I am back in highschool

Okay, not really. But it feels like I’m a 16-year-old goober waiting by the phone for a prom date to call (because, yanno, I couldn’t have the boobs to call some guy myself.) So anyhow, the problem is my next book, The Cipher, comes out on November 6th. Why does that make me feel like I’m back in highschool with zits, godawful hair and bad makeup? It’s all the crappy insecurity rolling over me all over again. What if they don’t like the book? What if they think it’s ugly? What if they make fun of it? What if the cool kids corner it in the bathroom and give it a swirly? What if they slam it in a locker with its panties wedged up around its neck? I could go on with the metaphor in long, painful ways, but I suppose I’ll take pity and stop now.

This is a new book in a new series and I’m on uncertain ground here. Yes, it’s got some good early reviews. But (uh oh, turns out I wasn’t done with the metaphor yet) that’s like having your mom tell you you’re pretty or smart or whatever–I mean, she has to say that. You’ve heard the phrase, a face only a mother could love? Well, that seriously undercuts the value of mom telling you you’re pretty and smart and talented. And then too, it’s a little bit like having your brother/cousin take you to the prom. Feels a little incestuous and wrong. I want strangers to like the book, and yeah, reviewers are strangers, but don’t confuse my angst with logic!

So. I wait to hear from actual readers who had to plunk money down on the book. I wait and wait and wait and my mom is telling me I’m pretty and talented and smart and I’m ignoring her and obsessing about what to wear next. (i.e. my revisions on the next book) and devising ways to hide from the vigilante gang of cool kids.

Now, someone give me a handy wooden stake and I’ll dust that metaphor.

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  1. 1. S.C. Butler

    I know the feeling. My next book comes out at the end of the month and I’m already dealing with the angst. Only for me the nightmare isn’t the prom, it’s standing on a busy street with copies of the book and being completely ignored.


Author Information

Diana Pharaoh Francis

Diana Pharaoh Francis has written the fantasy novel trilogy that includes Path of Fate, Path of Honor and Path of Blood. Path of Fate was nominated for the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award. Recently released was The Turning Tide, third in her Crosspointe Chronicles series (look also for The Cipher and The Black Ship). In October 2009, look for Bitter Night, a contemporary fantasy. Diana teaches in the English Department at the University of Montana Western, and is an avid lover of all things chocolate. Visit site.



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