Sunday, March 17, 2013

Being Humble is for Suckers (and a giveaway)

Here's how 99% of conversations go when someone finds out I'm a writer:

Random person: So, what do you do?

Me: Oh, um, well, I'm a writer. I mean, kind of. Not really. It's not a big deal though.

Random person: What do you write?

Me: Oh, well, books. I mean, books for teenage girls. Not like, award winning books. Just books.

Random person: Are you self-published?

Me: No, we, uh, have people who publish our books.

Random person: So I can buy your book online?

Me: You could if you wanted to, but you're really not the target market, I mean it's probably not something you'd like or whatever.

Yes, I know what you're thinking. Those Roeckers. They're so confident. So cool. So calm. So collected.

What the hell is wrong with me? Why am I completely unable to have a conversation where I'm proud of myself for achieving something incredible, something many people say they want to do some day but never quite get there? Why am I selling myself short?

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably read about Sheryl Sandberg's fascinating book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. I've read most of her press and finally started reading the book and it's absolutely fascinating. I'm so guilty of all the things she talks about that are holding women back. I am extremely uncomfortable taking credit for my accomplishments and I desperately want everyone to like me.

But that stops now. Or at least I'm going to try to force myself to stop. (Ok fine, I still really want you guys to like me. You like me, right? I'm likable? If there's something I'm doing that makes you hate me, just tell me, I'll totally stop. Oh my God, I am Sheryl Sandberg's worst nightmare.)

You see, we've written a young adult mystery called This Is W.A.R. And we love it because it's our own tiny little [Editorial note from Laura: You're kidding with this, right?] [Editorial note from Lisa: Nope, totally not kidding. Sheryl is probably openly weeping by now.] manifesto about a group of girls who rally against the patriarchy at their country club. There are threads of feminism and female empowerment woven through, threads we hope young readers will pick up and follow, threads we hope will trigger thought and debate.

Can we all take a moment to admire the cover please? Because it really is gorgeous, right? And wait until you read the book. It's beyond perfect. Big, huge, mega thanks to Soho Teen for taking so much time to get it exactly right. Does the cover make you like me more or less? What? Not relevant? Crap.
And yet, I can't even admit to strangers that I'm proud of our books.

I'm done being humble. I love our books. I'm PROUD of all of our accomplishments as writers. Writing is hard, getting published is even harder. The truth is we are insanely, stupidly, intensely proud of THIS IS W.A.R. We poured over every word with our amazing editor, Dan Ehrenhaft. We've exchanged an absurd amount of emails with our amazing publicist, Meredith Barnes, about the cover, the marketing, the PR. We have written a book that we'd love to read.

Humor is a huge coping mechanism for us. We spend a LOT of time laughing about our D-List status in the publishing world and truthfully, it really is kind of funny. We have always taken pride in not taking ourselves too seriously, but the reality is, no one is going to take our books seriously unless we start taking ourselves seriously.

*cue ominous music*

So this is it. This is us taking ourselves seriously. This Is W.A.R. will be available July 2nd, but you can sign up to host a spot on the blog tour today. We hope you'll read it. We hope you'll love it. We hope you'll want to talk about it. But more than anything, we hope you'll learn from our mistakes. Whether you're published or agented or a complete newbie, own your status as a writer (or a reader, or a mom, or a CFO, or whatever). Take pride in what you do. You owe it to women, you owe it to your fellow writers, you owe it to yourself.

P.S.
Want to win an ARC of This Is W.A.R.? This is probably the only one we'll be giving away on the blog, so add the book to your Goodreads list or post an update on social media about the book and leave a comment here to enter. We can't wait to share this book with you guys. WE ARE PROUD, dammit.

P.P.S.
If you want to leave a comment on my likability factor, I'm totally cool with that too. [Editorial Note from Laura: Nice try Lisa, Good thing I read this one last time before posting. Sorry, Sheryl. We're working on it. Pinky promise.]