Some of you have asked why I don't include much about my own writing and publishing experience on this site, and my answer is simple: I don't like to write about myself.
As a journalist, I learned early to remove the personal bits that can sometimes creep into an article . "Readers want the news, the facts; they don't want your life story or your opinion." That's what I'd remind myself when I was working in a newsroom. It was my job to be transparent to the reader.
It was an easy role to fall into because I'm most comfortable being invisible. I'm the kind of person who lingers in the back of a room or on the perimeter of parties. I was never a cheerleader, I never ran for class president. I have trouble initiating conversations. I hang back. I watch others. I take in the surroundings. I observe.
The downside to this is such reticence can be perceived as being aloof or secretive. I guess I've preferred that to letting people know what it really is: plain old shyness. But shyness so profound that I can't tell you how many opportunities I've missed because I didn't have the courage to say the first word or make the first move.
It's not all bad, though. In fact, it's probably the best asset I have as a writer. As an observer, I notice the details of life. Body language, the weather, the particular words people use and how they use them. All those details are stored away to be drawn on when I'm conjuring up characters and scenes and dialogue.
Up to now, I've lived with my shyness. Resigned myself to it. But with publication of my first novel on the horizon, I think the road from here on out will be more challenging. In fact, I know it will be. Every author who has been gracious enough to be interviewed on this site about his or her book marketing experience has said as much. So I'm gearing up -- mentally. My new favorite phrase is "get over yourself." I repeat it every time I find myself avoiding something or someone out of shyness.
So far, it's been a little tough. But I'm committed to making it work.
And in the spirit of more disclosure, here's a quick update on THE BELLY DANCER.
The contract with Berkley Books/Penguin is finalized, and my wonderful editor, Jackie Cantor, is working with the graphics team to put together cover art. For inspiration, they're looking at orientalist paintings from the late 1800s and early 1900s, some of which I use on my Web site at DeAnnaCameron.com, as well as other artwork. I know what they ultimately come up with will be amazing and beyond anything I could've hoped for. I also have a little revision work ahead of me on manuscript, and I'm working on a draft of a new novel that's at a very exciting stage right now. I love the characters, I love where the story is going, and I just love seeing all the parts of it coming together.