by Betty Dravis
Many people ask me how I celebrate when completing a manuscript or when a book goes to print! For me, that’s really two questions in one because I celebrate differently for each occasion.
It amused me that the author (played by James Caan) in Stephen King’s Misery had a ritual he followed: He celebrated alone in his room (whether in a hotel room or at home) by treating himself to a cigarette and a glass of fine wine. That scene triggered my curiosity, but it wasn’t until people persisted in asking me that question that I decided to write a blog about it. So I put the question to some popular authors and I think their answers will interest you. I’ll share their celebratory ways before divulging my own. (Age usually comes before beauty, the old saying goes, but in this case, I’ll reverse the process.)
Here is what they had to say:
Author Frank Nappi: “Nothing too exciting. When the book is released, I usually go out to a nice dinner with my family, have some wine and good food, dessert of course, and we talk and dream about the weeks ahead!”
Nappi is a Long Island school teacher who wrote three outstanding novels: Echoes from the Infantry (which won a Silver Medal from Military Writers Society of America); The Legend of Mickey Tussler, which is hitting the big screen soon; and Nobody Needs to Know, due out by Hannover House in July, 2010, and is going into movie production shortly after). Congratulations, Frank! To learn more about Frank and his books, go to: http://www.franknappi.com/
K. Michael Crawford: “Once upon a time…there was a magical place with lots of magical characters and some strange folks, but not to worry, I just finished my latest book… First, there will be dancing around the drawing table and a big WAAHOO! heard from coast to coast. Maybe some chomping on some M&Ms and then a little more dancing. Then I realize in my silliness I have a new idea for another book. Well, hi-ho, back to work I go, dreaming up a whole new magical place to put between the pages of a book. So the story goes…and all the magical creatures and strange folks lived happily ever after, once their creator got back to work.”
K. Michael Crawford is a famous, award-winning illustrator who wrote and illustrated children’s books before receiving a huge career boost by illustrating the classic, Chicken Little, for Ideal Books. After that, she became hot and has been illustrating “happily ever after,” winning many prestigious awards, including Parents Choice. She has illustrated for Special Olympics, Disney, Scholastic and Hanna Barbera. Her works have also been exhibited throughout the United States. For more about Crawford, go to: www.happilyeverart.com/
Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif: “When I finally finish one of my novels, I do three things that probably aren’t that exciting to most. I take my family out for dinner, pop open a bottle of wine or champagne, then I sleep in the next morning and watch movies that day. I give myself one day to let my accomplishment sink in and to celebrate it. After that, I get it ready for my agent. Then I get back to work writing and promoting! 🙂
Tardif is a best-selling Canadian author who “specializes in mile-a-minute, pot-boiler mysteries,” according to the Edmonton Sun newspaper. She has written Whale Song which is in negotiations for the big screen; The River; Divine Intervention; and is currently working on Children of the Fog. She is also a book marketing coach. For more about this author, visit her website: http://www.cherylktardif.com.
Author/Rev. James Somers: “I get to work on the next one…well, a brief sigh in between. :)”
Rev. James Somers is the author of a Christian thriller, Perdition’s Gate; an exciting fantasy, The Chronicles of Soone; several other books; and Kindle e-books. He is pastor of a church in Harriman, Tennessee and a medical technician. For more about him, visit these websites: www.jamessomers.blogspot.com
Author Bazhe: “I celebrate, when selling my books Damages and Identities, by treating myself with fine Swiss chocolates given to me by many of my admirers and treating my cat to his favorite food and a new toy… I celebrate when I finish writing my new book, or when pre-sale, by visiting an exotic country or place in the world and by taking my cat to a special animal spa that he loves. And I am not kidding what I confessed to you. You can see it on YouTube:
B.K. Bazhe, who writes under his surname, is the internationally recognized author of two books: Damages, a memoir about one man’s fight to overcome the psychological wounds created by his peculiar upbringing as he struggled to find his true identity and freedom, and Identities, a book of poetry. Congratulations are due this author because Damages has been optioned for film. Bazhe has won writing awards from various sources, including Writers’ Digest, and is an artist who has exhibited in many states in the U.S. For more about him, check his website:
Author Maggie Bishop: “Drink champagne and plan a Caribbean cruise… I’ve written five books and have been on seventeen cruises. My first cruise was in 2000 and I worked as a Census Taker to pay for that one. I told my husband I’d rather go cheap and often, so we watch for bargains, have inside cabins and drive to ports in Florida to save money. Some cruises, we don’t even get off the ship in port since we’ve visited the same places so often. Our favorite stop is usually the private island where we snorkel.”
