The galleys of my first novel, Losing Kei, have arrived.  These are the pre-publication copies of the book that are being sent to potential reviewers.  I loved the cover before, but I love it even more because I think that the child facing the camera is deaf. 

My daughter’s tutor was examining the badge on the child’s uniform and made out the letters for “rougakko,” which means, “deaf school.”  I showed it to a couple of other people, and they confirmed it.  And the more I look at it, the more I think it looks like “rougakko.” 

The child in my story isn’t deaf, but I have a deaf child, so this secret detail gives the cover a special meaning for me. 


9 thoughts on “Galleys!

  1. Congratulations! How are you feeling about all of this? Happy? Worried? Both?

    I didn’t realize that the writing of a book (for me) was the relatively easy part. The many, miriad details that must be attended to on the way to publication, and then GASP! people will read it, and have their own fellings and thoughts about it, independent of yours as the writer….ugh.

    Do you have any of these thoughts? I wonder if my nervousness is because I write personal narrative, which is completely transparant and very close to home…maybe?

  2. I’m very nervous! I’m worried about what my mother and the rest of the family will think about the bad word on page 65. I’m worried that I made a big mistake somewhere and that it’ll be pointed out in a major publication. I’m worried that it will be shredded in reviews. I’m worried that it won’t be reviewed at all! My publisher has told me that it’s very difficult to get attention for a first novel, so right now I’m in marketing mode. I’ve just been thinking about getting the book out there, into the hands of potential reviewers, and I feel personally repsonsible for selling every copy.

    Unlike you, Jennifer, I live surrounded by people who don’t read English, and my book won’t be available at the local bookstore unless I bring it there myself. So the mothers at my children’s schools won’t be reading it, nor my Japanese relatives-by-marriage, nor my neighbors or students. I think I would feel more anxiety if I knew they might be reading it. But I need to sell copies, so I sort of wish they would/could buy it.

    Even though it’s a novel, I know that people will think it’s autobiographical, or at least they’ll wonder how those thoughts got into my head. So I feel anxious about that, too.

    I sort of forgot that people might be reading it until a woman I’d sent a review copy wrote and said she’s finished the book. Luckily, she liked it, but now I’m worried that nobody else will.

  3. Oh, isn’t that the truth! Thank you for your honesty. I too worry no one will read, then I worry everyone will read and my life will be changed forever (I hate change). I worry I won’t get reviews, then I worry I will. I worry it won’t make one bit of difference in the grand scheme of things (woe is me for wasting my life!) then I worry it will (who am I to be influencing others!). It’s a mess!

    And I’d like to know this: how is it that I wrote the entire 80,000+ words and wasn’t really ever aware that PEOPLE WOULD SOME DAY READ THEM?


    Yours in the dark and the light of book publishing,

    Ms. What-was-I-thinking?

  4. Having read your essays, I’m sure the book is beautiful and important. I know that doesn’t help cut down the anxiety, but…

  5. thank you. and to you, too–I’ve only read your nonfiction, but I have every confidence that LOSING KEI will be fantastic. And the rest, well it’s out of our hands!

  6. I cannot wait for my copy to arrive. I’ve pre-ordered it from Amazon. I think it sounds really good.

    I hope it does well. I’ll be spreading the word on my blog.


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