Happy One Year Anniversary: Being a Published Author

The green display at my favorite local bookstore, Annie Bloom's. And there's KILMOON! (Three shelves, right.)
The green display at my favorite local bookstore, Annie Bloom’s. And there’s KILMOON! (Three shelves up, right.)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Fifty two weeks ago today KILMOON came out to the world. It seems propitious that my Irish novel’s first publication birthday is today. Why not celebrate it?

This has been such a nutty year! Being a debut author is a special thing. We only have one first novel, one first novel launch day, one debut author year. It’s pretty momentous, especially when it’s a dream come true.

Yet, even dreams come with their down moments. It’s ying, it’s yang. It’s life. For example, I suffered what I call a postpartum publication depression, which isn’t all that uncommon come to find out. But since I’m prone to depression, I fell hard for awhile. I realize now that I had depleted myself physically and mentally. And I mean dee-plee-ted.

Lesson learned: Don’t push so hard in the months before publication. I’ve now got a pretty good handle on how to be organized before a launch and what publicity/marketing efforts make more sense than others.

Last year, my first post-panel book signing.
Last year, my first post-panel book signing.

Writing craft has its learning curve, but so does being an author. For me, author-dom is the business and public part of the job. Public speaking? Yeah, not my forte. At all.

Last year, I was lucky enough to launch during the week of Left Coast Crime, a major crime fiction conference for fans. I was spazzy with happiness and utterly terrified at the same time. That was a conference of firsts: my first talk in front of 200 people (granted, it was only for a minute to introduce Kilmoon, but still!), my first panel (topic: international settings), and my first signing.

A year later, I was a best first novel award nominee!
A year later, I was a best first novel award nominee!

Now, a year later, I’m fresh off the 2015 Left Coast Crime conference. And get this: I was a finalist for the Rosebud Award for best first novel! What a difference a year makes! This time around I wasn’t nearly as terrified by the public part of the job. In fact, I did a-okay. I was nervy, but I wasn’t about to pass out or hyperventilate.

It’s funny that the thing I love to do most is also the thing that has forced me to face my biggest fear. I’m proud of Kilmoon, but I’m more proud of facing my fear of speaking in front of people, whether the event be a book signing or a panel or a guest-of-honor talk.

How have you faced your fears?

(I’ll post more about the Left Coast Crime conference next week — with more pictures!)

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