And it is just as miserable as the last three weeks of a pregnancy. Anne Lamott says it far better than I (of course, Lamott says everything far better than I):
The worst time in any writer’s life is the two months before publication. ALL writers become mental and pathetic, even those of devout faith, who have some psychological healing to lean up against, and gorgeous lives. All writers think that this time, the jig is up, and they will be exposed as frauds.
Two months before publication, all writers worth their salt have days where they hate everyone, and wish everyone would just die. … And all writers wonder where the HELL were their editors?
All of this hand-wringing on my part is despite some truly wonderful reviews. On Tuesday, Library Journal named Montana Debut of the Month and said its “breathless pacing, strong characterizations, and a nuanced plot blend into an unforgettable read. With its strong sense of place and an intriguing ethnic character mix, consider for fans of Lori Armstrong, C.J. Box, and Wayne Arthurson.”
Also on Tuesday, Booklist called it “a gripping debut mystery.”
People can judge for themselves next weekend when Montana gets trotted out to the public in a preview of sorts at the Montana Festival of the Book that starts next Thursday and that, for my money, is one of the best reasons to live in Missoula.
This year’s festival looks to be the typically terrific event, with Sherman Alexie headlining the opening event, and James Lee Burke speaking at a Cajun-themed lunch. See Vince Devlin’s story in today’s Missoulian for more on the impressive list of writers featured at the festival. And, ahem, I’ll be reading from Montana. More details in next week’s blog post.