How many times has an author heard this from friends and family? Yet, I understand the excitement.  I’ve been there myself when someone I know is about to publish:  eager to see my friend’s name in print, to read how they put words together, to feel the punch at the end of a ramble.

But I want to tell people, “Don’t get that excited.” This novel is long, dark and depressing. Instead of the Tunnel of Love at an amusement park, it’s more like the Tunnel of Suicide at a depress-ment park.

Maybe every first-time author feels the same, but I really don’t want anyone I know to read it. It’s embarrassing and revealing and personal, and I’m hard on those people in the story who surround the main character. Because fiction is 99% true.

“Write what you know,” they always say. And stupidly, I listened.        Because I thought they meant, “Write who you are.”   

I had to call my mother the other day and apologize preemptively. I tried to explain, “It’s just a characterization of the mother figure, it’s not you,” which is about as effective as saying,

    “It’s not you,

         it’s me.”

But no one wants to read about a mother-character that is loving and supportive. An audience wants drama and trauma, right? Maybe a happy ending would be nice, but only if the journey is a terrible struggle.

The only consolation is pessimism. I'm only able to continue editing, and soon put my novel out into the world, because in one more week it will no longer be MY novel. The final stage of editing will conclude, and no longer able to tinker with it, my manuscript will simply become A novel. One of thousands coming out this year, and no one will actually read it. But that's not up to me, and it's nice to finally give up control.

The tentative release date is November 11th, Armistice Day, which means I still have a few months to prepare for the end of my internal war.