There's nothing scarier for an author than getting this e-mail from your agent:

"PW is going to review your book Monday, March 26."

It is Friday, March 23, and I know I am in for the longest weekend of my life.

I e-mail back my agent, "Gulp. If it's good, do they tell you in advance?"

He e-mails me, "Good or bad, you wait."
So I wait, telling myself there's no reason to worry. It's going to be fine. And even if PW hates it, I'm past the stage where one bad review can hurt me.
I remain calm, cool and adult. I go back to my work. Life will go on.
It does, too. Except that every five minutes, I ask my husband, "Do you think they'll like the book?"
"What's not to like?" he says.
I can think of lots of things.
"It will be fine," he says.
"You're sure?"
"Of course I'm sure."
That keeps me quiet for at least five more minutes, until I ask him again.
Monday morning finally rolls around. I hear a loud silence.
"PW hated the book," I e-mail my agent. "It's so awful everyone is afraid to say anything."
"Publishers don't get their copies until Tuesday or Wednesday," he e-mails back. "It will be fine."
"You're sure?"
"Of course I'm sure."
At three p.m. today my agent called. "I have a copy. I will read it to you now."
He did.
They liked it.

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Comment by ElaineViets on March 28, 2007 at 8:06am
Aww, shucks, Joe.
Elaine
Comment by ElaineViets on March 27, 2007 at 5:43pm
Dear Candy:
(1) I still haven't found the nerve to say, "Don't tell me."
(2) Personally, I'd have those words tattooed on my forehead. You can always hide them with your bangs.
Comment by Candy Calvert on March 27, 2007 at 9:14am
Hurrah, Elaine--I can truly relate.
Which reminds me of a couple of things I'd been pondering:
1) how do we tell our agents that it's best not to share "upcoming review news" in advance? And . . .

2) would it be too tacky to have my own little PW tidbit " smart, snappy prose" tattooed somewhere?

Many congratulations and much cyberchampagne!
Candy

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