look forward to reading it too.

About that journal or essay about a year in a writer's life...that might be very educational for a new or even an experienced writer to read. Then we might not feel like a bump on a pickle just sitting around with writer's block or constant interruptions!

May 7, 2008 at 12:15 PM  

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