Another fake conversation in my head with nobody:
“So, what are you doing today?”
“Me? Nothing much. Except my third book came out today. Yeah, it’s no big deal, you know how long these things take. Oh? You didn’t know I’d written two other books? Huh.”
Yes, I managed to keep up the pretense that I’m a writer by releasing a third book. This one is my first published work of fiction. I am here to officially tell you that nothing will make a human being take up stupidly heavy drinking like giving birth to a whole other human being on the pages of a book, then killing that person after several chapters of suspenseful physical and emotional torture. Unless you’re a sick individual, in which case you can be that horrible to a made-up person while stone cold sober.
I write young adult fiction so I do have to tone it down a lot, but as one publisher told me, “There’s a really high body count in your work.” She was referring to a book to be released at a later date in which the main characters reach their intended destination only to discover that the entire town has been executed and is on display in the trees outside the city walls as a warning to others. There was a lot of drinking while writing that scene.
My non-fiction book about autism also took a lot of drinking to write, but I make no pretense about that because it’s an instructional memoir and it took an equal amount of drinking to live through it the first time, let alone when I decided to tell these things to the entire world in a book. It’s like I’ve done all the necessary pre-drinking for you. You’re welcome.
At the rate I publish books times the rate squared at which I drink while writing, I figure I should be well on my way to being on the list for a donor liver sometime next September. I was going to switch to writing greeting card copy as a way to salvage my already raggedly precarious inner filtration system, but I learned that greeting card writers are all secretly addicted to cocaine. (note: I made that up, greeting card writers are no more likely to be cocaine addicts than any other kind of writers.)
In the meantime, a toast to your good health and my publishing-slash-liver-donation success.