I went back and forth on whether I should share my editor's response to my collection. I mean, I've seen other BL writers do it, but I just don't want anyone to think I'm this young upstart bragging, or summat. I dunno. I mean, I'm supposed to share all my thoughts and feelings and amazing things that happen, right?
Because I never in my wildest dreams ever ever thought that the editor of BL would say to me:
"I think this is an extraordinary and very idiosyncratic collection of erotica."
"Your writing has a penetration and emotional depth not often so well expressed or found in popular erotica."
Or all the bits he quoted as though I'm worthy of quoting.
And then the capper, which made me die and then come back to life as a zombie:
"I’ve actually read literary collections that are inferior to this."
I mean, what the hell do you say to that? Apart from thank you thank you thank you? I actually wrote that in the email: I don't know what to say. And I don't, because it all seems like a dream. People have said to me oh don't worry, and you're great, stop being negative, as though I'm just fishing for compliments or falsely modest. But I don't worry and say I'm rubbish or anything like it because I'm just waiting for reassurance. I say it because I find it hard to believe anything else. When I get rejected, I somehow always feel that's my just desserts. It hurts less because of that- because I know other writers probably deserve publication more.
So when I hear things like this- I don't know what to say. I'm not used to it. So few people have read my writing - and most of them were friends and relatives - that when someone of that stature says things like that to me, I can't adjust to it. I feel like there's been some sort of paradigm shift, and I'm just trying to catch up.
Of course, he didn't have all awesome things to say. I do too much head chatter (I'm such an inner monologue-er, I know). I needed to cut down a couple of the stories, and make them more direct. I needed to rearrange them in the anthology, and put the big sexy action stories first (thank God thank God I managed to write my dirty Sheriff story. It took one night of hard slog, but I got it done). But those things aside...I think it's okay. And I understand everything that's wrong and thought the same things myself, so I've managed to complete the edits (hopefully) with very little fuss.
Now I just need to stop psyching myself out and get back down to business. I keep playing ink ball and falling asleep and fancying Paul Rudd, instead of cracking right on with my next project (s).