Monday, June 6, 2016

How I became a USA Today bestselling author

Just over a week ago, one of my biggest dreams came true.

No, it's not the one where I'm flying naked over George Clooney's house and he uses his penis as a lasso to drag me out of the sky and onto his front lawn where he serves me red wine and potato chips and challenges me to a game of badminton. I'm still waiting on that one.

The actual dream I achieved was this one:

That's me hitting the USA Today bestseller list for the first time.

I wish I could tell you some cool story about how I found out about it when I was in the middle of dictating notes to my personal assistant as I sipped Perrier and typed a scene in my next bestseller while my live-in masseuse worked knots out of my trapezius.

What I was actually doing was standing barefoot in my office at the day job writing an email to my agent about how I was pretty sure I hadn't made the list despite all our best efforts, and even though we wouldn't know for at least four or five hours, I was totally okay with not making it (which was a total lie, but I wanted to sound brave and professional).

That's when I got a Facebook PM from my agency sistah Lauren Blakely (who clearly has a better sense of time than I do) with the words "YOU FUCKING DID IT!!!!" in all caps and a link to my listing on the USA Today bestseller list.

I promptly burst into happy tears and stumbled barefoot into the lobby of the Visitor Center where the front desk staff was explaining to a German couple how to find a nearby vegan restaurant.

"I just made the USA Today bestseller list!" I sobbed, or at least that's what I tried to say. What actually came out sounded more like, "Mwyffuh aaba sussay bwusella ish," which made the Germans frown with concern and the visitor information specialist say, "It's okay, she's a writer."

Which probably explains a lot.

I eventually stopped bawling and informed my agent and my husband and my parents and the UPS man and pretty much everyone elseI encountered for the next few hours, "OHMYGOD, I'm a USA Today bestselling author!"

It probably would have been cooler if I'd put my shoes back on and didn't have mascara rings making me look like a slightly drunk raccoon.

The rest of the day was great. Entangled Publishing sent me flowers. Lauren sent me wine. My longtime critique partner, Cynthia Reese, called from Georgia to congratulate me. "So what are you doing to celebrate?" she asked. "Well," I told her, "right now I'm writing a blog post for the day job about hiking trails. Then I'm going grocery shopping and making a buttload of food to serve my book club Thursday night. Then I'll probably clean the cat box." There was a long pause before she asked, "Can you at least wear a feather boa while you do it?"

I didn't get a feather boa, but I did get a sushi dinner with my husband. He posted a picture of it on Facebook, which looks all dreamy and romantic unless you know I'm wearing dirty pajama pants and sitting on our living room floor in front of the coffee table because that's an easy way for me to shove food directly into my piehole without pretending I know how to use chopsticks.

The next day, I returned to the day job just like normal. I came home from work just like normal. I took my dog for a walk just like normal and called my mom the way I always do. "So what is the USA Today bestselling author doing to celebrate right now?" she asked. "At the moment," I told her, "I'm picking up dog doo in a plastic baggie."

So that's the story of how I became a USA Today bestselling author without actually managing to become cool enough to be a USA Today bestselling author.

In any case, I'm eternally grateful to everyone who bought The Fix Up either on purpose or because you mistakenly thought it was a repair manual of some sort. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU from the bottom of my uncool heart.