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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Queen on the Slab

When I woke up (always a good thing!) and discovered there were no scribes serenading me at my window and I still had insufficient follicular coverage, it looked as though launch day would indeed be just another day. I tried to maintain my equanimity as I proceeded to do all the things I usually do: take my dog out for her walk, eat breakfast, shower, dress, get to work.

But I found as I sat on the bus heading for downtown that I was . . . well, excited. I mean, it took years of hard work to reach this moment and I wanted to "feel" it as much as possible. Even if it felt like another day, it wasn't, and I wanted to make it special. When I opened my e-mail, I found a happy launch day e-mail from my lovely publicist Lisa at Ballantine, which was very cheering.

After lunch, my partner Erik and I went to peruse a few local bookstores and there it was! It's truly an amazing feeling to walk into a bookstore (we actually went to three) and find your book there. The store personnel were all quite friendly when I approached them and let me autograph the copies. Then my brother called from Boston, where he was staying for a few days, and told me he called the local Borders to reserve a copy of the book. When the staff person said he had one copy and asked under what name my brother wanted it reserved, my brother said, "Gortner; my brother wrote it." The staff person then told him they'd had 10 or 12 copies in stock and had sold all but one out by that morning. "We need to order more," he added. "It's popular."
Suddenly, it felt like a very good day, indeed. It might just have been that one store; it might be a fluke, and hey, it's just 10 or 12 copies - but it's what every writer wants to hear on launch day. That wierd anxiety I'd been carrying with me dissipated. I realized that like everything else in life that is fleeting, I needed to savor this moment. For no matter how well or badly I do as a writer, one thing is for certain:

A day like this never comes again. Like your first love, you only get one first launch day.

18 comments:

Marg said...

I am glad that you are taking time to savour these moments and hopefully remembering this day will help you in the future!

Amanda said...

Congratulations on a great Launch Day! I'm glad things have started out with such a positive vibe, and hope that things continue on such a high. It is a novel well deserving of praise, and I hope that lots of people out discover Juana's story.

Lezlie said...

Congratulations! The book deserves attention. I think it would be very exciting!

Lezlie

Justin Aucoin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin Aucoin said...

Glad my fellow Bostonians know a good book when they see one.

And congrats. Sounds like a promising start. May the selling out trend continue! :-)

Amanda said...

Congratulations! I am excited to pick up a copy of your book and read it. I've heard some great things about it.

Susan Higginbotham said...

Congratulations!

C.W. Gortner said...

You're all the best! Thank you!! I promise to bring in some new author interviews soon, too - if not, this will start looking like a Me-Me Zone :)

Dani said...

Congratulations of your book I can not wait to add it to my collection!

Carla said...

Congratulations!

C.W. Gortner said...

Thanks Dani and Carla!

Martha Alderson said...

Yippee!!! Sold out in Boston. What's better than that??? Sold out all over. Yes!!! I'm so happy for you, CW. Happy indeed.

Bearded Lady said...

Congratulations CW, I wanted to let you know that your book was featured prominently in B&N outside of Boston. Not a small accomplishment considering how few books get featured.

Tam said...

Best of luck in the next few weeks.

Sell well

C.W. Gortner said...

Thanks, Martha and Bearded Lady and Tam! It's great to hear particularly about where the book is displayed; here in SF, it's pretty much been on the shelves until I autograph copies, which then puts it out on a front table for a bit. Guess Boston likes Juana - which is terrific.

mach1231 said...

It kinda seems to me, just surfing on in, that this seems so perfectly fitting to the design of the Internet with all its chaotic sporadic connections..
..its like : this is what the Internet was made for.

I guess thats my way of saying I look forward to getting my hands on a copy

Cheers and best regards...hope you
have continually smashing success...

mach1231 said...

But in this moment right now, I dont know which is better! Reading the blog about the book and the authors experience or the book he actually did write!:) -lol

C.W. Gortner said...

Hi Mach, Maybe both?! :)

And you're right; given the low turnout at author events these days and the ongoing difficulties debut authors face, thank the saints for the Internet!