Don’t Be a Book Licker!November 9th, 2009
It was an exciting weekend here in Casa Cabot. Why?
Well, since I’m going to be speaking and signing at the Miami Book Festival this coming Saturday (the fair starts TODAY! Click here to see all the amazing authors who are going to be there!) the Miami Herald asked me for some advice for girls.
My response was printed online and in the paper (I think. I don’t get the Miami Herald so I didn’t actually see it)!
The article is about how, by craftily disguising my books to look as if they’re merely about princesses, teen supermodels, and quirky fourth graders, I’ve actually gotten an entire generation of girls to read about important issues, like gender equality….
Shhh! Don’t let anyone in on the truth about my diabolical plot to spread feminist ideology across the globe through my deceptively chick-litty looking books!
So there was that…as well as Taylor Swift’s performance on Saturday Night Live, which was so fun to watch….
And the fact that my MOM won my Significant Object (yes. She wanted it. To go in my baby box. Which is now more like a trunk. Please don’t ask).
So that will be over $200 going to the Heifer Project! Yay!
But other than that, my weekend kind of stank, due to the fact that I ended up engaging in some heavy book licking.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, a book licker is someone who’s writing a novel, but instead of just finishing it and surrendering it to her editor, she keeps going back and re-reading it over and over, finding tiny things wrong with it, and revising it. She never actually gets to The End.
(This is not to be confused with a baby licker, which is a person who fusses over her baby so much, she eventually licks all his fur/skin off. CPS or the zoo keepers eventually have to come and take her baby away from her.)
I’ve always striven to keep my book licking to a minimum so my books could come out in a timely fashion and thus get to you, the reading public.
But this weekend I started licking my current project and just. Couldn’t. Stop.
I could tell I’d crossed the line when I started calling all my friends and going, “I should just throw this book away, shouldn’t I? I know they already paid me the first part of my advance. But maybe I can just give the money back and start over. I’ve been thinking about starting a new series about zombies anyway!”
My friends offered all sorts of (totally unhelpful) advice:
“I think you should eat some mini-Butterfingers.”
(Like I don’t do this every day?)
“What page are you on? Yeah, well, you know you say this exact same thing every time you get to that page.”
(No, I don’t.)
“Yes, you do.”
“Why don’t you just go watch the crackheads on Intervention until you feel better about yourself?”
Finally, one ultra mega bestselling, highly revered children’s book author with whom I happen to be friends listened to me book lick for like five minutes, then finally burst out with:
“What the hell isa matta with you? It’s just a book, for chrissakes. Quit whining, sit your ass down, and finish it!”
It’s just a book?
I’m sorry, but no author has ever said that to me before. NO ONE. It’s not “just a book.” It’s…it’s….
Well, I guess it is.
This was just so startling to hear, coming from such a pantheon in the industry. Was this really how he’d managed to write so many beloved, award winning, bestselling books? He didn’t lick them? He just told himself “It’s just a book,” then sat his “ass down and finished the thing?”
That’s just so….
I am going to do exactly as he says.
After I eat about ten more pounds of mini-Butterfingers, and watch four episodes of Intervention.