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Life after publication: Joshua V. Scher on the days after your debut novel

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(Disclaimer: I have known Joshua nearly two decades and like him and his work enough for us to collaborate regularly, so if ye seek impartiality, look elsewhere. Let’s begin.)

When Joshua Scher has the New York launch of his first novel Here & There at Brooklyn’s POWERHOUSE Arena this Wednesday November 18 at 7pm, it will have taken over two years… since he finished the initial draft: “So much time that I actually had to go back and examine the ‘dates modified’ log to figure it out.” During that period, he went through “the finding the agent thing”, the “rewriting the book based on my agent’s edits” phase, the “finding a publisher” stage, the “going through the publisher’s round of edits” chapter, and the “copy edits” episode, with everything culminating in the “all the prep work for going to market” stretch.

Now that it’s finally unleashed on the world, how is it?

“When I opened up the box full of the first advance copies… I couldn’t stop smiling. For days. DAYS.”

Which is not to say there haven’t been bizarre moments as Joshua entered the world of online critiques. “My wife showed me a review where someone ranted about how normally they love time-travel stories, but this one was really just lacking.” Joshua noted he didn’t mind this criticism, even admitting, “I couldn’t agree more.”

Why is he so quick to recognize this shortcoming? (I can say from knowing Joshua he is a man who rarely acknowledges failure, reality, or stop signs.)

For one, his book isn’t about time travel.

Here & There is about teleportation. It is a horrible time-travel book.” Just as Tolstoy’s War and Peace, while considered a classic by some, is arguably the worst book ever written about a theme park filled with dinosaurs. (It doesn’t even have dinosaurs.)

(Incidentally, if you want an accurate sense of what Here & There is about, go here to learn more and take a look inside and maybe even buy a very reasonably priced copy in paperback or for your Kindle. Hell, get ’em both.)

So far the high points post-publication include seeing the book on its opening weekend surge ahead of Andy Weir’s The Martian and Lee Child’s new Jack Reacher novel — Joshua’s twitter handle is @JoshuaScher and he will happily send you screenshots of this historic moment — and watching “the weird traction that’s taken hold on, a conspiracy website about Here & There“, while the low ones have included realizing Here & There is an utter failure as a time-travel story and “quickly losing my place of primacy after The Martian‘s opening weekend at the movies.” (Curse you, Matt Damon!)

Joshua’s real-world experiences with Here & There include going to Comic-Con — which he described as “a ton of fun” and “overstimulating” and a chance to see frightening amounts of women dressed as Harley Quinn — and now the launch event at the POWERHOUSE Arena in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood (a.k.a. “the part of Brooklyn closest to Manhattan”). Check him out and even if you can’t make it, may you at least remember Joshua’s hard-earned lesson: “My publicist told me I need to work on tweeting about my brand, not just food.”

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