but I've got wonderfully good news, the best possible news (well, you know what I mean, of course the world is in a dire way & it would be nice to stop global warming/the war in Iraq/childhood mortality etc., but from a strictly selfish point of view I cannot think of anything better): it's now definite and I can say it here, HarperCollins Children's Books will publish Dynamite No. 1. I will be working with a most wonderful editor, Ruth Katcher (aside from her general excellence she also edits one of my favorite writers ever, and a ton of other great stuff too); and my agent is the amazing Liz Gately at Anderson Grinberg. The book will be published in 2008, with a sequel called The Snow Queen to follow.
It occasionally impinges on my consciousness that I am overly book-obsessed, I would not think it at all sound if someone told me that their happiness was almost entirely dependent on whether they (a) got a decent amount of writing done that day and (b) had a publisher for their novel. I would tell that person that she should have a better sense of proportion, that it's bad enough to care so desperately about the work--at least that's in your control, more or less, and surely it's inevitable that how much work you get done will affect how you feel--but it's completely insane to let your state of mind depend on something as out-there-in-the-world as what happens to your novel once you've written it. It is important to have a good balance between different elements in life, and after all other things are valuable too (can you hear how half-hearted I sound as I say that?).
So despite the sensibleness of this advice I have completely neglected to follow it myself, and there is no doubt that I have spent part (sometimes a quite large part) of every single day over the last two years worrying about this novel, either (profitably) in terms of actually working on revisions or (less sensibly) fretting about what its worldly fate would be. It is therefore particularly if not very moral-example-ly delightful to have this happy, happy outcome.
(In fact, this blog was born of my desire as I was finishing the first good draft of the book to chronicle its path towards publication, only I realized in a mortifying but funny vanity-of-human-wishes-type vein that I had been ludicrously premature and that a day-by-day chronicle of the book's path to publication would at that point have been a shameful exercise in self-flagellation! NB since I wrote that post I un-quit smoking, then properly re-quit and have not smoked since the beginning of September, but have consumed vast amounts of very strong coffee in the intervening months....)