We've all heard that little homily before in regards to something or another: "waiting is the hardest part." When it comes to publishing, it's a fact of life. Still, once you accept it, you can deal with it. There's a wait between finishing a first draft and starting revisions, and another one once you send the manuscript out for editing, and once more when you submit it somewhere. For all of those, you simply work on something else and the wait doesn't seem so bad.
When you're in the final countdown to publication, though, that wait is suddenly MUCH more intense.
As I write this, the release date for THE JOURNAL OF JEREMY TODD is just over three weeks away. We're in the final stages, in other words. That means ramping up the promotional aspect of the release, putting finishing touches on the text so it's as clean as it can be, and the part that's been exceptionally thrilling for me: dealing with the artwork.
This one's a little different from what I've done before, in that there's actually interior artwork as well as the cover art. I can't explain why, exactly, at least not yet, but there is. When the idea was first tossed out there a couple months ago during the planning stage of the cover art, no one was really sure it would pan out. Then I was talking with my editor, the always wonderful Erin Al-Mehairi, and we came up with the skeleton for that artwork, and it became a little more real.
And then, last weekend, I saw it for the first time.
There's a moment when you're putting a book out where it all suddenly becomes real. Maybe it's when you see the listing on Amazon, maybe it's when you send in those final edits, maybe it's the first time you see the cover. For me, it was seeing that PDF proof of the interior art. My first thought as I waited for my phone to download the file was, "holy shit, this is actually happening." Then I opened it and saw the art.
It's a good thing I was alone in my car at the time. Otherwise, someone would have thought I'd lost my mind.
I giggled. I barked out a laugh. Then I giggled again. Each page I scrolled through was its own moment of surreal excitement. Vague images that had only existed in my imagination so far as hazy ideas suddenly exploded into full, living color. I skimmed it, pulled off the road, parked, and then looked at them again without worrying that I'd end up crashing if I didn't pay attention. When I got home and loaded it up on the computer, so I could see it in its full glory, the reaction was the same: uncontrollable giggling and smiles. At least my family already thinks I'm nuts, so I didn't have to worry about what they might think of it.
There's still a bit of waiting to go. We'll be revealing the cover very, very soon, and more details will follow between now and July 15th when the book is unleashed. Still, it's those little moments that make the wait worthwhile. Once you all get to see it, and I no longer have to remain somewhat vague, I hope you'll all agree that the wait was well worth it.