Bishop writes exciting Appalachian adventures set in her beloved state of North Carolina. Her latest novel is Perfect for Framing, but she has written five others. Maggie loves nature, active sports and was selected as one of East Carolina University’s 100 Incredible Women. To learn more about this author and her other works, please visit her websites: http://maggiebishop1.tripod.com
Even though Laurel’s answer to the question is short, she writes long, beautifully descriptive books about average people to whom the reader instantly relates. This author is a retired social worker who grew up during the “hippy” days. She writes books about—you guessed it!—women of that generation and various social worker case histories; strong women who despite frightening twists and turns in their lives, go on to build good lives for themselves. Laurel is also a prolific blogger and keeps up with seventeen blogs… Ouch! She has written five intriguing books, including Web of Tyranny and Miles to Go. Laurel is also a popular Amazon reviewer. For more about this author, visit her websites:
McVay lives with her family in the mountains of western North Carolina. Souls of the North Wind is her first novel and may soon become a movie. It’s an exciting adventure story set in the frozen northland and centers around two brave, determined young Inuit boys and their courageous dogs. It’s listed on Amazon.com as juvenile fiction, but Souls is also popular with adults interested in ancient Native American legends and lore. This author also has three powerful short stories on Amazon Shorts and other stories have appeared in many publications. Chrissy has no website, but check her Amazon author’s page at this link: http://www.amazon.com/Chrissy-K.-McVay/e/B002BLUB64/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Author Christy Tillery French: “Gosh, Betty, I’ve gone through it eight times now, so I don’t do much of anything other than whoop and holler and say yahoooooooooeeeeeeeeeeee! I do go out to dinner with my hubby and kids, if they don’t have anything planned. I do take a short break from writing when I’m finished with a manuscript. (I’m feeling so alone because I don’t have any kind of ritual to celebrate. Hmmmmm…)”
French is an award-winning, internationally published author and poet. As she noted, she has eight books to her credit, including two popular series, Bodyguard and Chasing. Her latest, The Bodyguard and the Bodyguard is due out this year. She is also listed in several Who’s Who publications. She is a former paralegal, later founding a medical transcription service. Devoted to animals, she works for animal rights and donates some book proceeds to those causes. She lives on a mini-ranch in Tennessee. She is also a popular reviewer for Midwest Book Reviews. For more about French, visit her websites:
Author Caitlyn Hunter: “Let’s see, what do I do when I finish a book? Nothing really except maybe go outside and do a Snoopy dance with Des and Fletch… Well, more Des than Fletch since Fletch is a lazy hound dog and doesn’t do much of anything except sleep and eat. Added to that, he’s deaf and can’t hear me sing which is probably a good thing. I’m convinced Des prances around just because my atrocious singing voice hurts his ears! As for when I receive a new contract, my husband always takes me out to dinner, but other than that, I don’t do much to celebrate. I’m really quite a boring person, aren’t I?”
Hunter is anything but boring; she has an awesome imagination and a fabulous sense of humor! Her real name is Cynthia Tillery Hodges and she lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with three men and a lady. The men; her husband and her two canine pals, Des and Fletch. The lady; a cat named Bessie. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time gardening, reading, and researching the legends of her Cherokee ancestors. She is a member of North Carolina Writers’ Network and High Country Writers. Currently, she and her sister, Christy Tillery French, are co-authoring a book about their great-aunt’s life growing up in the small town of Hot Springs, NC. Caitlyn writes romantic mysteries—some sweet, some erotic–but she also writes children’s books (as yet unsubmitted). She has several e-books to her credit and her first print book, Snow Shadows, a sensual paranormal romance. It’s first in the Eternal Shadows series, with the sequel, Storm Shadows, due for release soon. In addition, Winds of Fate, based on the legend of Blowing Rock in North Carolina is also due out soon. To learn more about Caitlyn, visit her websites:
Author Betty Dravis: “My way is not terribly exciting but it’s the same way I celebrate all important events in my life: When I finish the final draft of a manuscript, I push away from the computer, heave a heavy sigh and when I catch my breath, I shout WOO-HOO… Then I phone all my children and my best friend to share my excitement and dreams for that book. After that, I go on the net, post the news on my personal website and the Dames of Dialogue site and broadcast it on Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, GoodReads and any other place I can think of. And finally, I take a nap! But when I make a sale of a book, I celebrate the same, but I also make plans with someone close to go out to a long, leisurely dinner at a fine restaurant (or even McDonald’s…I don’t really care). I’m that excited! When my first book, Millennium Babe: the Prophecy, a fantasy adventure, came out, my daughter Mindy threw a big book-signing for me at the San Jose Labor Temple; for my second, The Toonies Invade Silicon Valley, a YA fantasy adventure, daughter Deb held a launch party in her home; and so it goes… All fun for me… Writing is an awesome experience, but getting published is even better!”
Since I write in multiple genres, horror author Mark LaFlamme wrote this about me: “Betty Dravis is a fantastic mix of Shirley Jackson, Edna Buchanan and Janis Joplin. Don’t ask me how I came up with that unlikely comparison––I just feel it, and I haven’t been drinking much tonight….” LaFlamme is the author of Dirt: An American Campaign and three other gripping horror novels. All I have to say to Mark is: I wish that it were so… lol
I grew up in Ohio but moved to California after graduation and have lived in the active Silicon Valley for over thirty years. I now live in the lovely, more rural Central Valley and am learning my way around the area. I have written three novels (a supernatural fantasy adventure, a YA fantasy adventure, and an epic romantic thriller), but my latest book, Dream Reachers with co-author Chase Von, is nonfiction. Dream Reachers is a magical mix of success stories and interviews with people who have dared to stretch to reach for their dreams–from living legends like Clint Eastwood and Jane Russell to legends-in-the-making like Darcy Donavan and Nhojj. I just received word that Dream Reachers has now gone international, being Top Five in India. I am also a top Amazon reviewer. Prior to writing books, I had a long journalism career and hosted a weekly talk show on Cable TV. For more about me, check these sites:
Now that I’ve shared more than you ever wanted to know about me, I’d like to add that I find the other authors’ answers fun and interesting and appreciate them sharing with our readers. We are all individuals and just as we write in different genres, so also do we celebrate our victories differently. But I did notice that many of us celebrate with “food, family and friends,” as has been the custom of human beings from time immemorial (even Maggie’s cruises are centered around food and family). Some things never change…
For your information, five of the above authors comprise the Dames of Dialogue (founded by Bishop and French); the others are Caitlyn Hunter, Laurel Rain Snow and me. Also I’d like to add that I am interviewing three of the authors for the next edition of Dream Reachers, due out the end of 2010 or early 2011. I’m grateful to Frank Nappi, K. Michael Crawford and Cheryl Kaye Tardif for granting me interviews. These interviews first run in Dames of Dialogue, so keep on the lookout for them in the near future.
And if you are an author, please comment and tell us how you celebrate your books!