In Camelot--both the Broadway show and the movie--King Arthur is hiding in the forest, spying on Guinevere, his bride-to-be. He sings the song, "I Wonder What the King is Doing Tonight." The gist of it is that his subjects imagine him having a very different reaction to the forthcoming wedding than he is actually having.
I was thinking about this because, as of this posting, the publication of my first novel, The One That Got Away, is just a month away. (The publication date is June 30.) People keep asking me, "Are you excited about your book?"
I would never have thought that I'd say this, but--I'm not. (At least, not today.) In fact, I'm almost dreading it.
I've had short stories published in anthologies, but they were part of a collection; one story mixed in among many. The novel is all me, and I feel like I have a target painted on my back.
I worry about the people out there who delight in writing nasty reviews. I worry about the minefield of political correctness.
My Inner Therapist notes that I seem to be anticipating a negative experience.
Most of my short stories were erotica, and I announced their publication to various people on a need-to-know basis. But many more family and friends know about the book. This morning I found myself thinking about the sex scenes in the book and wondering what Thanksgiving will be like this year.
I received an email from an 80-year-old cousin that I think I met once, possibly at a family funeral. He has been doing some genealogical research, but at the end of the email he added that he was looking forward to the publication of my book. Freak out!
Perversely, the two people who are most eager to read my book--my mother and one of my friends--are the two people I would rather not read it at all.
And even though I have bought the books of hundreds of people that I've never met, it seems incredible to me that so much as one person that I don't know might buy my book. I just hope they'll like it.