It still doesn't feel real.
As the Authors After Dark convention rapidly approached, we became desperate to hammer out the final, final, final edits to The Mechanic's Mate final galley. It took precedence over any of our usual convention preparations, until Kelly ended our usual editing conference call and I hit the email send button at 2:29 am, August 8th. This left me exactly twenty-seven hours to cook (due to my food sensitivity), pack, and clean the house before hitting the road to Atlanta with my niece, Brittney.
With the constant weight of the book's looming deadline and release date lifted our minds were now laser focused on all duties as AAD staff members on the horizon. We knew originally a pre-order date had been a possibility, but that was back when we thought all edits would have been finished much earlier. So we settled into the convention routine without another thought of 'was', 'it', echoes and 'show don't tell'.
Imagine our surprise when four days into the exhilarating chaos of setting up, welcoming/registering attendees, and keeping everything flowing as smooth as possible, we received an email from our awesome editor, Cheryl, that The Mechanic's Mate was up for pre-order on Amazon. Kelly bounced around, excited to tell everyone around her. I only stood there dumbfounded, trying to mirror her excitement.
It's actually happening. People I know, and possibly ones I have never met in my life, will soon be reading the crazy arrangement of words that came from our imaginations. I couldn't quite get a grasp on how I felt about that fact. Would anyone like it as much as Kelly, Cheryl, and I do? I shook it off as best as I could, trying to not think about it as I continued to focus on my AAD tasks.
My expression fell and jaw dropped when Kelly showed me the first person to reply to her Facebook post with the pre-order link. Her father had posted, "Ordered". Ordered! My father in-law had ordered the Dieselpunk, alternate history novel that contained fairly descriptive erotic scenes written by us . . .
I thought to myself, "I'll tell him Kelly wrote all those scenes, and I wrote all the technical fight scenes!" as heat filled my face.
Amidst the flood of congratulations by Facebook friends and convention attendees, I would occasionally receive the statement, "I can't even imagine how excited you must be.", but all I could reply with was, "It still doesn't feel real . . ." because it didn't. Hell, it still doesn't as I sit here, trying to find the words to express this internal struggle to just pretend it's not really happening.
But it did, it still was, and short of shutting the entire internet down, there is nothing I can do about it at this point. Therefore, I've taken a deep breath, shared the news across my own social media and accepted the fact that, like it or not, others will be pulled into the world of 40's slang, big cars, bigger wars, and characters struggling to make the right choices within it.
So, go forth and pre-order our book. I want you to read it, visit our world, and hopefully love it as much as we did while writing it.