Did J.K. Rowling have to bloody do this?

I have to come clean with you all. I've been extremely frustrated over the last few weeks.

I had an incredible book launch and throughout the whole process, I never really thought about what comes after the launch. In my head, I saw myself sitting back and taking a break. I had deserved it, and besides, I am not an author, not really. I can leave this up to my publisher and trust they will take over and get it on the book shelves. 

Imagine my not-so-impressed face when my publishers stressed that I have to now go on a promotion rampage and get ready to sell books directly to people. I didn't want  to do that. I was relieved when the order of new books took their time arriving. I was off the hook, if only temporarily. I could sit back and play Zelda, or watch some classic Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. Anything other than being my word and promoting my book. 

This week has been a real kick in the ass for me and it forced me to take responsibility for my lack of actions. I say I am tired and that is a lie. If anything, I was energized after the launch, and then I got scared. Scared of being serious about sharing this book's message of living a big life because I've been a hypocrite and running from doing that myself. 

Two things happened to get me very clear to this failing.

Just One More Drive is dedicated to my grandmother, Nana O'Brien, or just Nana. She has been an unstoppable force in my life over the last forty years. She had my back when I came out, went to acting school, and began writing. I used to get annoyed when she would ask for tangible results on the book. What did she know? All she did was sit at home and watch television and read the paper! I was "working" on it and I stressed that it had to be perfect before I could launch it. Nana was wise enough to smell bulls**t and cheeky enough to call me on it too. In retaliation, I dedicated the book to her. I jokingly told her that if the book sank without a trace both our names were on it. So if I was going down, I was taking her with me! 

We both had a laugh over that and I hope she realized the real truth. I am the man I am today because of her support and  listening to me over the years. In truth the book is all for her. As I write this blog, she is lying in a hospital bed, medicated and dying. I found out last Sunday and am naturally upset. She has lived a good life and is comfortable, which is all we can ask for. I've known this day would come for years and now that it is almost here, I find myself asking what would she want for me. She would want me to get off my ass and that is what I did.

On Monday, I went and bought some stationary supplies and mailed the first book out to a customer who was waiting for it. I was in work, on my lunch break with scissors and tape. I was determined to mail the book as a letter in an envelope and only pay $4:70 on postage. My editor had told me it would fit and unsurprisingly, she was correct. As I applied the last piece off tape, I moaned out loud to our office manager Lena "Do you think J.K. Rowling had to bloody do this?" I asked. Lena laughed at me and said "Robert, you are not J.K. Rowling and it is only one book." I couldn't help but smile and see what a moany bastard I was being and I was struck by how I heard Nana's voice so clearly in Lena's words.

That book is now gone and my new order of books arrived in the mail. I am flying home next week for to try and see Nana before she passes. Regardless of when that happens, I am taking on standing tall and proud and believing fully in what I have produced. Not for me but for her. Every book I sell from here on is for Nana. A testament to who she is and who I am because of her. 

Nana, thank you and I love you, always.