Wednesday, November 10, 2010
The Triumphant Return
People are always saying to me: “Oh, I see how it is, Matt Norman. You vanish for months on end without a word, and then you show up out of the blue with another dipshit blog and we’re supposed to go running to our computers like mindless lemmings. Well you know what, Buster Brown? We don’t care anymore! We’re on to bigger and better things. So suck on that!”
And my response is always the same: “Seriously, Natalie Portman, that would be a lot less ironic if you weren’t hiding in my bushes with night-vision goggles right now.”
Alas, regardless of the context or the sophistication of her spy equipment, Natalie has a point. I have, in fact, been gone for some time. But, I’ve got an excuse. And this time it has nothing to do with laziness, fatherhood, low-level alcoholism, or prison.
Several months ago I received a phone call from my literary agent. That’s right, I actually have one of those. She asked me if I was sitting down, and then she informed me that a major American publisher had agreed to buy my novel, Domestic Violets.
I can assure you, no one was more surprised than me, especially considering 90% of the novel was collectively written by my team of personal assistants, interns, massage therapists, and personal shoppers.
As you can imagine, for the next two weeks I ran around the city of Baltimore drunkenly waving bottles of champagne and firing handguns into the air.
And then I spoke with my new editor.
I assumed, of course, that she was calling to get my address so she could send me one of those gigantic checks that they give people who win money on television. But, it turns out my editor had actually edited my book. And worse still…some of that editing required me to do some actual writing.
So that’s where I’ve been, hunkered here in the basement/storage room at my computer, neglecting my job, wife, daughter, and personal health to suffer over semicolons, rethink my characters’ motivations, and desperately wonder if anyone out there will ever care about any of it.
And I’ve loved every minute.