“My Crazy, Let Me Show You It”
by Jessica Corra
When I found out my debut novel, After You, would be published by Dial in Spring 2013 (look, I got my plug out of the way in the first line, I’m efficient), I was standing in a Barnes and Noble. I began flapping my hands up and down in front of my face, squeaking, “My book’s going to be here. My book’s going to be here.”
Because no matter how excited I am about everything else related to publishing, the whole endeavor is summed up in that line: my book’s going to be here. You’re going to be able to read my book. The gravity of that astounds me at the most basic level. We often say we write because we want to share our stories with people, but until your story is going to be shared with people, it’s an abstract idea. At least, it didn’t hit me until it was going to be a reality. (This is as it should be, I think. I would never have finished a novel if I had any real sense of an audience. Your mileage may vary.)
I think it took a full day for me to realize precisely what that meant: you’re going to be able to read my book? Oh. Em. Gee. I’m a practical writer; I believe in deadlines and wordcounts and the daily unbeautiful work of it. But I also believe that books are truth, words have magic, and that good writing is a piece of our souls made manifest.
So, basically, I’m writing to show you my soul. And you’re going to see it, in all its broken, vulnerable beauty. You might not like it. I have to be okay with that. Thing is, souls are resilient. They can be shaped and molded into stories, tossed around between the writer and the reader, and when caught, still shine their truths out. They’re soft things, vulnerable but resilient. Haven’t you noticed that about the books you love? They are fierce things, and they can burn themselves out in their fierceness. They leave you hollow and aching because they took a piece of you with them. I hope my books could be like that for someone.
Writers are some of the most courageous people I know, emotionally. We’re not afraid to let our crazy out, and we get that you have your own crazy. Heck, we write because of that. We want you to see you aren’t alone. So, come Spring 2013, I hope you’ll like my crazy. I worked very hard on it.