One week to go and then my first book will be published. I mean, it will be there, in the stores. In Holland and Belgium. Hopefully in other countries too, but this is enough for me right now. I don't know what other beginning authors do, but I am getting quite nervous. Well, maybe that's not the exact word either. I get excited. Hyperactive. Crazy. And frustrated. Is the book okay? Will people understand what I am trying to say? What was again the message? Do I have one? What will the reviews be like? Will they let me know when it's bad or will they just publish it? Oh, my God, why do I do this to myself? Why can't I just be happy with a 9 to 5 job and get home and cook a dinner and watch tv? Why do I always have to start something new? Why? I don't know! It's just there! The ideas in my head just don't stop! With the years, it gets worse!
Am I the only one with this problem? What do other authors do when their book is about to be published? Are they already writing their next book? Or are they having a vacation? Or both (like my friend Gaellen Quinn who is writing her second novel in Hawaii!). What are their expectations? Are they happy about the results? Oh,that might be my next project: starting a 'beginners authors club'. So we can share our feelings, emotions, experiences and even promote each others work (why not?).
It's not that I have been sitting and doing nothing because of my hypernervousness. No, I have been working on the website of my book (which is nowadays of course a must - details will follow later when the Site is ready), I have been thinking about the bookpresentation (it's going to be awesome!) and of course working on the PR of my book (emailing friends and colleagues asking them to read my book). And that's going to be the most difficult part for me. Because when we sent my book to the printer, I realized how vulnerable I had made myself. I felt naked. I had put my soul in this book. I had given all my time and energy on it. The stories, the dreams, the conversations and the confessions of my friends and all the people I have been following for the last couple of years.
Because that's what my book is about. About women's confessions. By Mediterranean women. They are not bizar nor unbelievable. No drama. The critics won't like that, they love drama, especially when it's associated with migrant or Mediterranean women. We already read a lot about forced marriages, famele genital mutilations and honor killings. Which is good. But we tend to forget that the majority of these women lead normal lives. They are strong, powerful, energetic and emancipated women. In my novel no ESCAPEE or VICTIM characters. Mediterranean women can be powerful without losing their own identity. They can be proud of their own culture as they can be proud of their new adapted Western culture. The smart ones use the better components of both of the cultures. And that's what my novel is about: about cultural savvy Mediterranean women living in a Western World.
I don't know whether my novel will be the first (I can't read all novels in the world) but critics have to get used to a new era of Mediterranean chick-lit. Next to their career and ambition, it will be topics as sex, men and relationships which will keep them most busy. That's the price of emancipation: the more independent you get, the harder it gets to find the right partner. Can we say that's drama? Not in the traditional sense. It's new drama. Sexy drama.