Hello, reader friends!
It's been about a month since the release of Gretchen and the Bear, and I'm so pleased that people are enjoying the tale of Gretchen and Arthur!
Here's something I never really knew before I was published: the making of a book is a journey down an uncharted road. You start alone, but like a Hobbit on the way to Mordor, you pick up companions along the way--people without whom you'd never make it to the Land of Published Book (which is not anything like Mordor, fortunately, because all that fire wouldn't be good for the paper or the e-reader). You are joined and encouraged by critique partners first, if you're blessed to have them. Next, your trusty first readers come along to offer help, guidance, and suggestions. The next part of the trip can be thorny and long, as you seek a publisher, but if you succeed in the quest, a skillful editor or two will saddle up alongside you for the next leg of the journey. You'll have to endure prickly patches of revision and fill in plot holes so big they could swallow you alive! And then you will encounter a cover designer, a magical creature who will make the loveliest thing appear: the perfect cover of your book. But your journey isn't over! You must beckon friends and family, bookish strangers and bloggers, and beseech them to read your story just before it comes into the world, to prepare reviews so that your book's Amazon listing will not look sad and lonely.
And then... your box of books arrives. Your beautiful babies, all crisp and bright! Your journey isn't over, but you've made it up the hillside with the help of so many friends, new and old, and that's no small thing!
From there, it's a trudge through the hills and valleys of marketing and promotion--but you remain victorious, carried ever onward by the gleeful shouts of all who have aided you along the way.
And you say, "That was hard! Do I really want to do that again?" For a minute, you think about the work and stress and self-doubt--but then you remember the joy of creating something from nothing, and your heart says, "Yes!"
Another book journey awaits...