When my first novel was published

PG read an item which turned out to be not quite what he expected, hence, its lack of appearance on the august pages of TPV.

That said, the article began with the phrase, “When my first novel was published.”

Astute visitors to TPV will immediately recognize the passive voice in that phrase (no blog-title irony intended).

What struck PG about the phrase was how much different it seemed than something an indie author would say. Something like, “When I published my first novel.”

Perhaps PG is truly in the advanced stages of Covid-craziness, but the whole sense of the author being in control of both the creative and publishing parts of her career feels so much better to him.

“I just published my fifth book in three years,” or “I decided to write and publish a book about a woman who killed and ate a shark,” seems like something that an assertive individual, an individual in control of their own destiny, an individual who runs the show instead of watching the show would say.

“When my first novel was published,” is something Lydia Bennet would say. Elizabeth would say, “When I published my first novel.”

“Pride and Prejudice” analogies will be something that will interest PG’s psychiatrist if Covid doesn’t end soon.

(No, PG doesn’t need a psychiatrist, but yes, PG is definitely Covid-crazy.)

4 thoughts on “When my first novel was published”

  1. Should be followed by, ‘When I publish/published my second novel’…

    Taking control is a long-term commitment.

    I have talked to some traditionally-published authors with a single book out there, and some vanity-published authors ditto. They’re still unhappy. Many found it too complex, too fraught, too unremunerative to produce another.

    Me, I’m happy – writing turned out to be one of those important things. Even with glitches.

  2. An interesting thought built into the wording nuances…it makes me think of a chicken/egg situation though. For those who indie-published, and had more control in the process (or took control in the process?), they are more likely to use the active because they, in fact, “did” the publishing.

    By contrast, those in traditional have very little control after they “sold” their novel. So are they likely to say “I just published…” when in fact “they” didn’t do that. They “sold their first novel” and the “publisher” published it.

    Unless of course, we can turn it into a humourous irregular verb where:

    “I wrote my first novel”
    “You have banged out a first draft”
    “They are blathering on and on for their blog”.

    “I published my first novel”
    “You had your first novel published”
    “They submitted their first novel and it now in a bookstore”.

    There are harsher phrases out there for “irregular” descriptions 🙂

  3. A google search for the phrase (in quotes, to make the search only match the phrase) “When my first novel was published” turns up many interesting results.

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