by Michael Knudsen
For some of you, it is long past, and for others it still lies in the future: I'm talking about that handful of nerve-strumming days leading up to the release of your first book. The travails of rejection and soul-lifting triumphs of acceptance are in the past, the cover art has been trumpeted from your website, and it seems like you can't have a conversation with anyone without your book coming up. This is no place for the shy, retiring author who spent months cloistered behind a keyboard, brain awhirl with plot and character (if "awhirl" was not an actual word, it is now, because I'm an author, dangit).
So what's it like to live through these heady days before the celebration that will be as big as all my combined birthday parties since the age of one? As my wife would put it, blah, blah, blog! My book is LDS fiction, and a huge segment of those who read it also read the Blogck and an untold number of author's blogs that have their fingers on the pulse of LDS books. I've been reading and commenting on these forums for a good six months now, and I've really come to feel at home in this friendly and heavenly little subsection of cyberspace. I've got several interviews and guest posts out there already, and the reviews will be rolling in. I apologize to those who have developed Knudsen and The Rogue Shop overload, but that's what "buzz" is all about. Now I face the moment of truth--will anyone buy my book? I am a fifth-generation Mormon, so I just might crack the bestseller list with relatives alone.
Then there's the party! Good heavens, what a bash we have planned. Every carbon-based life-form whose eyes alight upon these words is invited to the open house at 500 East 8680 South in Sandy, Utah on December 13th from 6-9pm. I will be in a tuxedo to fit the theme, but you can come as you are. There will be food and prizes and Christmas cheer. Bring the kids, it is Monday evening and this is an FHE-approved activity. I will be thrilled to meet many of you that I have only met online. I don't expect you to buy a book (I'll only have 100 copies there, so I'll probably be sold out in 15 minutes anyway - yeah, my attitude is that good right now), but I would love to shake your hand and share the joy during my fifteen minutes of local fame.
My WOMBAT (Word Of Mouth, Buy And Tell) program is taking off like gangbusters. If you're not already a participant, it's not too late to earn points toward one of 10 Amazon gift cards I am giving away. I'm happy to share the things that have worked for me. After all, I wouldn't be "where I am today" without the excellent mentoring I've received from members of this group, directly or indirectly.
There you go -- the most horn-tootin', self-promotional post I've ever done. I am not ashamed. You shouldn't be, either, when your time comes. The world deserves to know about your work, your vision, and your talent. I will be right up front in your cheerleading section (though I will NOT be in a miniskirt, thank you very much). So roll out of that shell, chuck that bushel-basket off of your lit candle and let it shine, baby shine. Only two words remain: