Once I was assured that Brown Paper Publishing was legit, I did a lot of waiting. It would be at least a few weeks until my page proofs were ready. So I started telling people that I was getting a book published. I observed the "pregnant rule." That is, you don't tell people you're expecting until you're at least out of your first trimester. I wanted to wait until it was 100 percent official.
Everyone was quite pleased for me. I, however, was trying to take it with a grain of salt. Yes,this was a major achievement, a triumphant culmination of everything I had looked forward to in my career. Still. I had to be honest: This was a small startup publisher, it was my first novel and my expectations were not terribly high.
Perhaps it was seasonal affective disorder, but during this time I became very depressed, almost despondent. What should have been a joyous event, something to celebrate was turning, in my mind, into a nightmare. And I could not figure out why. Perhaps I was comparing myself to other novelists and feeling like small potatoes. Perhaps I felt as if this tiny novel would be lost among a chorus of more highly placed voices. Whatever the reason, I was in a funk.