WENN ICH NICHT MEHR BIN (WHEN I’M GONE translated into German by Kerstin Fricke) is #1! I cannot tell you how exciting this is to me. That makes WHEN I’M GONE an international bestseller! I’m so proud of this book.
When I first finished WHEN I’M GONE it had a different title and different ending than the book that is in print today. I didn’t finish the book and think, “Well, that was amazing! You are an amazing author, Emily!” In fact, usually when I finish writing a book it goes more like this. “Thank heavens you finished but–is this even any good?? Will anyone even want to read it?”
With WHEN I’M GONE that feeling was particularly strong. I had an unexpected bestseller with WRECKAGE and I was blown away by the idea that 10 people, much less hundreds of thousands of people, would ever want to read my writing. But the gremlins in my brain that most writers have started their dialog. “You got lucky,” they said. “It was a fluke,” they said. “Everyone will know you are a fraud,” they said. These were some particularly nasty gremlins who were brought up with very little parental involvement and zero table manners.
But soon my editor read the book and said she loved it. My developmental editor read it and helped me make some important changes but also loved it. Friends read and enjoyed it. Family too. And then the reviews started to come in and they were pretty positive meaning that even total strangers enjoyed the story.
I don’t know how long it took for me to believe that WHEN I’M GONE had touched hearts and lives. Maybe when I started getting the letters. Tons of them. Stories of personal loss and redemption. Stories of how my story made these readers feel something and feel it deeply. These messages meant more to me than any reviews or bestseller lists or sales made.
I guess what this has taught me is that–you can’t always see good things while you are making them. Sometimes they just look hard and make you feel like you are failing over and over again. But with some work and some time…you can see the beauty better from the distance. How glad am I that I didn’t listen to my gremlins (nasty buggers) give up on WHEN I’M GONE? So glad and I can definitely say–it was worth it all!
Now a whole new world is opening for this story in Germany. I cannot wait.