Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Before & After: Jo Treggiari

I was born in London, England but grew up in Canada, Roccasinibalda, Italy and California.

I used to work in the music industry and eventually owned my own indie record label. The first CD we ever put out was by a gangsta rap group. We also did alt rock and punk.

I have trained as a boxer. I could have been a contender. (Not really).

Learn when her writing career began and more at www.jotreggiari.com.

I've had quite a range of confusing emotions these last few weeks before publication date. I've veered between ecstatic anticipation to crushing anxiety that no one will notice when it finally comes out. I have to admit to what is probably an unhealthy amount of narci-googling as well, as various print and book blog reviews start showing up. And then of course, there is the manic checking of the Amazon rating and the Goodreads stars. I hope that being aware that I have a problem is half the battle. Right?!

Seriously I am trying to keep everything in perspective and turn most of my attention to the book I am currently trying to finish. As my husband so wisely says, "Ashes, Ashes has already left for college. Concentrate on the new baby."

The other overwhelming emotions have been immense gratitude, and a feeling that someone has smacked me on the head with a shovel. I think until I see the book on a shelf in a store, I won't quite believe it's all really true.

My feelings after publication? Euphoria, happiness, gratitude, an enveloping warmth and support from other writers. Yes, all those things, but there is also a gnawing anxiety.

So much work is involved writing a book, editing it and then producing it. There are expectations and hopes that build no matter how you might try to keep them grounded and then pub day arrives and the world does not stop spinning. Other books are released the same day, people are excited for a week or two and then it dies down again. You're left thinking that's it? But that is not it.

Pub day carries so much weight for an author. You feel validated, you feel cool, you feel special, but then it's over. I've realized it's not really about YOU. It's about the book which is now out in the world and existing separately.

In a way this manuscript, this idea I've nurtured for the last two or three years isn't even mine anymore. It belongs to anyone who reads it. I can do interviews and giveaways and promotions which I am so happy to do but basically it's all down to the book, and that's been a little hard to accept.

The best thing I've found is to go work on something else, or get out and promote directly to your readers, either through book blogs or appearances. Just connecting with other people who love books as much as I do, helps me out of my little bubble and reminds me that there's a lot going on, and that the book can look after itself.


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