I’ve been trying to announce my book deal on this blog for at least 5 months. I have two finished posts on the subject, saved in my drafts folder, but that I refuse to publish. I don’t know what my problem is. I’m not superstitious enough to worry about jinxing anything. However, it’s possible that I’m putting even more pressure on myself to make this a grand announcement than I’m putting on myself to write the perfect manuscript. That’s where I’ve been for the last couple of months — working on the first few chapters. And that’s where I am now, working on the next few chapters.
My book (deal) is for a memoir. I hesitate to call it a book, or even a manuscript, because technically speaking, it’s not finished. That’s the thing with non-fiction, you can sell it on a proposal, which I spent the better part of 2008 writing. (The other part I spent crying on public transportation over my break-up.) My memoir is tentatively titled, Nina Here Nor There. Now you know why I haven’t changed this blog to Nick Here Nor There, other than the sounding stupid factor.
My publisher is Beacon Press. They rule. No joke. Not only did they publish James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son, which places me in the best company ever, but they have quite a list of serious and diverse fiction and non-fiction; they’re all about social justice, freedom, equality, progress, excellent writing. Check them out.
My book is slated to come out in spring 2011. Which means I have some time to write it, and then some time to beg you (and your ten best friends to buy it). I’m hoping to chronicle some of the process here. As a former writing instructor told me, you only get to write your first book once, which I took to mean it’s special, as opposed to, don’t fuck it up. I’m also hoping to post more often. And shorter. You’d think if I’m going to get 200 book pages, I could learn to be brief here.
So, I bet you want to know what my memoir is about. Yeah, me too. I have a 25-word “elevator pitch,” a temporary back cover blurb, and a marketing-y hook. But you’re not getting any of that; there’s a reason publishers print the actual book, not the proposal. For now, I’ll say it’s a queer coming-of-age story (and as any queer knows, we don’t really come of age until our late twenties), an alternative transgender narrative and an exploration of gender-variant identities. Or, simply put: my memoir has tits, sex, and tears; the main character is neurotic, occasionally funny; it’s like my blog, but with pages. And it’ll be in paperback, which means you’ll be able to afford it. Sweet, huh.
The day that Beacon Press made an offer was pretty much the best day of my life. Although it doesn’t excuse looking like a huge dork in the picture taken that night, my cheeks flushed from a yoga class, celebrating with my “Project Happiness” wine. From now on, I’ll be protecting my image; you’re only going to see cool promo pics and many versions of my “buy my book” face. Besides, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to recreate the pure bliss shown below. Well, maybe when I’ve got my book in hand instead of a bottle.