Thou Shalt Now Be Pronounced ‘Author’ – Shuchi Singh Kalra

AUTHOR. AUTHOR. AUTHOR. The word has been ringing about in my head ever since it sunk in that my first book will be out less than one month from now. Yes, less than a month! Trust me, I wasn’t half as nervous when I was being wheeled into the operation theatre for an emergency c-section. Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit, but you get the drift. Things are happening at a maddening pace around here, and now its time to pull out the marketing canons. All the blitzkrieg is taking a toll on me but it is also very exciting. The follower counts on my Twitter and Facebook pages are exploding without provocation and frankly, there is little to complain about right now.

While I have been wearing the “writer” tag for quite a while now, it is the “author” tag that is giving me the tummy tickles. The first time I contemplated writing a book was when I was ten years old. I saw this movie “The Fly” on television and liked the story so much that I decided to write it down as a novel. Don’t yell PLAIGIARST yet – I was only ten! The point I am trying to make is that writing a book has been my dream since forever. It is tops on my bucket list even (I had aimed to publish a book before I turned thirty and I’m thirty one now, but still).

As much as it is exhilarating, it is scary as hell. What if people just hate it? Worse, what if nobody reads it at all? What if only my mom and dad buy the copies and say “shaabaash beta, bahot achha likha hai”? It is all very nerve-wracking since this has been one of my major life goals. Every time I send out a review copy to a critic, I imagine myself handing a sword in their hands and giving them the permission to hack me down. What to do, I’m dramatic like that.

The truth is: writing a novel isn’t anything like writing a blog post or a brochure. It involves so much more. It is an emotional process where authors bare themselves to the public. I now realize that it takes incredible courage to put your work out there because most definitely, there will be readers who will NOT like your book. Some will even say nasty things about it. Things become scarier when expectations are high or even marginally existent (believe me, every time someone says “Oh you are such an established writer – your book just has to be amazing”, I almost shit in my pants). But thankfully, I’m not going crazy yet. This isn’t the first thing I have written, and neither will it be my last, and that is a major consolation. I have been a professional writer for years and thankfully, clients have loved my work and most have only good things to say about me.

I’ve even found a way around my pre-launch anxiety. Every time I feel jittery, I go back to the time when I would hold a chick-lit in my hands and imagine my name sprawled across a pink cover in bold cursive font. Confession: I have even daydreamt about giving out signed copies to wide-eyed fans (hey, don’t you laugh!). I believe the latter will also happen in good time, and ‘Done With Men’ is hopefully a giant leap forward towards that crazy dream.

Right now, I’m just going to soak up in the fabulous feeling of becoming a PUBLISHED AUTHOR. I wrote a full, freakin’ book, and it was taken by a real, reputed publisher (not one of those scammy ones that expect the author to cough up money). And the best part is that people are loving it (so far, so good). The initial reviews that have come in are mostly positive and the book is all set to hit the market on Valentine’s Day. So if you want to show me some V-Day love, you know what to do!

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