Last week the book book was sent to press. My editor sent me and email and wrote that it was time to celebrate–the book is gone. Why do I feel so lost and sad when I think of letting go of this book?
Part of it, of course, is that Mrs. Rowe herself has become a part of the running narrative I have in my brain. Delving into someone’s life makes them a part of your neural network, I suppose. I have dreamed about her–strange and vivid dreams–and catch myself still thinking “I wonder what Mildred would say about that ” when I am watching the news or pondering life.
Mike DiGrassie, her son and current owner of Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant, has also been an interesting man to get to know. An all-around family man and sharp business guy, it has been a pleasure to work with him.
The other part that makes me sad is moving on and away from Lily, my editor. Although I know we will still be in touch from time to time, her attention will be on new books, ushering them along, and mine will be on sales and promotion and finding my next project. This is how is should be. How it is.
It’s not that I dread working on promotion and sales. I am comfortable with that aspect of publishing, though I have to admit my favorite part is the writing and editing, the challenge of creating and refining, over and over again. The publicist we are working with is wonderful–open to ideas and is a veteran cookbook publicist. I feel good about the next step.
And in publishing, as in every phase of life, with each real step forward, there is a sense of triumph, along with sorrow or regret and fear. I know I’ve done my best. We’ve done our best. And it’s time to move on.