One of the most unexpectedly weird experiences of my writing life has been taking place this week.
On Wednesday I told you about Book Expo America and how all the coolest people in the book business are there this week.
That obviously means I'm not in attendance, but my book has been having a lovely time.
I knew Sourcebooks planned to give out a number of Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) of Making Waves at BEA, though I wasn't entirely clear if they were meant for book reviewers and booksellers or for homeless people wandering through.
Young adult author Trisha Leigh isn't any of those things, but she is a longtime Twitter pal.
I found myself unexpectedly stunned when she tweeted the following:
For those of you who don't speak Twitter, I'll translate. She used the #BEA11 hashtag to indicate she's attending BEA, and she used Twitter handles for my agent and me so we'd be sure to see what she was tweeting.
And what she was tweeting was a picture of Making Waves.
My agent tweeted back quickly to clarify, and Trisha replied with the following:
Wait, she's reading my book? RIGHT NOW? And TWEETING ABOUT IT?!
Sure enough, she confirmed how she acquired it and how she came to be reading it RIGHT THAT MOMENT.
I don't know why, but it was one of the weirdest feelings I'd ever experienced. I tweeted something to that effect, and my wonderful agent quickly shot me a message reassuring me that Trisha would love it, as would everyone else.
The thing is, my weird feelings weren't necessarily panic about Trisha or anyone else not liking the book. That's certainly a part of it, but it's mostly just an odd sensation I can't quite name.
I'm wildly ticklish. The problem with being ticklish is that you giggle like a maniac when someone does it to you. Giggling normally signifies joy and pleasure, and while that's sometimes a reaction to tickling, it usually isn't. But the tickler doesn't always know that, and keeps tickling to keep the person giggling, and pretty soon everyone's sitting there in a big puddle of pee feeling embarrassed.
That analogy just went way off the deep end, didn't it?
I guess what I'm saying is that my freakout response to having someone read my book isn't necessarily terror about whether the person will like it. It's something else entirely, but it's so unfamiliar I can't quite name it.
Nevertheless, I felt it again this morning when Trisha tweeted under the #fridayreads hashtag, a common way Twitterfolk let people know what they're reading:
Someone else in Trisha's Twitter circle responded, and I watched the exchange with that weird feeling welling up in me again:
So she likes it? Well that's good. That's great, in fact. If I ever meet Trisha in person, I want to pick her up and give her a great big hug and a smooch.
Maybe we'll even have a tickle fight.
UPDATE: OK, I wouldn't normally mess with a blog post several hours after it's already gone live, but these two new tweets from Trisha were too wonderful not to share:
And then there's this one. It might have made me cry a little: