This weekend I got the very last of the pre-ordered copies packaged up! I took a batch to the post office on Saturday but ran out of packing tape and couldn’t get to the store before the post office closed so the last of the pre-ordered copies will be going out in today’s mail!
The actual process of getting the books sent to their new homes was a little more involved than I had anticipated when I started the pre-order process – making and assembling all the button sets, signing all the books (that’s my most favorite part of all—I don’t think I could ever get tired of that) addressing envelopes (why didn’t I use printed labels?!), and sealing all the edges of the packages by hand with packing tape because I didn’t purchase the right envelopes, and then of course actually carrying them all to the post office. It was a pretty involved process – but also one that was exciting, meditative in its own way, and ultimately just felt really fitting for this book that is so based in my DIY roots, and whose main characters are so intermeshed with DIY values.
On Friday the books started arriving in their new homes. I found out as folks began tagging me on facebook and tweeting at me about how excited they were to find Roving Pack in their mailboxes! It was one of the coolest experiences for me as an author to realize that folks actually had my novel in their hands. Not only that, people started messaging me that they had started reading…… and that they couldn’t put it down!!!!
As an author I think there are few greater compliments than having someone like, be moved by, or somehow connect with what you’ve written. To have Roving Pack be so well received by folks who pre-ordered such an incredible feeling. This is a book that insisted on coming out. It wasn’t necessary the book that I thought would follow Kicked Out but it put me in a chokehold and wouldn’t let go until I’d written it, and I’m so grateful that I had the support to push me to listen to these stories, and write them. Before working on Roving Pack I denied that I could be a fiction writer, and I certainly didn’t think I’d be able to write a novel-length piece. I was wrong, Roving Pack sure proved that to me! This was the book I needed to write. I know that in many ways it has already, and will continue to shift and shape the direction of my creative work to come.
Roving Pack is not a safe book. It’s edgy, and in your face, and I anticipate it will make some readers, even queers uncomfortable. Somehow in preparing myself for a possible backlash, I forgot that there were going to be people that liked it. So far people have not only liked it but who started reading and ignored their homework, housework, Friday evening plans and kept reading because they were hooked!!!! I kept having these little moments on Friday night and through the weekend, where I realized that people out there were reading Roving Pack! It feels unreal that this book that has been my primary artistic focus for the last couple of years is now going out in the world – that it’s in people’s hands, being carried around in backpacks and read on busses, that folks are curling up in bathtubs with it, and sprawling on couches! People keep telling me they are hooked, and I couldn’t be more pleased/proud/excited!
I hope that readers continue to tell me what they think of the book ::hint hint:: I’m loving all the little messages springing up across my facebook/twitter/fetlife that someone has gotten their copy, that they like their buttons and then of course what they are thinking about Roving Pack as they begin reading!