The Queen of Hearts is Born!
Welp. This is it. I have waited for this day to get here for the last five years. At first it was with a fatalistic acceptance that I was never going to achieve what I wanted, then timid hope, then cautious excitement, and now exhilaration.
This may sound a bit overblown because I didn’t cure anyone, or ease anyone’s pain, or invent anything brilliant, or any of the things that count in my day job. I didn’t even manage to write meaningful, elegant literary fiction about the world of medicine. (Don’t get me wrong; what I wrote may be on the entertaining side, but it’s reasonably smart too.) I tried SO HARD to make this happen, y’all. I worked on my manuscript every day until my eyes crossed. I suffered through so many rejections from literary agents that my cheeks would flame up in pre-emptive shame every time an email came in because I knew it would be another form rejection. I re-wrote it a thousand times. I kept going back to it, again and again, until I finally wrestled it into decent enough shape to sell. Then I rewrote it again for the publisher.
I’m the world’s biggest book nerd, and this was my dream. This weekend I woke up to see my face looking back at me from the pages of The Charlotte Observer (my hometown paper), The New York Post, and The New York Times Sunday Book Review—the holy grail of book reviews. (Even though the reviewer didn’t care for my character’s sense of humor, she still coughed up some praise. I’ll take it.) I wish I could magically appear to the Kimmery of three years ago and tell her these things would happen. On second thought, I don’t, because Kimmery can get a little over-excited.
I’m spending this week in a whirlwind of interviews and events in which I’ll basically be “on” for five straight days. I’m a social person, but not the world’s smoothest talker. (Duh. I’m used to arranging and rearranging my words until they look good, not having them flow out perfectly from the get-go.) I’m a bit scared I’ll say something monstrously stupid, or curse, or stall out. And in general, I’m nervous AF about how people are going to react to the book—it’s hard, because nothing is more subjective than book opinions,
and nothing is a more personal effort than writing a book.
But overall, I have to say: this is the happiest day.
I owe so many people my gratitude. Thank you to everybody who let me interview them, especially my trauma surgery and cardiology colleagues. (Errors are mine, or creative license.) A huge thanks to everyone in the Physician Moms Group who crowdsourced the title and which author photo to pick. Thank you to my groups: Physician Mom Book Club, Physician Mom Writers, and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Fund. My writing groups: Lisa Duffy, Lisa Roe, Leah Collum, Kristin Contino; Betsy Thorpe (extra thank you for the editing!!), Lisa Kline, Emily Pearce; the Judy Goldman/Kim Wright Writer’s Salon group; and my beloveds—Tracy Curtis, Bess Kercher, and Trish Rohr. I’m eternally grateful to my agent Jane Dystel, and her partner, Miriam Goderich, and to everyone at Penguin, especially editor extraordinaire Kerry Donovan. My family, especially my magnificent and ultra-supportive husband, Jim. I heart you.