by Toni L.P. Kelner
We Kelners went to see Tangled this afternoon, and quite enjoyed it. You've probably already heard that it's a re-telling of the fairy tale of Rapunzel, so I won't drown you in plot details, but one plot thread that struck home was the way in which Mother Gothel works so hard to keep Rapunzel from leaving the nest.
You might think that this was particularly meaningful to me because I have two daughters of my own--one of them even has long hair--and some day those girls will be leaving home. But that's not where I'm going with this because I am in complete denial about that concept. No, what I've been thinking about is the release of my latest book, Blast from the Past, which will be on Tuesday.
Now for the book buyer, this is a brand-new book, but I've been living with it for years. First there was an idea, then a proposal, then the various drafts, the copy edits, the galley proofs, and so on. But now it's out of my hands and out of my control. Sure, I can do some book promoting--like this blog, come to think of it--and talk it up and so forth. But basically, the book has to stand on its own two feet... or rather, on its own pages. All I can do is hope that people like it.
Despite the fact that this is hardly a new experience for me, I still don't relish it. Part of me wants to hang out at the bookstores and personally introduce the book to prospective buyers, to tell them why it's written the way it is and explain the backstory if they haven't read the other books in the series. I'm afraid they won't understand that Tilda is into old TV shows and specializes in writing about the formerly famous, and they'll wonder why her encountering an old boyfriend is such a big deal. I'm itching to explain the references to comic books, and tell people that the fictional books I refer to in some of the epigraphs were supposedly written by friends of mine. (My pal Jerry Frazee gets credit for the book about indie comic books and my pal Mike Luce gets the book about Saturday morning TV shows.) I even want to explain the jokes, in case they didn't get them.
But that's not the way it works. I've done the best job I can. I listened to my beta readers (Femmes Charlaine and Dana, husband Steve, and agent Joan) and my editor, and addressed their concerns. I spell checked the manuscript repeatedly, and edited it over and over again. That's all I can do.
I have to let go now.
So here's hoping that people like it. As for me, I'll be at home with my scrapbooks, remembering when Blast From the Past was nothing more than an idea about doing something with a missing comic book author.