So I’ve got this book coming out.
Not for a while yet, granted. But sometime next year a picture book with my actual name on it is going to see the light of day. And then another after that, and another after that one.
I guess this means I’m an author.
Does this mean I’m an author?
Some folks just know, right. They’re writing from the moment they learn their letters. They’re writing novels in high school, going to conferences in college. They have an agent at 22, and a book deal at 23, and you can kind of see the word “Author” hovering over their heads in an atmospheric haze of talent and ambition.
Not all of us have such an easy time attaching that title to ourselves. I guess I’m an author now that I have an agent, now that I’ve sold a couple of books. But maybe I actually became an author when I wrote my first work-for-hire title under a pen name six years ago? Or was I an author when I put together the text for a Disney Princess novelty book, my second week on the job as an editorial assistant at Disney Press, over ten years ago?
Or maybe I’m not an author yet. Maybe I’ll be one when my book actually comes out. Or when a book I write is a hit. Or when I’m making my living from writing books. Or when I die and they put “…Author?” on my tombstone.
Like a lot of titles that are self-selected, “Author” is a tricky one. Claim it too early and it’s a little embarrassing. Take too long, and you just seem confused, poor thing.
Also like a lot of self-selected titles, “Author” is one nobody really cares except the person laying claim to it.
So, okay. As of today:
I’m an author.
Calista Brill is a writer and editor based in New York City. During the day she edits award-winning graphic novels, and at night she writes stories for children about pixies, pirates, princesses, and pterodactyls. She has a cat named Percy and a husband named Perry and she hardly ever gets them mixed up.
Her first picture book will be published by HarperCollins in 2016.