I suspect I’m not the first author to experience post-partum depression after giving birth to a book. There’s a sense of let down. The joy of seeing the book in print and, in my case, the fun of getting the promotional videos produced and posted…. that’s done. There it is, a physical artifact, small but all powerful to affect your moods. Will others love it, you worry? Be cruel to it? Ignore it?
And then there’s the big Now what? The only answers I can come up with: Selling the book. Selling yourself.
It didn’t help that, just before the big day, my dog, my muse, the reason the book exists, got sick. Really sick. Hooked up to an IV sick. People joked that Frankie was getting pre-publication jitters. I laughed, but the possibility that it might be true nagged at me. Had I imparted my stress to the little guy?
It’s not that I felt she’d been taken prematurely. Who could argue with a lifespan of 21 years? No cause of death was offered — no surprise — but I knew Chanel had been healthy as recently as May. How did I know? Because Chanel had her 15 minutes of fame back then, when she did the rounds of the talk shows for her 21st birthday.
But it’s not just that I felt I knew her that created my dismay over her death, though that was part of it.
It’s that I worry it was her public appearances that did her in. Bright lights. Bad food. Too many people disturbing her much needed — hey, she was very very geriatric — rest.
And that, by extension, I’ll destroy Frankie’s precarious health if I take him with me on book tours.
He’s a shy guy. He hates car rides. And I’ve never even taken him on a plane. Not to mention, he has diabetes.
Forget Am I Boring My Dog? Am I Killing My Dog? is more to the point.
And now that I’ve put it out there, it seems absurd. At the moment, the only thing I’ve got lined up are appearances at local book stores and resorts.
And, after all, this blog supposed to be a guilt-free zone for good dog owners.