The Author and the Wonderful, Horrible, No Fun, Very Good Day

Portuguese Sweet Lemon and Black Olive Wafers by David Leite

The worst moment in a writer’s life is the day he receives his first rejection slip. The second worst is the day his first book is published.

The former because it only takes one person—one person—to prevent what would have been a remarkable and brilliant early debut. One person, whom the writer is sure was a summer intern from Barnard with a fondness for capri pants and a smug conviction in her ability to assess genius, to deep-six his career. One skinny, privileged-enough-to-survive-being underpaid assistant, who now most likely was a spinning instructor with an eating disorder, to reject him.

And the latter because he was rejected by the entire world.

I didn’t learn about this joyous part deux until recently. My first book, The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe’s Western Coast, was published on August 18th. That morning, I woke up feeling sure that it was truly the first day of the rest of my life. All I had to do wait it out. Within hours, the phone would ring, my web site’s server would crash from the assault of emails, and the offers for my own TV show would roll in.  more »

David Leite's signature
  1. Lovely article, David…but sorry you’ve had to learn what it means to be the author of a published book. Just wait ’til your Amazon rating drops below a million (as the song says, “don’t ask me how I know”).

  2. David, an excellent article as usual. I’ll setup an introduction to Ina, Martha and Rachael for you….

  3. Dianne Jacob says:

    You’ve captured the angst perfectly. Will buy my copy from Kitchen Arts & Letters and have you sign it. XO

  4. blima says:

    As always, a great article. A little sad, too. I’m off to Chapter’s (a huge book store in Montreal Canada) tomorrow. I hope they have it. If not, can I purchase one online from you with your signature? : ) Please?

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