So I Read Your Book

WHAT A dreadful arrangement of words. What horrors spawn in the heart by the sound of them, conceived in light of this ambiguous and ominous news: “So . . . I read your book.”

It’s like news of a coming snowstorm. Exciting but uncertain. You hoped you were on your way to a book deal but you slid off into the ditch and now you’re trudging through the snow to the nearest town, each step a new edit to make, a new sentence to revise, a new plot point to reimagine.

Or do delight and intrigue accompany this declaration? Will I be showered with praise like warm spring rain? Will surprise lilies burst forth from the ground all around me, fertilized by a writer’s joy? Is it possible that . . . somehow . . . the news is good?

I have a friend. My friend is the most well-read person I’ll ever meet in my life. A sophisticated reader with canonical taste and a brilliant analytical mind. This friend informed me last week that he’s finished reading my newest novel, one for which I will be seeking representation, a book deal, stardom, etc. Today I’m paying him a visit to discuss it. It’s an exciting day. A soon-to-be snowy day. A someone-read-my-book-and-that’s-rare day. There’s nothing better than listening to someone talk about your story, and knowing they actually paid attention. I’ve been waiting to hear these words for months: “So . . . I read your book.”

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry or go running into the snowstorm, never to be seen again. I’m ready for the snow, but I’m on the lookout for lilies.

With love,


6 thoughts on “So I Read Your Book

  1. Oh man, those words are so dangerous! When I give my book for beta reading, I don’t want to hear back anything while at the same time dying for response. The feeling you describe is so powerful, and I wonder if other types of artists get the same feeling when someone looks at their drawing or listens to their song!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tory, you describe the feeling well. As both a writer and a professional editor, I know both sides of that gut-wrenching coin. I hope you had a productive conversation and you’re even more excited about your novel! Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Tory, great post. I know the feeling. It is so exciting and scary because although you love your baby you know all its warts and cracks and at least for me, I tore mine apart over and over again picking at every nagging thing. Then my smart friends read it and say wow what a great story and here are somethings to work on. Which again is exciting and scary but it’s all an opportunity for growth. I like you am writing novels looking for representation in the hope of fame glory and lots of moneies. And I am learning that it takes a lot of growing on my part to go from who I was to who I want to be and all I can do is keep writing keep working and keep growing. Best of luck to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh yes…those words…ready to fall either way. Know them well, as a writer looking for an agent, as a represented writer who’s edited, redrafted and as my agent and I awaited news from publishing houses. And having gone through that emotional rollercoaster….now as a self published author waiting for reviews. A writer’s life is an emotional, turbulent one, full of highs and lows.


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