I’ve always enjoyed a love affair with books. When I was a kid, the town library was located in a historic building that was also part museum. So if you went up the front stairs to the right, you found rows of books and a cozy reading area with a beautiful rock fireplace that in the winter sometimes had a crackling fire going; if you went left, for a dollar or two, you could gaze at some of the town’s rich history preserved behind glass.
What I remember most about that place was the wonderfully spicy smell of wood seasoned by time and the hundreds of books that lined the shelves. For me, it was a warm and comforting smell that never failed to wrap me in comfort and security.
Is it any wonder I became a writer?
It’s been a long time since I was that young girl prowling the rows or curled in one of the big chairs beside the fire with my nose in a book but I know she’s still with me because each time my author copies arrive for a new book, I lose myself in the joy that is born of touching new books, delighting in the sheer euphoria that I did it again.
My seventh novel with Harlequin Superromance will hit shelves in November, which means I received my author copies the second week of October. I can share with you that ripping open those boxes, seeing my book in print, never gets old. Never. It’s such a wonderful reward for the nights I stayed up trying to make my deadline in spite of the bone-deep fatigue pulling on my eyelids, the missed barbecues, the time I sacrificed with my kids to do line edits, the nail-biting when cover time rolled around, and the back-and-forth over the title with my editor. It’s all worth it.
At that moment when I’m holding my baby in my hands, the pain of creating it fades to the background of memory and all I see is the accomplishment.
Which is a good thing.
Because sometimes, the work is grueling and just the thought of trying to put together two coherent sentences much less an entire page is just too daunting. Sometimes facing the blank page is terrifying, especially so for someone who doesn’t work from an outline. Everything I write is spontaneous. My process is very much intuitive, which is fabulous when things are working and the words are flowing but excruciating when there’s nothing but the chirp of crickets filling the silent void in my head.
I’m still learning as I go and the learning curve can be steep at times; the publishing business is not for the faint of heart. I’ve felt the sting of rejection, the fear of not getting another contract, the paralyzing doubt that kills the muse, the pinch of disappointment, and probably the worst of all, the wounded feelings caused by professional jealousy.
But all that fades when I see that book on the shelves. And that time is approaching soon. Can you tell I’m getting excited? Don’t be surprised if you see me lurking in the book aisle of the local stores to catch a glimpse of how many copies have sold, or rearranging copies to a better vantage spot (oh, trust me, we all do it) or obsessively checking the ‘net for chatter or buzz (or even rants) about my book.
Everyone always asks, so here’s a reminder: if you want to purchase my book in the stores, you have to catch it during the release month (in this case, November) or you can go online to www.amazon.com (type in Kimberly Van Meter and my books will pop up) and buy it at anytime. You can even download it to your Kindle. For updates on what’s new and upcoming you also check my website at www.kimberlyvanmeter.com
See you in the book aisle!
Kim Van Meter is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News, and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.