Monday, December 22, 2008

The end of 2k8...

This week, as we say goodbye to our debut year, we consider our highlights, our frustrations, and the things we wouldn't have had without this, our class!

Today we visit with Ellen Booraem. Ellen, what was the most amazing thing that happened to you this year?

Because I’m a mundane sort of person, the amazing things that happened to me this year were right in character. A little girl in Eastport, Maine, noticed a place where I was trying to be funny that nobody else had ever caught. The first kid who asked me to sign a book, back in September, got all excited when she found out she was the first. I talked to readers who found things in The Unnameables that I didn’t know I’d put there. No celebrities, no champagne toasts … just the kind of quiet glow that means everything to me.

Anything you found difficult about it, despite how fabulous it was?

The biggest frustration, I’d say, was my own ineptitude on the marketing side of things. I dropped my galleys at the independent bookstore in a nearby city over the summer, and this fall kept hearing that they hadn’t stocked it, even though it was doing well in other local stores and in stores across the country. OK, I thought, they didn’t think much of the book. At the end of November, I got my courage in my hands and went back with another galley. Of course, the problem turned out to be an oversight, which they hastily corrected. Now, why didn’t I do that earlier? Just another ill-timed attack of self-doubt, I’m afraid.

And is there anything you think would have been different if you hadn't joined the Class of 2k8?

I don’t like to think what would have happened to me without the expertise and support of my 2k8 pals. I would have no Web presence at all, and no sense of what’s “normal” about this process. Without the daily emails about fellow 2k8ers’ problems and questions, without their wisdom and reassurance, I’d be a gibbering wreck right now.

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