I have read that a writer shouldn't expect any fireworks when her book is published. They say, Know yourself well before you become a writer, because you'll be the same person inside, with or without your name on a book cover.
They say, in the publishing industry, yours is another book. Just like in the wedding industry, you are just another bride.
I have read this advice. I have braced myself for the nonchalance of holding my book in my hands, for the calendar to scroll on by without the declaration of a national holiday.
But, I may have to respectfully disagree. My experience has been different. In fact, there has been no moment in my life quite like when I held this book in my hands for the first time.
I met with my publisher and my agent yesterday morning. We planned to discuss endorsements for this book as well as outlines and ideas for the next manuscript. But before we started, he said, "Close your eyes."
I love surprises.
I opened my eyes and saw my very first copy of And Life Comes Back. I couldn't speak. I nearly couldn't breathe. The moment stood still and I was actually hesitant to touch it, this dream realized before me.
My name on the cover. My words on the pages. It is wholly other to read my thoughts in a book - not on a computer screen, not printed on 20 lb. 8 x 11 white paper. In a book, like other books I've read, by other authors. The text, the font, the headings, the chapters - all there.
I gave my parents the first copy, and placing it in their hands was actually sweeter than holding it in mine.
Last night, I sat down and read the entire book, in one sitting - and I never read a book in one sitting - as if the story were new to me. As if I didn't already know the plot, the characters, and how the last chapter ends, as if I haven't already read the entire book a dozen times at least.
Out of the blue, an ordinary day turned into one I will never, ever forget.
This is the first time this has felt real: I'm an author.