First, I want to thank Emerald so much for having me! I wanted to stop by and share a story from RT in Chicago this year. Being a debut author with an anxiety problem, I made a fool of myself on more than one occasion. I figure, what better way to paint this picture than by a first-person account of my mortification.
“Get a grip—” deep inhale—“get a friggin grip, Britt!” Between talking to myself and attempting to breathe, I clutch the bathroom counter within the posh restaurant thanking god once more I’m alone. I slap some water on my face and continue to wheeze. I haven’t had a panic attack this bad since graduation.
I bend over, teetering on my red stilettos and jam by head between my legs, and start to form a plan. I come to the realization that I have three options:
1) I grow the eff up, stop stressing about the fact that in the next room are two handfuls of NY Times best-sellers and editors sitting around a table—a table I know I don’t belong at no matter how many times I re-read my contract and admire the “Grand Central” logo at the top—and walk my terrified ass out of the ladies room and relax.
2) I make a break for it. The front door of the restaurant is one-hundred-twelve steps from where I stood. Yes, I counted. I could just sprint, wave down the first cab I see, and cart the shoes I couldn’t afford in the first place (which were pinching the crap out of my heels at this point) and all the humiliation back to the hotel, hop the red-eye home and never write again.
3) I was just coming up with a third option when the bathroom stall door opens—
My head shoots up, hair flying off my forehead, wide eyes focused on the woman who had been in here the whole time and listening to me hyperventilate.
I thought I was alone.
“You okay, sweetie?”
Her voice was musical. So clam and sincere. I choke on my own tongue and struggle to forms words. The only thing I can muster is: “D-do you know wh-who you a-a-re!?”
It was just my luck that my idol—the author I’m not only obsessed with but look up to in so many ways—is staring me down.
“Y-You’re Larissa I-I-Ione!” I tell her, like she doesn’t know.
She pats my shoulder and smiles. “Yes. And you are Brittney.”
Somehow, that small phrase made my trembling muscles slow and my breathing return to normal.
“I don’t belong here,” I tell her. “You are all just so…amazing. I feel like an idiot.”
Another pat on the shoulder. “We’ve all been there,” Larissa tells me. Before I can argue and remind her once again who she was, she shrugs, “You’ve got this. Go back in there. Have a glass of wine and remember, you are an author.”
Holy crap. I am an author. I take a deep breath, smooth my dress and drag my burning feet back to the table.
The rest of the night went well. I stole a few scared looks at Larissa and she just smiled and nodded. I realized right then, that while I was surrounded by greatness, I was also surrounded by flesh-and-blood people.
Whether you are a debut author, a NY Times best-seller or someone who just loves to write, you are incredible. It takes strength to tackle this business. Writing is so close to the heart, how can you not feel stripped and scared at times? That’s why I think all writers are somehow linked by our souls. The struggle, pain and exhaustion that goes into doing what we love, is hard to bear sometimes. I was ready to flee, to drop everything and let terror and insecurity rule me. Sometimes it takes something as simple as a pat on the back to find your footing. While my story consists mostly of embarrassment (I mean, I freaking cried on a famous author’s shoulder…there may have been some snot too) I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone in feeling the lows or the highs the process of writing brings on. And worst case, if you’re having one of those days where you feel like you can’t breathe, remember who you are.
Because you are amazing!
Connect with Britt:
Follow me on Twitter @BrittBury
ALL-CONSUMING DESIRE . . .
Izel Campbell was raised to believe she is an immortal Fionn with the magical skills of persuasion. But when she travels to Scotland to visit her ancestral home, Izel discovers that she is actually the world’s last living human. Forced to run for her life, Izel crosses paths with Kelvin Kerr, the Campbells’ greatest foe—and the most magnificent warrior she has ever seen.
BURNS BRIGHTEST . . .
A thousand-year-old battle chief of the Kerr clan, Kelvin lives only to avenge his father, who died at the hands of the bloody Campbells. Honor demands he kill the Campbell heir, but when he learns that the lovely Izel is both Campbell and human, Kelvin is torn between duty and desire . . .
ON THE DARKEST DAY
Britt Bury writes paranormal romance where the immortals are fierce, the stakes are high, and desire can be deadly.
Britt was raised in Corvallis, Oregon and attended Oregon State University majoring in Liberal Studies. When her dream of being a professional karaoke star and Elvis impersonator didn’t pan out, she turned to writing. She currently lives in the Silicon Valley with her brilliant husband, two sons and an obscene amount of fish.
Britt’s first paranormal romance releases July 3, 2012 with Grand Central’s imprint: Forever Yours. Britt is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.