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Monday, October 17, 2011

Fears of being a one-hit wonder...

I am announcing it publicly here first: the ink has just dried on the contracts for my second book! I'm thrilled to be working with Chronicle Books again, and equally thrilled that Tom Lichtenheld has signed on to be the illustrator. The working title is Steam Train, Dream Train.

I've just finished a completely exhausting, gut-wrenching round of edits. Somehow I'd forgotten how difficult this part is. Two weeks of total tangle. Now, I await the next round...

Like my first book, this one is inspired by the passions of my youngest son and by my perspective from the vantage point of motherhood --- of mothering two amazing boys. I'm in love with the concept, and I have high hopes. But, admittedly, I have far more fear for this book than for the first, because there is expectation and precedent. In just a couple short weeks, Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site was released and went to the NYT Best Seller list. And then spent six weeks there (albeit a bit on-and-off). How do I top that? Is this second book as good? I certainly hope so, but I'm so entangled that I can't be objective. What if the critics don't like it? What if it's not well-received? What if sales aren't good? What if...?!

Then, that's it. I'd be done. Over. A has-been. My bright literary career dashed, making me the writing equivalent of Edison Lighthouse (look it up). And my hopes of giving up my day job: dashed. Back to the grind, hopelessly designing ads and brochures forever, into the abyss of my future...

And, speaking of the New York Times: I admit it: I'm obsessed. Some kind of hidden alarm goes off in my head every Friday afternoon, and I check the list online impulsively. I'm stalking it like a jilted girlfriend. Five weeks at number ten. One week at number nine. Why won't he (using the jilted girlfriend analogy) just make a commitment?! Let me move up! Let me stay there a while! And, seriously, you put HER ahead of me? WhatEVER. (Yes, apparently, I've developed quite the ego.) And, the bigger question is whether he will ever let me back on the list --- either with this book or the next. God, I love that list. I'm pining...

So, this is the brand new world in which I find myself. I'm unbelievably blessed to be here. But, somehow, I already have SO MUCH baggage...

Yeah. That sounds like me.


1 comment:

  1. I just bought Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site for my little nephew and wish, oh I wish, that I had Steam Train, Dream Train, too. Fortunately, I have another little nephew on the way. I'm sure your second book will be as successful as your first!

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