Deep breath. Annnnd… Exhale.
Huh? No, no, that was for me, though you’re more than welcome to as well. In through the nose, out through the mouth, etc etc.
So, where are we? Well, here’s where I think I am:
The book is out. It made it. It’s out there, in the world. You can buy it, with real money, and the store offering the book will actually give you a copy in return. It’s amazing. The wonders of civilization.
Part of me feels like there’s a detailed reflection that needs to happen vis-a-vis me and this blog at some point, but I’m not sure now is the time. I feel like everything has been a whirlwind that I’m still coming to terms with. It’s like little fragments that stick out it my mind. However, I guess some of this depends on your definition of “detailed reflection”.
A little over 3 weeks ago, my wife and I found the first copy out in the wild at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, DE. I signed the two copies they had in pink marker. So, if anyone out there has a signed copy of THE FERRYMAN INSTITUTE in pink marker, congratulations — you own one of the two original signed copies of the book.
A couple days later, the book came out for real. The response from personal friends and family was unbelievable. My one sincere hope for the book is that it makes them proud. That’s it.
As if getting a B&N Book of the Month nod wasn’t enough, Amazon announced THE FERRYMAN INSTITUTE as one of their top SF/F picks of the month.
I had my first, honest-to-God book-signing at New York Comic Con, of all places. New York fucking Comic Con. People actually came. Sure, the book was free (never underestimate the power of “free”), but strangers still showed up, which was great. I don’t remember what I wrote, or if I was charming or fun as people walked up. I tried to be. I have very little practice at this sort of thing. I’m generally behind a computer screen, whether it be writing words or computer code. There’s probably a very good reason for that.
Two days later, people actually came — of their own free will, mind you — to listen to me and four other authors (who were all fantastic) talk about our books on a panel. At New York fucking Comic Con. Now, I don’t know what the others expected, but I was thinking maybe 50 people would show up. As if to make this dream that much more surreal, we capped our panel. Somehow, we were talking to a completely full room.
Also somehow, I didn’t 1.) faint 2.) vomit on the speaker next to me 3.) do both at the same time. How’d I do? I don’t know. I don’t remember anything I said. Except I said “whiskey” at some point. That’s it. That’s all I’ve got.
On Monday, I did my first Reddit AMA. As a regular Redditor, that’s always been a fun daydream of mine. It was every bit as fun as I expected. I received some wonderful questions, and I hope my answers were even close to their caliber. I don’t remember anything I said.
Today, I just finished taping my first (and probably last) radio interview. It was the best radio interview I’ve ever given. It was the worst radio interview I’ve ever given. It’s the only radio interview I’ve ever given. Remember: stuck behind a computer screen all day. Good reason for that. In hindsight, there are things I wished I’d touched on or framed better, but I’m trying not to be too hard on myself. Or, that’s how I feel, anyway. Unfortunately, I don’t remem—
Where does that leave me? I don’t know. I’m not sure any of this is real. I mean, what the actual fuck is this? Can someone call up the spirit of Freddie Mercury and ask him if this is real life or just fantasy? It all feels surreal, and there’s a part of me that is desperately trying to soak it in, to focus on the positives (not always a strong suit of mine) and try, try, try to hold onto some of this because it’s all so wonderful and I’m afraid I’ll never be here again. I try very hard to be a humble person, so talking about me me me is annoying and frustrating in some ways. I feel very braggadocios of late (thank you, Donald Trump) and I don’t like it. Part of me hates it. But fuck me, I have a friggin’ Speaker’s badge from New York Comic Con and I don’t know what to do about it. I’d never even been to NYCC until earlier this month (verdict: I was definitely missing out).
I’m really not a fan of how talking about the book makes me feel — it feels selfish sometimes. But on the other had, I want this book to succeed on some level so I can try to do this all again. I want to meet more of you, to thank you, to write your name on the cover page with a dorky message. I want to share the things that are kicking around in my head — I want you to enjoy them, to smile at them, to think about them, to make you sad or angry or happy. I want you to feel things through them. I want to be part of sharing that infinite joy you can only find in the pages of a book that you adore, that gets you, that sticks in you.
I don’t know what that makes me. Human, if nothing else, I guess (that’s probably a relief to my family, who for a while was concerned I was a vampire).
And that’s, like all humans, eventually you have to breathe. So…
Thanks for being a part of the journey, world. Let’s do this again some time.