A finished hardcover copy of ALTERED.
I cannot adequately describe the feeling of opening the package and seeing my book in its final, printed version. All those months working on it. Revising. Revising. Copyedits. First pass pages. ARCs! And now, finally, it's done. I want to compare it to baby making, but truthfully, being pregnant was far easier than revising Altered. Being pregnant is actually a pretty charmed life if you have people who care about you. And thankfully I did. When I was pregnant with my daughter I napped a lot. Husband cooked me dinner almost every night. I napped some more. My shoulders were rubbed regularly and so were my feet. I watched a lot of TV. Read a lot of books. Napped. Napped. More napping.
I would compare revising a book to walking across a bed of hot coals, then jogging through a mountain valley with only peanut butter M&Ms and tequila to get you through the night. And then you emerge, only to realize the valley goes on and on for another ten miles and you're running out of tequila, and you have one M&M left but it's frozen solid, just like your feet, and you can't quite remember what real life felt like, you've been jogging for so long, and...don't you have a husband and kids? What do they look like? You've been buried so deep in
Okay, okay, so perhaps I'm exaggerating a wee bit.
But when experienced writers warned me about the revision process, I never quite believed them. It's one of those things you don't understand until you've gone through it. And even then, it's different for every writer, and every book. For instance, Bot Wars was a lot easier to revise than Altered was, but that's perhaps a different post for a different time. This was supposed to be about celebrating!!
I opened the package that arrived on my doorstep early this AM and this is what came out ---
This is the moment where I felt like weeping. Holding the book! Seeing the little gift box and the card from my editor. I hugged the book to my chest and jumped up and down and hollered a lot. It was entertaining.
This is what my editor sent along as a congratulatory gift ---
A tree necklace! It's absolutely perfect. Not only does it match the cover, but the tree symbolizes the tattoo on Sam's back. It's an incredibly touching/thoughtful gift, and it just served as a reminder of how lucky I am to have such an AMAZING editor.
And then, after reading the card (and getting misty-eyed), I examined the book for what felt like forever. The dust jacket itself has a matte finish, and the branches, title and author name have a glossy, raised finish. I absolutely love that detail. You can see it better here ----
And then the spine and the back cover with all of those amazing blurbs from such amazing writers!
Basically I was feeling the major love today. This package served as a reminder of how lucky I am, how grateful I am, to be here. I know there are unpubbed writers out there still trying to snag an agent. Or maybe you are represented, but you can't seem to sell anything yet. HANG IN THERE. It may not happen next week. Or next month. Or maybe not even next year. BUT IT WILL HAPPEN if you keep trying.
And now, I am off to
clutch the book to my chest again and pet its pretty spine work.