Knowing that the royal wedding will happen tomorrow made me think about weddings in general. I find it curious that the plans for the event itself often take priority far over the ramifications of the marriage, which would be that you are now going to be stuck with this person forever if you both take your vows seriously. Of course, there are a lot of little details to work out with a wedding: flowers, catering, cake, dress, location, photographer, wording of the vows, guest list, and much more. For Kate Middleton, it's many steps worse considering that most of the inhabited world will be watching, since many of us have a strange fascination with royalty.
But for Kate Middleton (whom I am inclined to pity), she's not just marrying Prince William, but the position that she will fill as his wife. When she says her fateful "I do," she will sentence her children to be heirs of the crown of England. There will be no escape for them. Their lives will never be their own.
What's the deal? you might ask. Isn't it great to be king? And by the way, what on earth does this have to do with writing?
Publishing a book is a little like getting married. Most writers are so wrapped up in pulling off the event successfully that they don't stop to think about what it will mean to their lives afterwards. While Kate Middleton has had plenty of time to decide if marrying Prince William is what she really wants to do with her life (and I do mean with all of her life), most writers just want to get to the place where they sign on the dotted line.
Today, as the world holds it's breath and Kate Middleton hovers at the precipice of royal matrimony, certain to throw herself into the abyss below, set aside a moment for reflection and a bit of research. What will happen to you if you get a book contract? What will be expected of you as an author? Are you ready for that kind of commitment? The links below will help you discover what you're missing if you haven't signed on the dotted line yet.
• Harold Underdown's site, The Purple Crayon. (He wrote The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books, and I can't recommend it highly enough. Even after working in publishing for some years, it was an eye-opener of the big picture of the publishing world.)
• Rachelle Gardiner's website is always filled with concise information on the publication process and the pitfalls you'll want to watch out for before and after you become a published author.
• Chuck Sambuchino's blog is a fabulous source where you can pick the brains of writers who have been there and done that. It's loaded with information that will help you on your way, published or not.
(By the way, if you want to know what Kate Middleton is facing by marrying Prince William, check out my review of Growing Up Royal on Examiner.com.)