In just over six months my novel will be on store shelves. People will read it (I hope) and they’ll have opinions about it. I’ve known for a while that this was the plan. But in the past week it’s begun to feel very much REAL.
The Baker Publishing Group catalog for New Releases May-August 2014 arrived in my mailbox last week. And there, on page 47 between Elizabeth Camden and Lauraine Snelling (you know REAL authors), is my novel. There’s the cover, back cover copy, vital information (like price and number of pages), and a bio that’s about ME. Oh, and an 800 number so stores can order copies.
Then, a few days later, I discovered that my novel is on GoodReads. And get this. People have marked it as to-read! TEN of them including Joanne Bischoff (the other author who writes Appalachian Romance). Other than Joanne I don’t even know these people. Larissa, Mackenzie, Katie, Brooke, A.F., Kristy, Becca, Virginia, and Mybucklingbookshelf are interested in reading my book. And they aren’t even related to me!
How cool is that!?! And how intimidating. I can’t wait to hear what readers think. I can’t wait for the message of forgiveness I hope I managed to convey begins to reach people. And at the same time I suddenly wish I could start all over and make it perfect. Because it’s SO not perfect. And I want it to be perfect before I give it over to the wide world.
Back in college we studied something called reader response criticism that basically says everyone’s interpretation of what they read is valid because each person brings his or her own history, feelings, emotions, and personality to reading. I like that.
I think it’s almost time to let go of what I want the book to say and let it speak for itself. Because ultimately it’s not about what I try to communicate, but what God uses my words to say to readers. And that, my friends, is both wonderful and terrifying.