As I titled this post, I realized how funny it is that I'm planning to write about last-minute jitters. Today is my wedding annversary. I've been married for ::cough:: years now, and I have to tell you I experienced absolutely no jitters before the wedding. None whatsoever. My husband claims he didn't either and I believe him.
But it's just interesting that today of all days, I'm feeling nervous.
I'm talking, of course, about my new novel, the first in the MANOR OF MURDER series. The book is done and I'll turn it in before my September 1st deadline, so I'm slightly ahead of the game. But I'm nervous. I really like this story and I think it works. My middle daughter read it yesterday and said she likes it a lot (what else is a daughter going to say, right?), and I've proofread the heck out of it. As of last night I realized there is nothing preventing me from turning it in today, except my own skittishness. Maybe if I proofread one more time I'll find a better turn of phrase, a misplaced comma (always!), or a word echo. I have no doubt about that. When I am called upon to read my work aloud, I find myself editing as I read - wishing I'd made this change, or that. But by that time it's too late ;-)
The other reason I'm nervous, I think, is because I'm sending a whole new cast of characters out into the world. Just like dropping off one's child at kindergarten, I worry that the "others" (readers) won't like my characters, will make fun of them, will send them home in tears. I felt this way when Ollie and her White House gang were first introduced and I feel this way every time a new White House Chef book is released. I wonder, is this normal? At a minimum I have to figure it's normal for me ;-)
Even though I could send the manuscript off today, and happily start on the next one tomorrow, I think I'll take a few extra days to read this first MANOR OF MURDER story aloud a second time (always a worthwhile exercise) and make good use of the week and a half I have left. I have this mental picture in my head of me holding tight to the manuscript while it's being pulled out of my hands. "No," I cry, "just a little more tweaking!"
Dean and Kris would be so disappointed ;-)
Do any other authors experience this trepidation? Just wondering...