My sixth novel, The Demonologist, was officially published just three days ago. You’d think the experience couldn’t be any more fresh than it is now, and in many ways, it is unquestionably exciting and surprising and new. But in other ways, this first week of publication has been prepared for and anticipated – pre-lived – to the extent that this, its appearance on tables and shelves and screens, is only step #126 on the book’s journey.
Way back in the mists of time there was conceiving the idea, researching it, outlining it. Writing it. Then the editing, the notes, the multiple reads. Followed by the pre-publication discussions about the cover, marketing plans, ad copy, the small ways I might assist in all of the above. And then the publicity: interviews (always that awkward revelation of how odd your recorded voice sounds, how strangely your face is shaped when seen on a TV).
Finally, the book is “published.” But, like a reincarnated soul, it’s a baby that’s been born many times before.
So here’s what’s different this time around: I’ve been around long enough, seen the process enough times, know how difficult that whole thing is, to fully appreciate how amazing it is to have so many people – publishers, journalists, booksellers, fans, coming-to-you-fresh readers – get behind this thing we call a “book.” A collection of people who’ve never really existed doing things that have never really happened. A story.
Maybe I’m getting softer as I tip-toe ever farther into my forties – forget the “maybe,” I am getting softer – but publishing a book is such an against-all-odds proposition that every time it happens, every time it works, I’m amazed and moved and reassured by the fact there’s so many people as defiantly crazy as I am out there.
Book people. You know who you are. And you have my thanks.