I am forever grateful for the kind, inspiring mentors I had while a graduate student at Fairfield University. I’m specifically thankful for my semester mentors:
And to Baron Wormser who was my second reader of my thesis.
But not just those five… I’m also grateful for the mentors who taught my workshops: Marita Golden, Leila Philip, and Da Chen.
I learned so much under the auspices of these incredibly talented individuals, and for that I am eternally grateful.
So hopefully you were able to read A.J.’s guest blog yesterday. (If not, you might want to check it out, because this post is a follow-up to that one! Also, did you buy her book yet?) She was kind enough to agree to be interviewed, and here it is!
Now that your novella has been out for a couple of weeks, has your anxiety about releasing it gotten better, worse or the same?
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still have some anxiety, but I think the focus of my anxiety has changed. I’m no longer worried that readers might not like my novella. I am more concerned that I’m going to confront the same group of worries every time I publish something, that I’m going to hear that little voice wait “what if they hate it” every time something goes to press. I’m not terribly worried, though. I imagine that I’ll be a little more confident the next time I publish. If I publish often enough, I bet that I’ll eventually be able to hit that little voice with a gag order.
What has been one of the best experiences/conversations/whatever since the novella was published?
Wow – there have been so many. I think one of the coolest things I’ve seen so far took place on Facebook. Two or three people I knew from high school were reading the book and discussing it in a comment thread. They were quoting parts of the book back and forth. Seeing my own words quoted on Facebook by folks I haven’t seen in years was amazing.
How has the feedback been? How did your processing of the feedback change (or confirm) your anxiety about “letting it go”?
The feedback has helped me with my own fears. Many people I know bought the book and told me they enjoyed it, but some of the most validating feedback came in the form of reviews and emails from people I’ve never met. Some of them asked for a sequel. I’m not exactly sure how some of these readers found my book, but it was wonderful to know that there is an audience for my work, and that this group of readers would like more. The knowledge that there is an audience for this work did help me to let it go.
Any advice for writers who are about to be published?
Enjoy the experience and, if your inner editor refuses to stop editing even when you’re published, try to silence her. Give her a cocktail or something.