The Polite Dinner Guest
Originally posted on Facebook, March 4, 2011
After what seems like a ten-year wait, but is in reality one year and nine months, THE INFORMATIONIST will finally enter the world as a fully realized hardback book, with a fancy cover and everything.
People ask me if I'm excited (yes, but I'm also terrified) or if I'm counting days (I eagerly did, all the way up until the two-week mark, and then perfected the art of forgetting until someone pointed out this morning that there were four days left to go), or if I'm incredibly proud (mostly this all feels incredibly surreal).
There is, however, a really big reason that I'm looking forward to THE INFORMATIONIST finally reaching stores--a reason so absolutely petty and childish that it makes sense to share it now.
You see, in the last 1.75 years, when people have asked me what I do--you know, that seemingly innocuous question that the asker uses to make a snap judgment about what kind of person you are?--The type of question to which "professional hit man" is probably just as good an answer as anything else?--To this I have said, "I?m a writer."
In the last twenty-one months, "professional hit man" might have garnered me more belief, because the typical conversation ran something like this:
Them: "Soooooo, what do you do?"
Me: "I'm a writer."
Them, with slight smirk: "Really? What do you write."
Me: "I'm a novelist, actually."
Them: "How interesting. What kind of novels? Romance?"
At this point, it's quite nearly possible to see a marquee behind their eyes, scrolling rapidly through scenarios that start at, wow is it April Fools already? continuing all the way to what if she's telling the truth and she's actually someone FAMOUS?
And then, after an inappropriately long pause:
Them: "That's cool. Anything I might have read?"
Me: ... deep breath ... "Well, you see, in publishing, it can take a few years from the time you've sold a book or two before the first one reaches store shelves...? and so on and on, and so forth in an explanation that attempts to neatly tie up how I can claim to be a novelist while having nothing in print. Somewhere down in my subconscious there's a little devil who wants to jump up, grab said person by the collar, plant a foot on each shoulder, and shake them while saying, "I am not making this up!"
Instead, I continue to be a really good dinner guest.
So here we are, nearly two years between selling THE INFORMATIONIST and the day the book goes on sale, and now, after all of this time of actually, truly being a novelist, albeit without a product, when someone says, "Really? Anything I might have read?" I finally, finally, finally, get to reply, "I dunno. Been to a bookstore lately?"