And that’s alright; I found a martyr in my bed tonight

Posted by on Jul 18, 2012 in Inspiration, Stuff I Like, Thanks, Writers | 17 comments

So, I’m back from Comic-Con, jet-lagged into a zombie state, and desperately wanting to give you all the fabulous lowdown on the Amazinginess That Is The Con.

Thing is, the Convention was amazing, but not for any of the reasons I expected. Sure, I saw some celebrities (and my Soul Twin Sarah shook Alexander Skaarsgard’s HAND. 5 days later, and I don’t think she’s washed that hand yet… ;)). I also saw some amazing, mind-blowing costumes and went to some even more amazing, mind-blowing parties…

Yet, the best part of Comic-Con was that I learned something about myself–something that has been a long time coming but didn’t really hit home until now.

You see, I met some Big Name Authors–authors whose books have literally transformed me into the person I am today. Authors who have been on the scene for a while now and actually know what they’re doing (unlike me). People such as:

SHE'S HOLDING MY CARD!!!! GAAAAAAH!!!!!

  • Robin Hobb! ROBIN HOBB!!!! I actually burst into tears when I met her….and then Sarah burst into sympathetic tears beside me. It was pathetic.
  • Melina Marchetta! O_O Sarah burst into tears upon meeting her, and then I burst into sympathetic tears with her. We should not be allowed to cry near each other anymore.
  • Patrick Rothfuss! This dude was SO COOL. I want him as my best friend.
  • Raymond Feist! Also totally awesome, and he told me all about his daughter in art school. Authors are real people too–how easily we forget.
  • N.K. Jemisin! She literally has the most beautiful, glowing skin of ALL TIME. And an incredibly contagious smile.
  • Scott Westerfeld! GAAH! He even asked me what I do and was so supportive when he learned I was a debut YA author.
  • Nathan Bransford! So cool, so relaxed, and now my friend on twitter. (He has no idea what he has gotten himself into by doing this….Mwuhahaha.)
  • James Dashner! First off, he was so funny on his panel that I knew right away I had to find any excuse to talk to him. Fortunately, this was incredibly easy to do and even more fortunately, he was even more hilarious in “real life”. He also had great advice for a debut author.
  • Dana Fredsti! She was my panel-mate, and we were both super nervous. The crowds for our “Not with a bang, with a bite” panel were just SO HUGE. I could barely breathe, but she totally held my hand and talked me through it. Then–as if she wasn’t cool enough–she also sat next to me at our post-panel signing and chatted with me as if we’d been BFFRs forever. She (and her boyfriend) literally got me through the panel and signing without having a heart attack.

All of these writers were so gracious. So generous with their time and their advice. So not-freaked-out by my fangirling. So NORMAL.

And it made me realize: this is only the beginning. My agent, Jo, recently said to me: “So many authors get so psyched out about their first book, and it’s easy to forget, you’re in this for the long game.”

And I am, guys. So are all of you (well, those of you who are aspiring or already published writers). Our first publication is undeniably exciting, but it’s only the start of a long career of storytelling. Racing to write more books won’t change our long term goals, right? And stressing or obsessing over our first book won’t change the outcome at the end of the day. As Robin Hobb very sweetly told me at the Con, “Enjoy your debut year. There will only be one, so have fun with it.”

Fun ≠ stressing.

Which leads to something even more important: when the end of the our days comes–be that tomorrow or in a hundred years, what will you wish you had done more of? Written more stories or enjoyed more conversations with friends and family? If you were on your deathbed, would you say, “Gosh, I sure wish I had finished that book” or “Gosh, I sure wish I had hung out more with my Mom”?

There is no right answer. What IS right is that you choose an answer and live your life accordingly.

And that’s why I’m done with freaking out about my book’s release. I know people think I’m crazy when they ask me if I’m terrified/stressed/wigging-the-eff-out and I lazily shake my head. I’m very VERY excited, but at the end of the day, it’s just another moment in my life–one moment of many.

I totally wore myself out with self-promotion, so now rather than obsess over tweeting and facebooking in one last ditch effort to get my book onto the world’s radar, I’m going to wrap up all my interviews/guest posts…and then I’m going to read. I’m going to spend time with my amazing husband. I’m going to call all my friends and do some much-needed catching up.

Oh, and I’m going to continue playing this song on repeat and ROCKING OUT around my house.

So sing it with me:

This is it, boys, this is war – what are we waiting for?
Why don’t we break the rules already?
I was never one to believe the hype – save that for the black and white
I try twice as hard and I’m half as liked, but here they come again to jack my style

And that’s alright; I found a martyr in my bed tonight
She stops my bones from wondering just who I am, who I am, who I am
Oh, who am I?

You tell me: What do YOU want to have done when you reach the end of YOUR days?

  • Susandennard Sd

    Great blog – so will you wish you’d finished the book or hung with your mom?

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    Susan Dennard Reply:

    I’ll definitely hug my mom, Mom.

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  • Lori T

    There are lots of things I want to do before the end, but probably none greater than getting published. 

    I’m so happy that you had a great time at Comic-Con.  You met so many great people!  How exciting it must’ve been to meet Robin Hobb.  I mean, meeting a writer who you’ve admired and who’s helped shaped your writing is phenomenal.  You know what, I almost got to meet Robin last month.  She was at a big sci-fi/horror convention here in KY.  I was going to go, but at the last minute, my friends couldn’t go, so I was too chicken/shy to go by myself.  So, I missed out on meeting Robin, as well as many, many other cool people.  (I’m such a weenie).

