I am snowed in again. I promise not to get too stir crazy or set anything on fire, because this week I actually have work to do. The UPS man serendipitously arrived at my house last night before the storm rolled in, bringing with him the First Pass Pages for IN A HANDFUL OF DUST, the companion novel to NOT A DROP TO DRINK, which will be releasing 9/23/14. Which, if you're at all interested, there will be a cover reveal tomorrow on YABC. Just saying.
It's interesting to me that the publishing process never seems to get stale. Most things in real life lose their luster after awhile. Christmas gets boring. Interesting people stop surprising you. Your cat looks less cute when you realize it sheds. But creativity never feels old.
Yes, it can feel like real work. Exhausting work, even. But each book is its own journey, and each step forward on that particular path is a little different than the one you already traveled. DRINK was my debut, and everything was a revelation, a surprise, and a validation. DUST is my second go-round, and I sort of expected to be less jubilant as I pushed onward, since the thrill of a first-timer was gone.
And yeah, there are definitely differences. I don't jump up and squeal every time I get an envelope or package that has HarperCollins as the return address. I do freely admit that my heart still leaps in my chest, though. Hell, I also admit that I still get ridiculously happy every time I see my agent's name in my inbox because it took me so damn long to get one.
Yesterday brought it's own surprise, something I hadn't even considered. As I sat down with my pen, Cadbury Egg, Muppet DVD and my First Pass Pages, I turned over the first one to see something that did set me back a little. On the back of the half-title page is this little thing that I've always turned to when discovering a new writer that I like. It's the Also By page.
And now there's one with my name on it.
Why does this matter to me?
Because this is what a career looks like. This says to me that not only did I make the leap from aspiring to published, but that I'm continuing to move forward from that point. I'm hoping one day to see the WIP on the Also By page, possibly a trunked child-of-my-heart, and many other ideas that haven't even formulated out of the morbid soup in my brain.
I want to fill up the Also By page, and not be a flash in the pan. The writing journey is a continuous one, and publication isn't the pinnacle, but the beginning of a new ladder.
Mindy McGinnis is a YA author and librarian. Her debut, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, is a post-apocalyptic survival tale set in a world where freshwater is almost non-existent. The companion novel IN A HANDFUL OF DUST releases September 23, 2014. She blogs at Writer, Writer Pants on Fire and has serious social media problem. You can find her on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest,