It’s two weeks until my book launch and I feel tremendous anticipation about what is certainly a defining moment in my life—very much like the two other days in my past when my public identity changed: my wedding day at the bus stop where Jerry and I met, when I became a wife, and the day, almost exactly three years later, when I gave birth to our son, Oliver, and became a mother. The launch on October 1st in our old hometown, Montclair, New Jersey, marks the moment when my status as a writer transforms permanently into that of “author.” Though I’ve had stories, essays and articles published in journals, magazines and anthologies, as well as plays professionally produced—the theatrical equivalent of publication—the publication of my memoir brings me to an entirely different level of achievement. An author is a writer who has published a book, and with the publication of DYING IN DUBAI, I have met the definition.
I remind myself how momentous and satisfying the launch event will be, as I tick down my list of To Dos: check in with my publicist, contact libraries and bookstores to schedule more events, organize the receptions, plan my readings and remarks, test pens, practice my signature, and answer the all-important question: What am I going to wear? At least once a day, I have to stop and take a conscious deep breath, lest I become the author version of Bridezilla. I tell myself, it will work out fine—you deserve it—now enjoy it.
On a particularly trying day, when I wondered how I was going to get from here to there— I was so frazzled that I actually spelled my first name “Rosalie” in an email signature—I stumbled onto the website for my local Rhinebeck bookstore, Oblong Books & Music (near my new home in the Hudson Valley), where I will have a second launch on October 6th, I had meant to hit another link, but rather than immediately switch sites, I found myself mesmerized by their home-page sliders of upcoming events: Man Booker Prize finalist, Emma Donoghue, Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday fav, Elizabeth Lesser, Bright Lights, Big City legend, Jay McInerney…and me, Roselee Blooston. I had to watch the loop of their faces and names, before and after mine, three times, before I could begin to absorb its import. I wasn’t delusional. I knew my career existed on a far more modest plane than these heavyweights, but even so, each slider was the same size and style; in this simple, direct presentation, we were equals—peers—because we had something fundamental in common: we were all published authors promoting our new books.
I let out a sigh and sat back nodding. It felt good.