Ten years of publishing... TODAY!

I am celebrating my tenth anniversary in publishing today!

On July 14, 2009, I published my first novel, Something Missing, with Broadway Books, a division of Doubleday, thus making a seemingly impossible dream come true. I can still remember walking into the now-defunct Borders Books and seeing my book on the shelf for the first time.

This was followed in 2010 with the publishing of my second novel, Unexpectedly, Milo, also with Doubleday.

In 2013, I switched to St. Martin’s Press, a division of Macmillan, and published Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, my most successful book so far. In 2016, I published The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs, also with St. Martin’s Press, and in November of this year, I’ll publish my fifth novel, Twenty-one Truths About Love.

Sometime in 2020, my sixth novel The Other Mother, will publish here in the United States. It’s already been published abroad.

I also published Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Power of Storytelling in 2018 with New World Library.

Six books in ten years. It’s been an amazing decade.

in addition to publishing in the United States, my books have also been published in more than 25 countries overseas, and three of my four novels are currently optioned for film.

I’ve also become the humor columnist for Seasons magazine and an advice columnist for Slate magazine. I’ve published pieces regularly in Parents magazine

The Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists has awarded me first prize in the opinion/humor writing category in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend was the 2014 Dolly Gray Award winner and was a finalist for the 2017 Nutmeg Award in Connecticut.

I say all this because despite a decade of consistent work in the publishing world, here’s the crazy thing:

I still don’t feel like a real author. I still feel like at any moment, I will be discovered for the fraud that I surely am and be unceremoniously kicked out of the literary world.

Isn’t that crazy?

I’ve often wonder when the day will come when I will feel like an honest-to-goodness writer and rid myself of this persistent imposter syndrome.

Then again, maybe imposter syndrome isn’t such a bad thing. It keeps me on the knife’s edge, working like hell to stay relevant, valuable, and in the game.

Still, it would be nice to answer the question, “What do you do for a living?” by saying “Teacher, writer, and storyteller” and not feel like the writer part of that answer isn’t real.

Either way, it’s been ten years today. A decade that I never would have dreamed possible and still seems kind of impossible when I reflect back upon it.

And would’ve been impossible if not for the support of friends, family, editors, publicists, booksellers, Elysha, and my agent and friend, Taryn Fagerness.

Hopefully I’ll be writing a similar post in another ten years, and perhaps by then, I’ll be feeling like the honest-to-goodness author I’ve always wanted to be.

The Other Mother: Another cover reveal!

Just last week, I revealed the cover to my next novel, Twenty-one Truths About Love, which publishes in October.

21 TRUTHS ABOUT LOVE.jpg

But that wasn’t entirely correct.

My actual next novel is titled The Other Mother, and it will publish in the UK and Australia in June of this year and will publish in the United States sometime in 2020.

In truth, I wrote The Other Mother first, and it was supposed to be my next book published in the United States, too, but then my new editor had the chance to read the first half of Twenty-one Truths About Love, and she and my publisher decided to reverse the order of publication, forcing me to finish Twenty-one Truths About Love early.

If you noticed that I was a little harried last year, now you know why.

But I was thrilled. They were so excited about the book and its potential that they wanted it on store shelves as soon as possible.

So today I’m revealing the cover of The Other Mother, which will grace the UK and Australian editions of the novel. When it finally lands in the United States late next year, the cover will almost assuredly be different.

The name, for example, will definitely be different. My pen name in the UK is Matthew Green after it was determined that my actual last name might offend British sensibilities.

Green is Elysha’s maiden name.

But I like this cover a a lot. I hope you do, too, particularly if you’re living in the UK or Australia.

The Other Mother UK.jpg

The 5 Stages of an Author's Reaction to Editorial Notes

I just completed what might be the final edits to my next novel, The Other Mother. After turning in the manuscript to my editor, she returned it to me with editorial suggestions.

I considered the suggestions carefully, agreed with more than 90% of them, and made the changes. After reviewing my revisions, my editor returned it to me with another round of suggestions, and I repeated the process.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

I think we might finally be done. 

The revision process is a good one. It always makes a book better. Typically, the suggestions made by my editor cut away the chaff, help to strengthen themes, and bring greater clarity to character and scenes.

But it's also a process fraught with emotion. I don't always agree with my editor's suggestions. Occasionally I am baffled by her ideas. Confused by her thoughts. Annoyed by her comments Every now and then, I am appalled at what she has recommended. 

I've broken this emotional response down into 5 stages.   

Gratitude: My editor has saved me from a lifetime of embarrassment. I am so stupid. A truly terrible writer. An imposter. I can't believe that she still wants to publish this book. I can't believe that she's still willing to talk to me. I have the best editor on the planet. 

Contentment: A good suggestion. A solid choice on my editor's part. So happy to have her on my side. 

Ambivalence: Fine. I mean, it could go either way, but fine. I can make that change. I'm a fairly agreeable soul. 

Acquiescence: No way. It ain't happening. I mean... if she really feels strongly about this one, I might be able to find a way to agree. Or at least meet her somewhere in the middle. I don't love the idea, but it's not like she's asking me to cut off my hand. Still, I think my way is better.

 Refusal: Does she have any idea how long I spent crafting that sentence? That paragraph? What chapter? There is no way in hell I am changing a single word of that section. She must've been drunk when she was editing this page.

Happily, about 95% of all of my editors suggestions fall into one of the first three stages.  

But that final 5% can really hurt.