When Astrid appeared on my monitor, I was immediately starstruck. There I was, conversing with the CEO of Ylva, the woman behind all of my favorite novels. She gently suggested I save my breathless fangirling for real celebrities, such as Amber Tamblyn, whom she saw at a recent engagement (I think this was meant to put me at ease). Then we began to discuss the book.
I tried to appear poised, but Astrid must have sensed the underlying neuroses, because she put me out of my misery early on, before asking any questions. She said something like, “Maybe this will lower your blood pressure. I would like to sign with you and publish the book.”
Internally, I was squealing and losing my shit, but knew it was important to remain composed, lest she think “Hmmm, not sure I want to deal with this.”
I may never know what Astrid wanted to ask me before officially extending the offer, but based on the rest of our conversation, I believe she had planned to start by determining 1) if I was planning to write more books, and 2) if I was open to editing, or if I’d be difficult and argue over suggested revisions.
She had nothing to fear because the next book is underway — and I am incredibly, almost pathologically easy to work with. My people-pleasing tendencies date back to early childhood. In the end, I just want everyone to be happy with me, and that is far more important than any opinion or preference I may have. Furthermore, I attack each task I am given with energy and drive that my teachers fondly called “excessive.” Frankly, I’m a delight.
And I am seriously, genuinely grateful for any and all editing. Since submitting the manuscript, I have ruminated expansively on everything that is wrong with it, to the point where I now feel personally betrayed by my friend who told me it was good.
But even if I thought I had produced God’s gift to the genre, I am well-aware of the value of editing. All of my favorite writers rely heavily on content and copy-editors, and it’s not because they suck. I don’t know if other publishers offer editing support (see: did zero research) but I am so happy that mine does.
Plus, in grad school, I managed to write and revise a 350-page dissertation that ultimately satisfied four cranky committee members — including a qualitative researcher (you know how they are). Y’all don’t need to worry about me.