Wow. I think this past weekend ranks up there with my wedding and childbirth (post-labor, that is)!
I am overwhelmed and grateful for the amount of support from all of you! This has been such a rewarding experience.
When I began this project about four years back, it was pure passion. It was on my heart and I wanted more than anything, to give the story justice, accuracy and honor those who lived through it. My biggest worry was that I couldn’t effectively articulate or move people through the words I was writing. Sometimes, I really wish I could put little inserts on the pages to move people emotionally, like: “insert dramatic violins playing here to add suspense/tension” or “read this part in slow-mo.” I always tell the kids during scary movies, take out the music, imagine the actors eating cheeseburgers on break in costume and by the way, how talented are these makeup artists & costume designers?
So, I never in my wildest dreams imagined the book would reach where it has. The book is an underdog in the publishing world of big players & big agencies, despite having the best editors ever, who have worked with many of those players in the past.
But, the greatest joy that fills every space of my heart is when people tell me they caught their teen reading the book or that they themselves really love the characters. To see my (very picky) teenage daughter stay up until one am reading and she tells me she can’t put it down (hopefully it’s not just sheer flattery), that is a greater and more important thing than any list. That is what I envisioned and hoped for and dreamed of with every word, every edit and every two am revision.
So, a million thank yous! This has been an amazing experience mostly because I get to connect with you in a way I never imagined. I hope I can honor the story and that the overlying themes of love, having pride in one’s heritage and forgiveness is evident (as symbolized by the birds) and more than anything, I hope it shines God’s love through its pages.
Four. More. Days!!!!!! I’ve been going on little sleep in anticipation of the book launch party! I hope to see you there!
I’ve been assigned my first editing job. Yep. It’s a crafty selection titled, “The Clumsy Kid,” and was written by my creative nephew, Colton, who is in 3rd grade. My heart was full when he called me and asked me if I’d be willing to edit his book (seriously, soooo cute!). When I saw him the next day and asked what he had in mind, I realized he not only wants me to edit the book, but publish it (hardcover preferred), type it (no problem) and change the illustrations, which are “rough sketches of stick people” to “real” illustrations (yep, this is a problem here!).
In addition to this, I was asked to speak with a class of 3rd graders about the creative writing and editing process. I can’t tell you how excited I am! We are going to do a fun writing prompt and I’m going to share my very first published book with them: a book that went through a few rough drafts before being published with a wallpaper book cover. And guess what?! I was in 3rd grade at the time. I’m also going to show them the many rough, ugly stages of my novel, red marks/corrections/edits and all. I can’t wait!
So amid all the crazy plate-spinning and learning of the business side of marketing and selling books (definitely not as fun as the writing side of things), I realized that if this whole process inspires just one kid to chase a dream or pursue writing, it was all worth it.
All the hassle. All the hustle. All the humility. All the hope. WORTH IT.
I’m beyond excited to launch my debut novel at my favorite bookstore!!! Come celebrate with us (and if you’ve never been to Fox Den, you might want to come prepared with your holiday gift list…they have the most unique gifts around)!
SAT, OCT 26 AT 1 PM
Refreshments, Raffles, Reading & Conversation (sorry, can’t think of an appropriate “R” word at the moment). After almost 3 years of this project, I can’t wait to share it with you!
I’m beyond thrilled to see the long-anticipated cover for Becoming American! I absolutely love it!!!
I have to admit that other than how people would respond to the story-line and characters in the book, I was most worried about the cover. What if it didn’t draw people in? There are many times I buy a book just for the sake of the beautiful cover (I know, kind of judgemental, but it’s true). I also wanted to incorporate some of the symbolism in the book. Although I had sent over some other covers I like for ideas, I didn’t want to nag and wanted to trust the designer.
Low and behold, the universe pulled in the thoughts of my publisher, myself and a designer I’ve never met or communicated with. And the cover of my dreams came to fruition. I’m just as excited for the back cover as the front, though I’m unable to upload that side of the book for now. I hope you like it as much as I do:)