Dear Vennie (A new author’s thankfulness)

I miss writing my regular posts.   The Advent Calendar is wonderful fun and I love getting to feature authors, activities, and books.  I love making people happy by giving away prizes.  But I miss getting to write my own posts.  Today, instead of the regularly scheduled Thursday Thankfulness I’d like to reflect on my first almost-week as a new author.  Really, that’s a great deal of my thankfulness this week anyway.

Two months ago, I wrote a post describing how books are like our babies.  That was well before publication time, and I had no idea how much the pre-publication, publication, and post-publication phases would intensify parental feelings toward my first-born.  It was all the more complicated because I had thought The Way Home (aka Kat 1) would be my first book and not The Vengeance of Mrs. ClausIn the rush of excitement and nerves, I wanted to preserve these feelings for posterity.  I will never publish my first book again.

If I were to write a letter to Vengeance of Mrs. Claus, or Vennie for short (at first I said “Mrs. Claus” but then it became confusing to distinguish my baby from Mrs. Claus the august personage whose wrath I dare not incur)…

Dear Vennie,

I’m sorry that I haven’t been a better mother to you.  You weren’t quite supposed to be my first-born, you see.  Kat and Natalie are angry that you have stolen the first-born spot when it rightfully should have been theirs.  I tried to appease them by saying you will pave the way.  You are braver, hardier, and better suited to testing the waters to see whether your more fragile sisters could follow.

But you are my first, your eyes reminded me as they darkened with hurt.  What should have been your day of glory instead became a guinea-pig experiment.  You were the canary in the coal mine, and you were thrust into the darkness to see whether future explorers could survive.

You wanted my whole heart on your day of glory, and instead you received only part of it.  I’m sorry that you will never be my only, but please try to understand.  You may have been published first, but Kat and Natalie came to me first.  I love you, too, but I’ve known them longer.  I will learn to love you in a different but equally special way.

When things got complicated right before you went out into the cold, cruel world, I wanted to cancel.  I was sure that people would see you, judge me, and never touch any of my books ever again.  At the time, I hated the days and nights I spent frantically, exhaustedly scouring your every nook and cranny for flaws.  Now, I look back and appreciate those extra three days to get to know you better, to tweak a little here and there, and to add little touches that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

Please, Vennie, appreciate how much love you have received.  I am amazed and grateful at how much our community has supported you (and me).  The past few weeks of guest blogs, spotlights, interviews, and promotions have felt like your baby shower, coming-home party, baptism, and first day of kindergarten all wrapped up into one glorious event.  You may not be Kat and Natalie, but I promise you…this excitement of doing everything for the first time will only happen once.  This is what it means to be supported by community.  This is what it means to be loved.

Did you know, Vennie, that you’ll be featured in the 12 Hunky Days of Christmas Reviews?  I know!  You, hunky?  You’re just a baby still!  But the book reviewer apparently was excited to read you.  I have to admit I’m a bit scared at what the reviewer will say, but aren’t all parents afraid that our babies won’t measure up?  When I saw your first report cards at Blushing, my heart dropped.  I was terrified that I would be called out as a fraud and that I’d be told to go back to a real job instead of pretending to write books.  I was afraid that you would be called too silly, too fluffy, too downright quirky to be taken seriously.

Maybe you aren’t a bestseller, and maybe other authors’ book-babies will outperform you in every way.  Maybe if I had made you a longer story, or if I’d done this or not done that, or if I had shoved in the sex scenes that people seem to want…but somehow, you made it anyway.  Thank you for being stronger than I thought.

Dear Vennie, I know that nothing will ever be quite as perfect as you might wish.  But please hold tightly to your chest the knowledge that you, my dear, are loved.

With all of my love and thankfulness,

Your mother

.

P.S.  Don’t even think about dating until you go to college.  And you will be going to college, young lady!

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39 thoughts on “Dear Vennie (A new author’s thankfulness)

  1. Joelle Casteel says:

    Awwww, how sweet. That reminded me of some of my thoughts about “Out of the Night: Book One” that I shared yesterday on fb. Self-publishing can have its benefits- when I brought “Night” out back in 2008, it was only as an ebook and when I got the author’s copy of the print book, I found it still needed work. So I’ve been engaged in that re-working. Now as I get ready to bring it back out, I find it a totally different experience because I’m now part of this community of writers- non-erotic, spanking, and BDSM writers all included, getting to watch authors excitement as their baby, first, second, or more get its release day. So in a way, I’m almost getting that “first published book” experience a second time, and this time it’s so much better 😀
    But hehe, you talking to “Vengeance”… makes me think of all the conversations I’ve had with my characters in text files 😀

    Like

  2. JuliaD says:

    Keep on blogging, Ana, do what you love, and we will love you for it.
    And don’t do the maybe this, maybe that, song and dance. It’s done, and it’s well done. Enjoy your success!

    Hugs, Julia

    Like

  3. Cat says:

    Very cute post Ana. Congratulations to you and Vennie for her feature in the ’12 Hunky Days of Christmas Reviews’! That is awesome. Vennie and Nat n Kat will learn to place nice together and maybe they will even join one another in a novella playground. 😉

    I lurk more than I comment but I always love to come read what you have written. This is your blog so post whatever you want – you are the “Queen of governingana”. 😀

    Blessings,
    Cat

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Aw, thank you. 🙂

      It cracks me up that *my* book will be in a hunky line-up. I hope that people don’t get to my book and think, “wtf?” 😛

      lol about the playground! I love being the queen of the playground, too.

      Like

  4. Minelle says:

    You know, when I paint or draw, sometimes the accidents turn out special and worthy. Yet The creations we work hard to birth always have a special place in our heart because we suffer through the process so much!
    It is all good Ana, just different!

    Like

  5. Bas says:

    Ana, sometimes I think you are a bit harsh on your baby.
    She is most certainly a bestseller. Doesn’t matter how many copies will be sold.
    And Vennie is a hunk! So she belongs on the Hunky list. A bit more trust in her, please.
    I do feel a bit like her god father, so you’d better beware and be nice to her.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Ah, but parents are never satisfied. It’s godparents who spoil and beam with pride. Remember that you promised to be the one person who loved Vennie just a little bit more than all the other book-babies? 🙂

      Like

  6. Kelsey Summer says:

    A very heartfelt post. It reminds me of a song in the musical Children of Eden. The song states that “The Hardest Part of Love, and the rarest part of love, and the truest part of love is the letting go.” You let your baby, Vennie, go out into the big, bad world and now it’s time to let go. Congratulations on being a published author.

    Like

  7. Sassy Chassy says:

    I think there is roomin your heart for all of your babies!! Vennie definitely has a place! You and baby Vennie have brought so much Christmas cheer to me and countless others. And at a time when I really needed it! Now bask! No more post book release blues! Bask in this and then get to work! I know I for one am going to be waiting on the edge of my seat for that Kat & Natalie book (and anything else you write!) Now, you’ve broken the ice, spread some much needed Christmas cheer, and now you know for sure that you have an audience who not only will love what YOU write about, but is expecting many more books in the future, and promise to love every f/f minute of it! Whew! Now that was a run on sentence!

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Aww…a very lovely and sweet run-on sentence. 🙂 I’m so, so happy that this brought Christmas cheer to you. ❤ Really, there is nothing that I can say in response to your kind words. Thank you.

      Like

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