It's done! Today, at the Coffee House Cafe in Montclair, I finished it. I've given birth to a 319-page, 81,668-word novel, and am almost ready to send it out into the world. I feel like doing one of those end-zone victory dances to a roaring crowd. And in a writerly sort of way, I am doing a victory dance. That is, I'm calling up friends with the news. My friend Brooke just dropped off a bottle of champagne. In a way, I feel lighter than air. Like I've caught up. I've crossed something huge off my to-do list. Now I can spend my Saturdays any way I like.
But I also feel like one of those cartoon characters that's running, running, running and runs straight off a cliff and doesn't know the edge is there so they just keep running. If I look down, that's it. I've had all this momentum for so long and it's kept me in perpetual motion. But now, below my feet, it's just ... air.
Do you have a publisher?
Do you have an agent?
Not yet. But one of my best friends is a literary agent and she's going to steer me in the right direction.
What's the novel called?
What's it about?
It's about what happens when an endangered timber rattlesnake shows up in the backyard of vain New Jersey housewife. It's about the strain that suburbanization is putting on the countryside. It's about animal activists and media circuses and philandering developers and class moms.
Is it funny?
It's supposed to be.
How long did it take to write?
Including the revision, about 10 months.
Is Heather based on a real person?
Really. Although she has characteristics of certain people I know, she's really not based on any one person. Even I have some Heather in me. But in the end, she became her own person.
Where did Dana go?
I'm not telling. You'll have to wait to read it.
Will this make you rich?
I sure hope so. But even if I never make a cent, I'll be proud that I actually wrote something of this complexity and made it all the way to the end.