This was a big step, and a nervous one. I had the audacity to try to follow a renowned author in his field, and to write a sequel which would meet his standards. It's rife with the opportunity for spectacular failure, and I understood that going in. But I thought I had what it takes, so I wrote the book.
Last night at 5PM I got an email from him: "I’m reading it now. Wow! It’s great so far."
This morning at 9.30 I got a follow-up email: "I’m 80% on your book and I love it. I hope to finish it soon. More to follow."
That's what my wife said. That's what a close friend said. I discounted those opinions. But this is from a big-time fan of the author I'd had no contact with before earlier this week.
I had thought I might get one of three responses:
1. How dare you try to foist off this trash as a sequel to that great book?
2. Well, this is OK fan fiction. I hope some of your friends will enjoy it.
What I got was number 3. I've been pumped ever since that first email.
He asked before he started if I minded if he shared it with other members of the board. Of course, I approved. I'm going to guess he moves ahead to share it with other members of the board.
I just told a friend that I have to be careful to stay in present time, and present time is that one man who counts has told me he really likes the book. Considering the original work and the author, that's the biggest compliment I've ever had for anything I've written. That's where I am, and that feels wonderful.
But it does indicate my chances for publication have gone from infinitesimally low, to something I can work with. If another couple of members of the board also respond well, and are willing to give me letters of introduction to the agency, it could happen. It's tough to plan for a dream and stay grounded in today at the same time. But we have to be able to do that if we want to stretch for that dream.