Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Weekend Away

This weekend was the 30th reunion of my husband's company, and they celebrated by paying for all the employees to head down to a Hill Country resort/camp. We dropped the boys off with my mom on Friday afternoon and headed off for our weekend alone, which included golfing in the Texas heat (I whiled away the hours driving the golf cart and reading a book), company chit-chat and pictures, and two Texas Hold 'Em tournaments. I played in the second (a first for me) and actually did pretty well--it was, after all, only pretend money.

Most of the chit-chat that came my way from people I don't know too well all had to do with a second book. Having read my first one (and enjoyed it!), they wanted to know if--three and a half years later--I'm working on another one, if it's finished, if it's published, if it's like the other one. Basically I admitted it was done, and not really at all like Unladylike Pursuits, and then the conversation got a little uncomfortable. I tried to explain that while I'd self-published the first one, I was taking the summer to query a few agents, gauge the general interest of the traditional publishing establishment for the type and sytle of my book, and then make an assessment at the end of the summer whether or not I should tweak the book, query more agents, or go the self-publishing route once more.

My explanation was met with plenty of silence and bobble-head nodding. No one outside the publishing world (not counting those trying to elbow their way in) understands it. Most people are beyond impressed with a self-published do-it-yourself undertaking and don't really seem to get why someone would torture themselves in an effort to break into traditional publishing. At least not without some in-depth explaining. Maybe I should learn from this and start thinking like an outsider myself...

But despite all that, it was a fun weekend, hot and humid outside and luckily fraught with chilly air-conditioning inside. As I was trying to concentrate and keep up with the poker game, one of my husband's male co-workers came and sat down beside me. He said, "I don't know if I ever told you this, but I thought your book was really cool." My eyes probably bugged, and I said, "You read it?" He said, "I did, yes." And I said, "When did you find time to read it?" I'm pretty sure historical romance is not his normal cup of tea. So he says, "You really want to know?" Then it hit me, and I tried super hard not to think about it or picture it while insisting, "No, no I don't." So he blurts, in front of a tableful of poker players (who may or may not have been paying attention), "Do you really want to hear that I read your book on the toilet?" Ugh! I suppose I should just be happy he read it at all...and liked it!


Liza said...

Sounds like a great weekend... toilet story and all. Why is that men want to tell you about reading on the toilet?

Stephanie J said...

Lol, couldn't he have said "Oh, I found the time here and there." lol!

I can imagine people would be confused about self-publishing versus the agent route. I probably would have nodded and smiled before I got into all this. Btw, I hope the query process is going well!