Lisa Lutz: Transformation

I work from home. My commute is five feet down a hallway from my bedroom to my office. I wear pajamas until I'm required to leave the house or bathe. I brush my teeth, but not my hair. Who do I need to impress, the UPS guy? (In fact, I do worry about what he thinks of me.) My point is, unlike people who work among other humans, I don't particularly need to be presentable. I also don't need to be organized, prompt, poised or sociable. All I have to do is sit behind a desk and write a book. Until the book comes out, that is. Then every habit I've hammered into my psyche over the last year has to be undented when I embark on a book tour.

I wish I could liken my physical transformation to that of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, but it's more like a bear shaken out of hibernation in the middle of winter. Packing seems like rocket science to me. The sound of the alarm can be particularly brutal when I have to get up at 4 a.m. to fly across the country in time for an evening event. Every day I wear outside clothes (as I call them). Sometimes I attempt to iron, attempt being the operative word. I even wear makeup occasionally and brush my hair. And I will fully admit to being utterly cranky most of the time.

But then I step into a bookstore and I realize that despite all the alarming data about e-books and the demise of bookstores, there are still people out there who read, who buy books with pages, who take the time to come to an author signing and make you feel special, even when you know what you really are. I'm the slob, staring at a blank page, feeling like an idiot, most of the time. But for a few weeks out of the year, I'm an author. --Lisa Lutz, author of the Spellman series. The latest is Trail of the Spellmans (Simon & Schuster)

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