I review books. I get books sent to me. Sometimes people ask if they can send me books, and sometimes they don’t, and sometimes I ask for them.
I review books for two reasons: one, because I am on an endless quest to discover and understand the process of storytelling and enjoy the possibilities of a public platform (blogging) for discussion; and two, because I like discovering things and sharing those discoveries. After five years or so of doing this I probably could (or should) turn this reviewing into a revenue-generating enterprise. Unfortunately I have those artistic genes that don’t seem to understand commerce.
But in the end, for all my reviewing, I someday want to publish my own books. I want, like many other authors, to see my name on the cover of a book. Not because I’m egotistical but because there’s a certain sense of acknowledgement involved. When you can point to a book with your name on the cover there’s a certain level of validation of all the unseen hard work that’s gone into getting it there. I’ve talked to many authors, published and aspiring, and I know how long that journey can be, and how satisfying the end of that journey can feel when it shows up in a bookstore.
Today my name appeared on the cover of a book. The back cover of a book, but it’s still there!
I was blurbed. A quote from one of my reviews appeared among the four blurbs on the back of the book. Along with Maurice Sendak.
I’m published! Sort of!
It’s a small thing, a little goofy to be giddy about, but it came at just the right time for me. Some days it feels like everything is in a great holding pattern, that wheels are spinning but the vehicle isn’t moving, and then you get a little nudge that says “Look at that! You aren’t just talking to yourself!” (Although, technically, if the voice inside your head says that you are talking to yourself, but you get the idea.)
Alright, so another item checked off the list – see my name on the cover of a published book. Now I need to add a new one: See my name on the front cover of a published book.
Specificity, that’s the ticket.