Ready or not…

When I first get The Call in November 2010, the original offer is for publication in Spring 2013. Sheesh, I think. That’s a long time to wait for my debut.

I'm borrowing Cynthia's debutante photo from her previous "Lessons Learned" post because I think that some people thought I was in the debutante group photo I'd posted. Which I was not, as I am not really a fan of poof.


But it does leave me plenty of time to start dreaming about a white poofy dress.  How should I wear my hair? At this rate, I have time to grow it down to my knees if I want to. Not that I want to.

A little over a month later, my editor says that the pub date has been moved up to Fall 2012. Still plenty of time to choose the dress.

A few months laster, I learn that “fall” is actually Charlesbridge code for “July 1.” Sooner than I thought—just over a year to go! I’m glad to have a fixed date on the calendar. Better start looking for shoes…what kind of footwear goes with poofy?

In keeping with cultural themes from my book, why not go with a pair of geta? Oh, right...because I'd fall flat on my face.

About four months after that, my revisions are done, copyedits in, and my cover is revealed!

Illustrator Kelly Murphy could make anyone look good in white and poofy.

Just under a year to go now. Plenty of time for dress alternations and getting the shoes dyed to match.

December 2011… my editor tells me that the Fall 2012 catalog has been printed, and my book’s cover is the catalog cover. This having-a-book-published thing is starting to feel more and more tangible. Time to research hair dressers who can whip up a debutante do.

Photo from editor Emily Mitchell's desk.

My editor tells me that my book’s ARCs have been printed and that she’s holding one in her hand…I believe she uses the word “squee-ful.” Starting to look for corsages that would go with my dress.

Does this look poofy enough?

The marketing people in Charlesbridge email about Children’s Book Week that will be hosted in indie bookstores across the nation this…May. *sigh* But wait! Those of us with July 1 release dates could still participate, and Charlesbridge will send copies of our books for the event. Two months ahead of time! Maybe I should look into getting a faux flower corsage that I could wear in May that would still look fresh on July 1…

Then, just last week, one of my ARCs is spotted in the wild. A librarian is working on the LUCY project cataloging multicultural books, and mine is one of them. And more of my ARCs are on their way to ALA in Dallas to be handed out next week to lots and lots of librarians.

For the love of librarians–this is January, not July 1! My hair is in curlers and my dress is not back from the seamstress and my shoes have been dyed the wrong color.

I should have seen this coming long ago. Fellow Emu Cynthia Levinson’s book WE HAVE A JOB doesn’t debut until next month, but the word on the street has been stellar for some time now. Emu J. Anderson Coats’ novel THE WICKED AND THE JUST doesn’t debut until April, but the kudos have already started rolling in.

My biggest a-ha moment thus far on this path to publication is that my book’s release date is not really my book’s release date–it’s not even close. Here I am, just under six months prior to my debut date, and my book is already out there. People will be reading my book and they will have Opinions–ready or not, I know they will come.

So on the eve of my book’s unofficial release (OMG-wait! I’m not ready yet!), I’ll have to settle for jeans and a sweater, pull my un-styled hair into a ponytail, and slip on my fuzzy slippers.

If you see my book out there wandering around, please tell it I say hello. And if it stumbles or falls, first check to see if it’s wearing a pair of geta. If not, please help it up and tell it that no matter what happens, I’m proud to know that it’s out there in the big, wide world.


Filed under Anxiety, Book Promotion, cover art, Happiness, Satisfaction

19 responses to “Ready or not…

  1. Oh, what fun, Natalie! Grab that kite by the tail and hold on tight! 🙂


  2. It’s almost here already, isn’t it? You see why actual, official “pub date” starts to lose meaning. It always takes me by surprise when a “book birthday” arrives, because in my mind, the book has been out for months by then.


    • Natalie Dias Lorenzi

      You’re so right, Erin. I’ve had “July 1, 2012” etched in my brain for so long, but now I realize that this date is the final step in the book’s debut, not the only step!


  3. If you could see my actual prom picture, you’d know why I prefer to see myself in jeans, sneakers and a pony tail. Forget poofy and love the feeling of being out there. Congratulations, a little early! (Hey, maybe we could all post our prom pictures, just to make you feel better…)


  4. And you should be proud!! This is going to be a fantastic book, Natalie. I’m SO happy for you! (And I’ll be happy for me when I get a copy! 😉


  5. J. Anderson Coats

    Careful, or Jeannie will start photoshopping us all into poofy dresses.


  6. How exciting, Natalie! And who needs puffy dresses and fancy hair? Just throw on a tiara and you’ll be all set!


  7. How awesome is that, your cover as the Charlsebridge catalog cover??!!!! That is really going to go far. And ARCs at ALA midwinter? I went to ALA midwinter when it was in Denver, and holy cow! What a huge show, and packed with librarians, homeschool parents, publishers…. It is exciting to hear how much PR they are doing for you Natalie! That bodes very well.


    • Natalie Dias Lorenzi

      Thanks, Jeannie–I’m so grateful for everything that Charlesbridge is doing on my book’s behalf. I missed the summer ALA meeting in D.C. in 2010–it started the day after we left for Italy, and I was dying to go. It sounds dreamy!


  8. By the way, Natalie, I do have a pair of geta by the front door if you want to borrow them. My son wears them to take out the garbage to the compost bin–I think he figures they keep him well above any dog poop in the back yard.


  9. Natalie Dias Lorenzi

    Now if that isn’t potential blackmail fodder, I don’t what is–whip out that camera! 😉


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