    Great pics!  Now, go get some rest :-)

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    Susan Dennard Reply:

    Thanks, Lori! I HAVE been resting…in between all the last minute things. ;)

    Dude, you *almost* met Robin too?! Have you read her books? The LIVESHIP series was sooooooo pivotal in turning me into a writer. She showed me how seemingly irredeemable characters can actually grow–and I have been a huge fan of the so-called irredeemable character ever since.

    (Sorry for taking so long to answer your comment!! <3)

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  • Megan Duff

    I saw the title of this post and knew exactly what song you were referencing  :) And then of course commenced singing it in my head!

    This so awesome Sooz, I am happy about your no stress policy. Here here !

    PS If I met Melina Marchetta I would do all the crying and fangirling too ;D

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    Susan Dennard Reply:

    I KNOW, right?! I think tears are totally okay if you meet your writing hero. Now, all that remain are Ursula K. Le Guin and Tamora Pierce. Then my group of writing heroes will truly be full. Oh, and J.K. Rowling OF COURSE…

    (P.S. I’m sorry for taking so long to answer your comment!! That whole no stress thing, and all… ;))

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  • Peggy Eddleman

    I LOVED THIS. Every part.

    And for about the billionth time, I wished I had gone to Comic Con. Next year it will be just as awesome, right?

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    Susan Dennard Reply:

    YEAH IT WILL. You should most def. go, so then we can be there together. Assuming I can go again, but I’m definitely gonna try!! <3 <3

    (Also, sorry for taking so long to answer your comment!! And your email! <3)

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  • Mac_V

    I can’t stop obsessing over your pictures from Comic-Con. Wonder Boy keeps looking up panels about super hero movies (the new Captain America is titled Winter Soldier. He’s freaking out) and it looks like a completely different WORLD than where you and Sarah were– which I LOVE. Though I think it proves a point that Kyle and I could never go to comic con together– we would be wanting to do too many things in opposite directions!

    That said, I love what you got out of the experience, and I think I need to apply it to my own life. I’m totally in an over-emotional state right now (thanks to being a lady) and it’s one week to my wedding. I’ve taken the whole thing pretty well with planning, etc. for the past eleven months, but now that its down to it, I’ve been starting to panic. Which, I’ve been realizing today, is silly. I need to stop worrying about whether or not it will rain on us or if I’m going to trip over my wedding dress. Whatever happens I am, as you said, very VERY excited, but I need to take a step back and realize that I need to enjoy the day, no matter what it throws at me. :)

    SO excited for Tuesday, Sooz. Luckily I’m pretty sure I have at least the morning to myself. I’ve pre-ordered SS&D and I’m booking it to Barnes and Noble the second it opens and I’m not leaving my burrow in your book until someone MAKES me! <3 <3 <3

    I hope you enjoy every SECOND of your debut! <3 <3 <3

    Mer
    <3

    [Reply]

    Susan Dennard Reply:

    So…today is your last days as a bachelorette, I suppose. The wedding IS tomorrow, right? Oh my, Mer!! THIS IS SO EXCITING FOR YOU. I am so impressed you did all the wedding stuff… I wussed out. The Frenchman and I eloped because I just couldn’t handle the stress of planning a wedding. I hate putting so much pressure on a single day because–knowing me–the day will never live up to my fantasy. BUT, I’m crazy like that. As far as I know with everyone else, their wedding was an amazing, AMAZING day. <3 <3 All the best to you and Wonder Boy.

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  • http://embowman.com/ Erin Bowman

    <3 this post and <3 that song. And most of all: <3 you.

    [Reply]

    Susan Dennard Reply:

    You have no idea how much I <3 you. Like, Blake-Ders-Adam love. All the way.

    [Reply]

  • Iwhittle

    SOOOOOOZ!! It’s so great to be able to stalk you over the internet, although I’ve not been as diligent as of late. I just finished Patrick Rothfuss’s second novel.  So exciting that you met him. 

    This is like the coolest thing ever though.     You’ve come so far! I can’t wait to read the new and improved version of the novel.   Btw, I wanted to end every sentence with an exclamation mark, but I restrained myself.When you get around to calling those friends, don’t forget me!!  

    [Reply]

    Susan Dennard Reply:

    IAN IAN IAN!!! Oh, my luuuurrvvve. You are all successful now (no surprise). Do you ever look back at high school/college and think, “Whoa. That…that could have turned out SO bad. Thank goodness it didn’t.” Because I do. A lot.

    Anyway, email me your phone #. Or I’ll email you instead. LOTS OF LOVE. <3 <3 <3 <3

    [Reply]

  • Krista

    Hi Susan, Virginia and I got our books in the mail today.  I am so excited for you and for myself to cause i know it will be great.  Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Scott S.

    Your blog is so inspiring! It makes me want to get around and start writing my own story! I’m definitely gonna check out your book, can’t wait to read it~! :D

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  • http://twitter.com/commutinggirl Elodie

    First I think I would have totally cried meeting some of my fav authors too. Melina Marchetta? Yep I would have been bawling :D

    Second, your post made me tear up a bit. Because it´s so true! And very well said! My hubby would say I´m just too sensitive :-) Great post, Susan (and again: great book!)

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