Surreal Moments in Book Publishing

I realized this morning that I can’t fathom it. I can’t yet see my book as a book. I can’t imagine people—more than the handful who have—reading these pages. To be honest, the idea of people reading this book I’ve worked so hard on thrills me and scares me in equal measure. To put it simply: It FREAKS ME OUT.

This feels like the first book I’ve ever written.


In that it means that much to me.

It feels like I’ve never published a thing before this.

In that it feels new all over again.

Believing that this manuscript will become a living, breathing book is like believing in Santa Claus, who I have no memory of believing in, ever, as I mostly remember staying up late at night to *be* Santa for my baby sister, which was the best part of our half-Jewish hey-maybe-we-should-be-celebrating-Hannukah Christmas over the years, and now I wonder if my mom liked it because she enjoyed having me wrap all the presents, huh?

I’m not sure when you start believing in a thing like this. When you hold the book in your hands? When you see it in a store? On the shelves of the library? When you duck and cower at your first book review? When someone you’ve never met tells you they’ve read it?

I wonder when publishing a book will seem normal. Maybe never for me.

I feel like I’m living on a fantasy island right now. Me and Santa and a Leprechaun. It’s that ridiculous.

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8 responses to “Surreal Moments in Book Publishing”

  1. If you can’t believe it imagine how distant that dream is for those of us who haven’t published a book yet:)? You probably remember those days, right?

    I think you are probably reacting to a whole lot of stress–good, joyous stress of reaching your goal and the stress of getting that second book ready to publish. Remember, stress is stress and it takes its toll.

    Congratulations on reaching your goal and now (imagine me pointing my finger at you) take some time just for you to kick back, relax, and enjoy.


    • Thank you so much!

      And I think that’s why it feels so surreal. I am very much still there, when the dream was very distant for me and I was about to give up before ever reaching it… Those years I was struggling and kept getting doors closed in my face are far more real to me than this moment. I’ll always be that person, I think. In fact, I’m glad I was. It’s made me appreciate every single second of this experience so much more than if it had happened when I was young and fresh from the MFA. Or if it had come easily without failing with other novels first. The struggle was worth it.

      Wow. I never thought I’d say that! Life is eternally surprising.


  2. You know what I would love? (Besides getting to read this book. OMG I can hardly wait.) I would love it if you would write about being Santa for your sister. I want details!


    • I hope you’ll like what Rose and I call “the Sister Book,” Annika, seeing as you have a sister, too!

      Maybe I’ll put up a post about getting to be Santa for my sister, among other things. I also got to be the Easter Bunny. (I don’t know why we celebrated Easter, maybe simply for jelly beans?) I’d like to ask her what she remembers from back then… Also, I should gather pictures, because she was ADORABLE.


  3. Hi Nova,

    I’ve enjoyed your blog for so long, and previously left some anonymous comments (if only because I could never imagine being “public” online, but now I’ve kind of scrapped that and sucked it up). I love this post, and I can just say that *I* can’t wait until Imaginary Girls is a living, breathing book so I can read it! If it’s one ounce as honest and real as your blog entries are, we are all in for a treat. Good luck and enjoy every last thrilling/scary moment. 🙂


    • Laura, Thank you so much for reading and for commenting — anonymously and by name, I appreciate both! (I know what you mean about being “public” online… I have a weird struggle with it.)

      And I checked out your blog… must catch up on all your archives as soon as I can because I connect so much. I have to say: CONGRATS on your story collection! I can’t wait to read it!


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