The whirlwind (that isn’t quite a whirlwind) begins

So the book came out. Some reviews did too (you can read them on the Media page). I went to Toronto. And now I’m back.

It’s a funny thing when a follow-up novel is released into the world. I remember rushing to a local bookstore the day The End of East was on sale and hiding behind a display waiting to see if anyone would pick it up. No one did, of course, and I was deeply disappointed (not that you could tell behind my huge dark glasses, donned so that no particularly eagle-eyed bookseller would recognize me). This time, I woke up, fed my son and forgot all about it until my editor sent me an upbeat email proclaiming, “Today is the day!”

Which isn’t to say I’m not excited. The Better Mother was a challenging book to write and I am very happy to have it out there where it’ll have a separate and distinct life, as it was meant to. It represents everything that is joyful and difficult about the writing process. Deadlines were missed. I wept. Whole mornings passed because I was so engrossed a scene.

When I was in Toronto, the full impact of this book’s release finally hit me. I saw it in bookstores for the first time. I talked to people who had actually read it and weren’t related to me. I had time to hang out with other writers (big ups, Haley Tanner!). It was a busy time (my publicist kept me moving, bless her heart), but it was totally necessary. Otherwise I might never have understood that I actually had a book published.

Now, I’m waiting for the rest of the reviews (it seems all the big ones are left), but I feel calm. The Better Mother is out there, doing its work. And I can let it go.