On putting out my first book

The Year in Putting Out Your First Book

December 17, 2013

You can’t always predict what will grab and hold your attention—a pop song, a politician, a personal tragedy. As the year comes to an end, Hazlitt’s writers look back on the things they were particularly preoccupied with in 2013.

I published my first book this year. It’s called Drunk Mom and it’s about my relapse after giving birth. The book started off as fiction but turned into a memoir; some people will never read it because of the words “memoir” and “mom” in such close proximity. One book reviewer didn’t read it because she decided ahead of time that she would hate it, but she reviewed it nonetheless.

The biggest joy about having the book out is that it’s out and that many people have read it. It’s been eight months since its release, and sometimes I don’t really believe that there’s an actual book with my name on it, but then, I’m the sort of person who occasionally still gets baffled by the fact that she graduated from elementary school two decades ago. My fraud syndrome is probably my most defining quality—to myself, at least.

In January, I met with my publicist who said there would be a “tsunami” of publicity because of the nature of the book. I thought she was being very optimistic, but she wasn’t wrong. I was terrified the entire time. There were no easy questions and no easy answers to be given during the interviews. I quit smoking and then I picked up smoking again. There were two days in April when I did a total of 18 interviews—radio, newspaper, TV. It really did feel like a tsunami; it was scary and scary-clown fun and I was quoted and also misquoted and my hair looked awful on video, except for one time, and I just wanted the stupid book to come out and then it did come out.