I now have in my grubby little hands, the final, fully-signed, i's-dotted, t's-crossed version of my contract for INTO THE WILD and an untitled second book. Yippee! You want to know the coolest thing about this contract, aside from it being the final, fully-signed, i's-dotted, t's-crossed version? It has a big red stamp at the top of the first page that says: AUTHOR.
Yes, I know this is just to identify which of the four copies is mine. But come on, it says AUTHOR! I almost cried when I first saw it. Maybe next time I go into Penguin, they'll stamp it on my forehead: AUTHOR. That would be cool... if, perhaps, a bit messy.
My glorious and adorable husband scanned it in so you could see it:
He then printed it out on photo paper so I could put it next to my writing desk for inspiration as I work on Untitled Second Book. Isn't he the sweetest?
Signing that contract was a Momentous Event for me. [Imagine wavy flashback effect.] I was nervous. It wasn't likely that I'd suddenly freak out and sign my name as Walt Disney or Big Bird or that guy that used to sign the butts of Cabbage Patch Dolls (what was his name???), but you never know. Things happen. So first, I practiced my signature, and then I made my husband stand on the other side of the room and not watch while I signed. When I finished, he took this photo of me:
And then because I am a sentimental (and compulsively organized) pack-rat, I sealed the pen that I'd used in a Zip-lock and labeled it "contract signing pen." I hope it gets a lot more use in the future! :)