The Waiting Room

NY_Central_Stationred

Writing a novel is such an involved process that most people aren’t aware of that endless gap from writing ‘The End’ until the day you have a bound, printed book in your hand. In an ideal world containing overinflated delusions of grandeur, so the demented writer’s mind thinks, we would get published to instant and raucous acclaim, skyrocketing sales and within two weeks Hollywood would be barking at our doorstep about options and rights.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have some news for you. It doesn’t work quite like that any longer if indeed it ever did.

Quantum Demonology was published for Amazon Kindle on December 6th 2013, and in hardcover through Amazon on December 17th (the official publication date) by the new indie publisher Nigel’s Flight. A Euro-friendly Customs-free version is also available on Amazon UK. Although the plans were underway over the summer of 2013 and the contract was signed in September, neither the publisher, the artist or the author shifted into high gear until mid-October for a variety of reasons none of us could control.

Having said that, three people – the author, the graphic designer/cover artist and the publisher – managed to completely rewrite, revise, polish, edit, proof-read, design, revise, typeset and proof an original manuscript of 212,000 words (give or take a few) down to 190, 210 and get it to press, bound and in a physical bookstore in two months minus one day.

It happened across two continents and nine time zones. I’ve yet to actually meet my publisher in person or the artist. The artist is in Portland, the publisher in Austin, and meanwhile in an obscure garret apartment in an obscure town in Denmark, the author – that would be me – sits at 4 AM on a snowy January night and wonders why the earth hasn’t moved yet.

After such a massive energy surge, it’s very hard to slow d-o-w-n. It’s like owning a beautiful, brand-new Maserati just screaming for rubber to burn, and it sits in a garage and smolders.

Meanwhile, for reasons I can scarcely explain or articulate, I sit here in what I’ve come to call The Waiting Room. In Quantum Demonology, the Waiting Room is the place where the story ‘times out’, takes a break, and comes to terms with what lies ahead. That’s also a great description for my own present state of limbo, as that force of nature who took a massive chance on an unknown writer (and her own peace of mind) lines up all the metaphorical ducks in the shooting gallery and cleans the Winchester she dearly prays the author will shoot them with.

To be fair, there’s a lot to be said in favor of someone who plans to turn you into the next Charlaine Harris, if not Anne Rice. She knows as I do that I have more sizzling stories up my sleeve.

So as I wait – for the epiphany, for the massive sea change I sense is coming, for all the marvels and wonders ahead, I do what I can to keep myself sane. I map out the sequel, and introduce a few new characters along with Dev and his feisty writer. Some of the characters from QD will be back to wreak havoc with my carefully laid plans. Some facts will be revealed, some events will change, some semblance of plot is emerging in my dreams, in my journal, in the dirty dishwater of my quotidian life.

I wrestle with my other writing, which for whatever reasons seems a bit frivolous now the book is out. I watch an awful lot of BBC history documentaries on YouTube. I entertain my two cats. I daydream. I read. I run mock interviews in my head to come up with sassy answers to silly questions. I pray to Freya, to Sophia, to Providence and Fortuna:

Please don’t let me fall flat on my face. Please don’t let me disappoint. Please let me show just how bright I can burn. Please.

Above all else, I sit in the Waiting Room, which looks a lot like Grand Central Station in New York City, eyeing the clock up above, waiting for my crazy train to be announced.

As surely it will, any day now…

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