Today, the sixteenth of May, I am having a new book published: The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts (Algonquin). It has already received very fine reviews and I am hard at work on the sequel, but….
As artistic events go, the official publishing of a book is one of the quietest of artistic events. In Edward Gorey’s The Unstrung Harp–which is, I think, the best depiction of a professional writer’s life—he described, and showed, this kind of publication day. Very soundless. The applause is shall we say, mute. So, anti-climactic. I suppose one might have an event like the opening night on Broadway (or a new Harry Potter book in the stores) or even a gathering of friends and a glass of something, but for me, truly nothing actually happens. Well, yes, you can purchase the book online this day.
As I write this, whereas I have an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy), I have yet to have the actual book in my hands, which will be slightly different. I am curious: What will the heft of the book be? What kind of paper did the publisher use? How will it feel?
Yet, as I say, I am working on the sequel; the next book is pretty much done (I just spoke to my editor about adding one word) and there is yet another work, undergoing revision. Then, too I need to be thinking about another promised book.
Is there any art as quiet as writing? These days, hardly the scratch of a pen. Just tap-tap-tap.