Paranoid Activity

Along with the more familiar night terrors, like dreaming I haven’t revised for a Very Important Exam or that I’ve turned up at some glittering occasion in scruffy clothes and dirty hair, I’m now tormented by a new fear. As the process of pre-publication continues, it’s been easy to lose sight of the fact that I have a real live novel coming out this summer!! Each step has meant concentrating on a something new – looking at jacket designs, thinking about publicity, doing copy edits etc and in all the activity I’ve hardly dared imagine what it’s all for. I’m still haunted by the fear that someone’s going to tap me on the shoulder and say, ‘Nah! Not you!’

It’s not surprising then, I suppose, that I’ve invented a new nightmare for myself. Last night I dreamed that I was summoned to appear before some big chief. I couldn’t actually see who it was; all I could see were the legs of an enormous desk towering above me and a voice booming out, warning me not to let everyone down. Eek! How scary is that? The thing is, as publication comes closer, I’ve started to worry that no one will like Turning the Tide - is this normal, do you think? Or am I just particularly good at scaring the bejeesus out of myself?

Painting is ‘West Coast Surf’ by Tom Tomos, whose lovely work can now be seen here at the Venetia, a restaurant and boutique hotel at the tip of the Llyn Peninsula


mountainear said…
I'm looking forward to getting my copy of TTT.July is it? Stop worrying - it will be very well received i'm sure.

..have those horrid dreams too - I've never got any work in my portfolio and the deadline is tomorrow.
Pondside said…
I still dream about not being ready for a math exam, even though it's been 40 years since I last had to write one.
I know it's going to be a great success and I look forward to a good read this summer!
Debs said…
I can't wait to read my copy of TTT when it arrives. I'm sure everything will be fine although have a particular stress dream when I'm especially worried about something.

My dream, strange as it may sound, is that the horses we sold when I was 19 are still actually in the stables and I've forgotten to feed/water/muck them out since then. Thankfully I rarely have this dream now. I suppose it's me worrying that I haven't remembered to so something important.
elizabethm said…
Oh yes, I expect we all have versions of this kind of dream. I haven't had mine since I left my job but it was always an exam one where I turned over the paper and found my finals were in a subject other than English Lit. For some reason I always just have to do it!
Quite sure it will all be fine and I too am looking forward to reading my very own copy!
Frances said…
Hello from New York on Sunday night, Chris.

Please let Tom know that as we left the shop tonight,later than we'd have wished, I just looked up at the sky over Fifth Avenue and asked my cohorts to take a look up there with me. It was beautiful, puffs of various subtle shade of grey, gently crowding the pale blue, and just a hintof the pink that sunset would bring in 30 minutes. Tom's picture that you posted tonight just made me tell this to you all.

Here's a dream for you, Chris. You are in a bookshop, with a beautiful vase of flowers on the table before the chair you are sitting on. There are stacks of your book available on a shelf near this table. In front of you are seated folks who've turned up to hear you read a bit from TTT. They are completely caught up with your characters and the plot.

They've had an opportunity to ask you some questions, and a few of them would so, so like to have a book published. Others want to know how you come up with your characters, are they based on anyone "real."

Do you write longhand, do you use a computer, etc.

And ... this dream continues, these folks are now getting up from their folding chairs and are forming a long queue. Each one of them wants to buy your wonderful novel, and to have you autograph it for them.

This is a dream that is going to be yours for real, Chris. You are are already in its first stages. Enjoy it all. xo
Flowerpot said…
I'm sure it#s very normal but horrible all the same. Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect? Looking forward to getting a copy of TTT soonest! Take care and sweet dreams from now on!
LittleBrownDog said…
Completely normal, Chris - it's a big deal, but OF COURSE you're not going to let anybody down. Your writing is lovely, the cover looks great - and, frankly, they wouldn't be publishing it if it wasn't.

I'm really looking forward to getting my copy - I know I'm not going to be disappointed. (Envious, perhaps, but not in the least bit disappointed. You go, girl.) xoxox
Preseli Mags said…
As one who jumped out of bed at 4am and woke up anxiously standing in front of my dressing table (no idea why!), I can sympathise with that sort of dream. All thoroughly understandable though. I wonder if we're all not helping by so looking forward to TTT? What was that comment somebody said about it before? "Everyone who has read it has loved it"? We'll love it too. Sweet dreams. xx
Chris Stovell said…
Sheesh! Thank you everyone for being so comforting during one of those cold sweat moments.

Mountainear - the portfolio nightmare sounds horrible (I mustn't think about it too much in case I borrow it from you!)

Pondside - isn't it awful that the exam nerves stay with you? I remember standing at a busstop nearly being sick before a German exam!

Debs, nooo! The horse nightmare sound very scary too must be something to do with being responsible for other - which I'm sure you're very good at. I can't see you forgetting to feed and water your loved ones.

Elizabethm - another person haunted by exam fears! (Haven't heard that variation which also sounds nasty) There's a lot of us doing impossible exam papers in our sleep!

Frances, you are very kind. Tom will be pleased to read your comments about his painting. And thanks for going to such much trouble to reassure me... I hope you're right!

FP, yes - not very good at living in the moment and enjoying it for what it is... too busy looking for trouble! Thank you!
HelenMHunt said…
I don't have any personal experience of this, but I imagine it's all very normal.
Calico Kate said…
Absolutly - I think I would worry more if I didn't have anxiety dreams!!
Given how readable the bit's we've been allowed to read are ..... I think Frances's wonderful 'dream' situation will be true.
We've a bookshop up here that does events and signings should you wish to come North West, & there is always a bed.
Liane Spicer said…
Perfectly normal, Chris. Worrying is par for the course!

Looking forward to reading TTT. And the painting is lovely!
Chris Stovell said…
Helen - I hope so or I'm going to have to up my running mileage to run off the steam!

Kate, how very kind of you.. get ready to pencil us in! Seriously, thank you very much.

Liane, well you should knw, m'dear! And thanks from both of us.
Thanks for the post. It was very interesting and meaningful.
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