I have no idea what I'm doing. But when has that ever stopped me?
In October 2006, my 74th book, Life As We Knew It, was published, and I was introduced to the joys of following the successes and failures of a book on the internet.
Before then, I'd get reviews and royalty statements and fan mail and that was it. But since October, I've had the unmitigated joy of reading what people say about my book in their blogs.
Okay, mildly mitigated joy. But mostly just high quality delight. All those people I've never met reading and liking my book. And admitting so in public. Where I could find out, just by begging Google to let me know. What a world.
Of course the irony to this is Life As We Knew It is about the destruction of that world. With the power that comes from writing fiction, I hit the moon with a meteor (actually an asteroid, but I love that alliteration), and pretty much destroyed life on earth.
Naturally enough, I had a wonderful time doing so. I wrote Life As We Knew It purely on spec. I didn't even tell most of the people I know (including my mother, who has never let me forget it) that I was writing the book. But my agent found a wonderful home for it at Harcourt, and the next thing I knew I was trying to figure out a way to keep writing about the destruction of all humanity.
So this winter I wrote a companion novel. Its working title is The Dead And The Gone, but my editor is threatening to come up with a different title, so I can't exactly make a grand announcement, except that whatever it ends up being called, it's scheduled to be published on May 1, 2008 and it'll be my seventy fifth book and I'm gonna have a party. Which the Swedish rights to Life As We Knew It will pay for (the Scholastic advance for LAWKI will pay for my trip to L.A. for the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships; I am a very practical person).
Meanwhile, this morning I sent, by internet magic, the second (and I sincerely hope final) set of rewrites for The Dead And The Gone to my editor. Next step should be copy editing, which renders me homicidal (always nice to have something to look forward to). Somewhere along the way, I'll find out what the book'll be called, and then I'll just sit back and let everyone else do the work. Only I'll be working too, writing this blog. Oh, and learning how to do that neat Amazon link thing. And letting everyone know what book I'm currently reading (a biography of Lady Jane Grey, since you ask, because I watched the movie Lady Jane a week or so ago, and felt a strong desire to see what really happened). And boasting (but in a charming, self-deprecating way) about what's going on with LAWKI and with The Dead And The Gone.
All right. I need to stop. I've written books shorter than this. I'll press Preview, hope for the best, and go off to Amazon to master that linky business.
Wish me luck!