The last book in the Hunger Games trilogy, MOCKINGJAY, officially released today, and this is all I can think about:
How is Suzanne Collins feeling right now? With the midnight madness parties, media scrutiny, interviews, and Twitter-craze, one would assume that she's thrilled that there is so much excitement for her book and extremely grateful for all the support she has received from her fans.
But is she worried at all? Is she scared of what the reactions and reviews might be? Is she fearful that Mockingjay won't live up to people's expectations? Does a part of her wish she could hide under the covers instead of doing the publicity tour?
I wonder because this is exactly how I feel, one week out from my ROMEO & JULIET & VAMPIRES release date--and I'm not even a big deal!
Sure, it's only natural to be nervous, and I bet all writers--even smash bestsellers like Ms. Collins--must go through a bout of anxiety before their books hit the shelves. But much like I did with my IN OR OUT series launch, I'm in danger of letting my pre-pub day agita color the whole experience, which would be such a shame, because I am proud of what I've accomplished and very happy with how the novel turned out. I mean, I went from writing about teenage girls in Poughkeepsie to classic Shakespearean love stories with a huge supernatural twist. That's quite a leap!
God, I hate to admit it, but I'm probably still as concerned about what people think of me as I was when I was a teenager. Okay, that might be an overstatement, but what I'm trying to get at is: I've never liked the idea of disappointing anyone, and the thought of a reader not liking what I've done can be kind of terrifying. In the case of Ms. Collins, any similar type of angst would be magnified by a billion, because she has a gargantuan following that has been counting down the minutes until Mockingjay arrived.
So in light of that, I should just CHILL THE EFF OUT, and GET OVER MYSELF, right?
Yes, absolutely, I should. And I think the best way to accomplish that is to close my eyes and remember the large chest filled with notebooks that sits in my old bedroom at my mother's house--notebooks filled with stories that I wrote when I was twelve-years-old. Some of them are good, and some of them are horrid.
But regardless of what anyone might say, all of them are a collective preamble to a dream come true.