Mike: So, you posted the prologue to your novel on Friday in anticipation of posting one chapter a day starting on Halloween. What did that feel like?
Michael: Clicking mostly. It felt like some clicking with the mouse. Some cutting and pasting I think, but still, all with the mouse.
Mike: Sure, but I was thinking more about the emotions of publishing your first novel.
Michael: Oh, you mean the guilt for self-publishing rather than going through the fraternity hazing of having someone else legitimately publish my book? Yeah, nothing. I don’t feel anything.
Mike: Well, actually, I was just hoping you would speak to the feeling you have making your book public, by any means, though I am somewhat curious about your defensive response.
Michael: Right. Well, once the book was written and proofed and proofed and proofed and proofed until I realized no matter how many people proof the goddamn thing there will still be mistakes, it was sort of fun. I really enjoyed the whole process of figuring out a good way to have friends read it and make it available, potentially, for a wider audience. Getting your book online is fun and surprisingly easy. While I was going through all the steps I wondered why more people don’t do it and then I realized, well, you have to write a book first. That’s the only hard part.
Mike: Did you feel elation, pride, a sense of accomplishment?
Michael: Tired. Wait, tired and hungry. No wait. Tired and hungry and itchy, a little itchy.
Mike: But no emotions?
Michael: Okay, yeah, some. I was a little nervous that my writer friends would shun me for self-publishing, but I’ve been shunned before and it’s not all that bad when you’re an introvert.
Mike: Well, I’m sorry but I must believe you felt something, even just a small sense of achievement.
Michael: Maybe. I felt a lot of things the day I typed the words “The End,” even though that was hardly the end with all the proofing. Did I mention the proofing? You know, some people think the reason Harper Lee didn’t really write after To Kill A Mocking Bird was published was because of the all the proofing, which is like a nightmare that you cannot escape because it has to be done. That’s like the dictionary definition of nightmare, I think, or psychosis maybe.
Mike: Yes, I don’t think that’s exactly…
Michael: But I know what you want me to say, that I cried or something. No, I cannot say that I cried. I cried once or twice while writing the book, which I think is just totally weird. And I cried when I saw the cover art, which is completely understandable. It was anticlimactic. I shouldn’t admit that because the assumption probably is that had my book been published by a legitimate publisher, I would have been more excited. I don’t think so, I really don’t. But I’ve already talked about all this elsewhere. I think I was the right amount of excited this morning when I saw my book on Amazon. It looks cool, and now it’s time to get to work, just like I would have to do if someone else published my book.
Mike: The best I can hope for then, maybe, is to hear you say you are satisfied.
Michael: Satisfied? Sure, I’ll give you that. I feel satisfied. I had the most amazing hamburger for dinner. Look, ten people have read my book. That’s ten more readers than I ever thought I’d have reading one more novel than I ever thought I’d write. From here on out it is just more icing on the cake. I wrote the thing. That matters. And I sent it out into the world, as an orphan maybe. I don’t really know where to go with that metaphor but somewhere in there I was brave if irresponsible, I guess. Maybe just a gambler. Okay, it was a lousy metaphor. I did a thing.
Mike: Alright then, that’s all the time we have. Thank you to Michael Ferguson, author of Deep Water Running, available on amazon now or one chapter a day starting on Halloween at http://www.deepwaterrunning.net.